Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

Spring 2014 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TVY

Beatrix Potter's timeless classic gets a CGI makeover for the new Millennium in Peter Rabbit, an animated half-hour program for preschoolers airing on Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. channel. The series showcases the popular characters from the books, including Benjamin Bunny, Flopsy and Mopsy, nutty Squirrel Nutkins, and the dangerous fox Mr. Tod.

Inventive animated sequences make the most of Peter Rabbit's adventurous spirit and daring escapades. The storylines still retain the charm and ease of Potter's tales from more than a century ago however, and are made even more delightful with original songs and a cinematic score. In The Tale of the Runaway Kites, Benjamin Bunny gets swept high into the sky by a couple of kites, while Peter and pal Lily need to work together—rather than blaming each other—in order to rescue him. And in The Tale of the Surprising Sisters, Flopsy and Mopsy compete with Peter to gather the most delicious berries until they discover there's a greater chance of both safety and success when they all work together.

The educational component of Peter Rabbit focuses on character development and interpersonal skills. According to the Nick Jr. website, themes of optimism and resiliency inform every episode and young viewers will be encouraged to pursue challenges and persevere despite set-backs. When Peter makes a mistake he owns up to it, learns from it, and figures out a way to make the matter right, a process the website calls "positive reframing."

Thanks to its beautiful art direction and positive storytelling, Peter Rabbit offers a solid choice for parents who limit their child's TV time. The series delivers deep themes and meaningful lessons but stories still feel light and airy, achieving a great balance between Peter's daring spirit and his gentle nature.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2014 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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