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

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

Spring 2016 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV Y

Author Beatrix Potter's beloved Peter Rabbit gets a 21st century make-over in this Nick Jr. series where artfully detailed CGI animation creates a woodland home for Peter's world.

Peter Rabbit loves adventures but sometimes his eagerness lands him in a sticky situation. He has to think through possible solutions and take action to right the wrong, modeling principled behavior and showing that many relationship bumps can be solved with compromise, sympathy, empathy, and a sincere apology.

Each half-hour episode include two separate stories. In "The Tiny Terror," the rabbits must devise a plan to beat a neighborhood shrew to the bounty in Mr. McGregor's garden; and in the other story in that same episode, "Treehouse Rescue," Peter's friends Flopsy and Mopsy invade Peter's secret treehouse, but a nasty owl named Old Brown decides to pay a visit at the same time. In "The Kitten and Pig Adventure," a rare episode devoted to a single full-length story, Peter visits a farm and meets some new friends but when a big storm looms, playtime takes a serious turn.

Very young children may be worried by some scenes in the series, which do play up the dangerous nature of the predators or perils endangering Peter and his friends, but storylines quickly resolve and there's nothing truly upsetting in the tales. Thanks to thoughtful scriptwriting and likable characters, the moral of each tale is evident but the stories avoid sounding like stodgy lectures. Peter also gains inspiration from his late father's journal, which is a guide on how to be a good rabbit. This element is handled delicately so the focus is on Peter's special memories and his late father's wisdom, and it manages to feel sweet when a less deft treatment could have easily weighted down the tone of the show.

Purist devotees of Potter's classic may think this update takes too many liberties with the characters and story elements but on its own merits, the television program feels fresh and endearing. Parents of preschoolers will appreciate a program that helps children understand the value of owning up to mistakes, and kids will absorb that message even as they're charmed by the adventures of Peter and his pals.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2016 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.

Look for this product at:

Share This