7 July 2016 | TheLittleSongbird
One of my first episodes to the show and one of my favourites
'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' was one of my favourites as a kid, and is still one of my favourites now at 24. This reviewer may be criticised for most of her reviews for this show being very similarly worded, but when the strengths are consistent throughout the show it is hard not to.
This reviewer still loves all of Beatrix Potter's stories to bits, some a little better than others but all of them are timeless, and 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' show complete respect and faithfulness to them with every bit of their charm and memorability.
Even the animation adheres very closely to Potter's illustrations. To me "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny" and "The Tailor of Gloucester" are the best of the series, though "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly Poly Pudding" was also one of my first episodes of the show. It has to be said that 'The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends' is one of those rarities where all the episodes/stories are great.
"The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly Poly Pudding" is another beautifully done episode and adaptation, with the stories being shown complete respect with clever merging of the stories and nice references to other Beatrix Potter stories.
It's wonderful visually as with all the episodes. Not just the animation, which are as said like Potter's illustrations come to life, being colourful, quaintly charming and carefully drawn, but also the charming and exquisitely filmed book-end live action scenes (having the same introduction of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny", which is my favourite of the introductions) complete with splendid period detail and the scenery is just wondrous.
Music is equally memorable, with a return to the more understated, quaint and melodic incidental music of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny" and "The Tailor of Gloucester". The music accompanying the introduction and the beautifully sung rendition of "Perfect Day" particularly stand out.
Dialogue is beautifully written and again sticks very closely to the writing of the story of "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers". The storytelling never rushes or drags and is beautifully told, with a cosy and relaxing atmosphere throughout and Tom Whiskers up in the chimney and his first encounter with Samuel Whiskers and Anna Maria have an element of darkness. All the characters as charming and colourful as in Potter's stories. One is also fully immersed into the world of Beatrix Potter and her characters.
Voice acting is top-notch, with particularly juicy turns from Struan Rodger and Sheila Hancock. As Beatrix Potter herself, Niamh Cusack is note-perfect, couldn't have been a more ideal casting choice.
All in all, beautifully adapted, lovingly made, sometimes dark and entertaining. 10/10 Bethany Cox