Tag Archives: Peter Rabbit

LIFE-LIKE ANIMATION TRICKS THE EYE IN “PETER RABBIT”

PETER RABBIT

Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Cottontail (Daisy Ridley), Peter Rabbit (James Corden), Benjamin (Colin Moody) and Flopsy (Margot Robbie) in Columbia Pictures’ PETER RABBIT.

I wanted the audiences to forget this was an animated film,” says filmmaker Will Gluck of his approach to the direction of Sony Pictures Animation’s Peter Rabbit, the new family comedy based on Beatrix Potter’s beloved characters.

Hopefully, after the first few minutes of getting acclimated to the fact that animals are talking and wearing clothes, it just feels real to the audience.”

In Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers now takes on the starring role of his own contemporary comedy. In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as their fight to gain control of McGregor’s coveted vegetable garden and the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover, Bea, who lives next door (Rose Byrne) extends to the Lake District and London.

The animation was overseen by producer Zareh Nalbandian and his company Animal Logic, which previously produced the animated hits The Lego Movie (and its sequel, The Lego Batman Movie) and Happy Feet. “For Will, all the animated characters in Peter Rabbit exist just like the characters played by Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson,” he says.

As we approached the animation, we had the same kinds of questions for him that the live-action actors might ask. ‘How do you want Benjamin Bunny to feel? How do you want him to emote?’ It’s all about performance. We consider our characters as real characters, so our dialogue with Will was on that level. For our animators, that was fantastic because Will didn’t put restrictions on anything, but it was also immensely challenging. This was probably the most complex film that we’ve made at Animal Logic.”

The production ran parallel animation and live action units during principal photography, with editors cutting scenes while the film was shooting, and storyboard artists drawing over cut scenes to represent where the animals might be.

With that, Gluck could get a sense of the film he had shot and the possibilities for animation. And with that, he discovered the great blessing and curse of animation: you can always change it. “You don’t have that in live-action – you shoot the scene, and the scene’s over. In animation, anyone can say, ‘Here’s an idea that could improve the scene.’ And while the animators were sleeping, I was rewriting,” he says – noting that the animators were ready for it. “There were over 400 people working on Peter Rabbit. They were all studying their small portion of the film and coming up with the most wonderful ideas. The ‘what-ifs’ were the fun part of this movie.”

Now playing in Philippine cinemas, Peter Rabbit is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

ROSE BYRNE, A WARM-HEARTED ANIMAL LOVER IN “PETER RABBIT”

PETER RABBIT

Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Benjamin (Colin Moody), Bea (Rose Byrne), Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) in Columbia Pictures’ PETER RABBIT.

Best known for her role as Ellen Parsons in TV’s Damages, which earned her one Emmy and two Golden Globe nominations, Rose Byrne now stars in Sony Pictures Animation’s Peter Rabbit, the new family comedy based on Beatrix Potter’s beloved characters.

In Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers now takes on the starring role of his own contemporary comedy. In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as their fight to gain control of McGregor’s coveted vegetable garden and the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover, Bea, who lives next door (Rose Byrne) extends to the Lake District and London.

McGregor’s next-door neighbor, Bea, has given up the city life to move to a small cottage to attempt to prove herself as a painter. She feels isolated, save for a set of diminutive, furry friends: the rabbits. Peter is her favorite, and she is his.

Rose Byrne talks about the role. “Bea is stubborn and determined, but she’s also torn.  Her talent lies with her animal paintings, not her human portraits, but she doesn’t take that form seriously and hence doesn’t feel like a true artist,” she says. “The animals are her friends and her family, a bit like Snow White meets Jane Goodall.”

“Director Will Gluck’s ambition was a very modern take on a classic tale, which is hard to do,” Byrne continues.  “It’s so beloved so you have to be really tender, but I thought it was genuinely very funny.”

“Rose is luminous,” says producer Jodi Hildebrand.  “She is that person who everyone loves, which was so necessary for our film because Peter loves her, the triplets love her, Benjamin loves her and Thomas McGregor falls in love with her. The audience had to believe the strength of that love, and with Rose they can.”

The challenge for Byrne would come in acting in a film against a lead character that would be animated after photography.  “You have to harness your imaginative powers as much as you can in those scenes,” she explains. “It’s incredibly technical, so besides the director, there are so many heads of departments who need to be watching your every movement — visual effects, special effects, camera department, art department. There are so many complicated steps to creating a successful portrayal of the character and her interaction with her screen partners, a lot of moving parts.”

In Philippine cinemas February 28, Peter Rabbit is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

JAMES CORDEN ​IS ​VOICE​ OF​ THE RASCAL, REBEL “PETER RABBIT”

James Corden, Peter Rabbit

James Corden voices Peter Rabbit in Columbia Pictures’ PETER RABBIT.

British comedian and talk show host James Corden (Into the Woods, The Late Late Showbrings a perfect balance of mischief and charm as the voice of the eponymous hero in Columbia Pictures’ family adventure Peter Rabbit (in Philippine cinemas February 28).

In Peter Rabbit™, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers now takes on the starring role of his own contemporary comedy.

In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. Thomas McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as their fight to gain control of McGregor’s coveted vegetable garden and the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne) extends to the Lake District and London.

It was always the dream to have James as Peter; we essentially wrote the role for him,” says director Will Gluck. “He has the ideal combination of exuberance and sweetness and is of course very, very funny.”

A mischief-maker in his own right, Corden puts aside the wit and gets emotional when it comes to playing the impish rabbit in a little blue coat. “It’s a wonderful story that owes everything to Beatrix Potter,” he says. “I felt incredibly honored that [director] Will Gluck thought my voice could lend itself to this adored rabbit. I met a kid who was so excited – he said, ‘You’re going to be Peter Rabbit,’ and I said, ‘No, Peter Rabbit is Peter Rabbit, he just needed a voice for this film.”

Corden adds, “Peter thinks he has power and ability beyond what’s expected of him. He has that confidence and zest for life – the type of rabbit that doesn’t say ‘why,’ he says ‘why not.’”

Peter had to feel timeless,” says executive producer Jodi Hildebrand. “The key to it was a voice that we wanted to follow on any adventure he chose to go on, and James Corden is that voice and that personality. He’s funny and charming and mischievous, and for us that was the linchpin of bringing Peter to life.”

Corden says, again, it all comes back to the character Beatrix Potter created. “I think Peter gets away with his mischief because of his sweet and adorable nature,” he says. “You just can’t help but smile when you see him.”

Directed by Will Gluck from a screen story and screenplay by Rob Lieber and Will Gluck, based on the characters and tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, the film is produced by Will Gluck and Zareh Nalbandian, with Doug Belgrad, Jodi Hildebrand, and Jason Lust serving as executive producers.

Peter Rabbit is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.