Each week FILMCLUB will be bringing you reviews of the latest and classic DVD releases that feature on the charity’s 4,000 strong catalogue.
And so you know exactly whether you’ll like it or not, the reviews come from kids just like you!
Below you can read the review of the The Tales of Beatrix Potter by FILMCLUB member Yann Atzmon aged 11 from Anson Primary School in London.
Beatrix Potter has created legendary characters like Peter Rabbit. She was raised in a 19th century middle-class English society. She spent her holidays in the country, and there she drew wonderful animal creations, which would very soon turn into her career. She has a big reputation in the history of children’s books.
Dance is treated as an art form, yet a lot of people forget it’s true power. Dance is entertainment, but is also a medium to tell stories
At first, the idea of Beatrix Potter’s characters doing ballet can sound vaguely stupid, but brought to life, it’s a beautiful way to tell beatrix’ stories.
The Tales of Beatrix Potter is both a tribute to and an adaptation of Potter’s work. We see the author’s famous characters like Jemima Puddle-Duck, Squirrel Nutkin and Jeremy Fisher telling their (classic) stories through ballet.
Surprisingly, Peter Rabbit (her most famous character) does not have a leading role. We only see him spying on other characters, sometimes laughing at them. We even see Beatrix Potter herself, actually creating her well-known and adored characters.
The film has only one flaw, but it is a big one. Unfamiliar to quite a couple of Potter’s stories, I could not understand the stories the dancers were telling, almost like a foreign language to me. Unless you understand ballet, I highly recommend you read her stories so you can understand everything this movie has to offer.
On the good side, the film is technically impressive. The music is wonderfully orchestrated, the dancing is well choreographed and the costumes are impressively designed.
Another thing I noticed was how new it looked. It was painstakingly restored, and the result looks glamorous.
Today this film is slightly underrated, but calling it a masterpiece is overrating it.
The Tales of Beatrix Potter is a great reminder of why Potter’s characters have for over a century, never lost their power to shine.
Rating 3 out of 5 stars
The Tales of Beatrix Potter (2010) (U) is out now on DVD & Blu-Ray
FILMCLUB is a nationwide education charity and experts in film for young people. The initiative offers access to thousands of popular and classic films from around the world for young people and teachers to watch and discuss in their school film clubs.
Visit www.filmclub.org for more information.