A Missed Opportunity for “Miss Potter”

It is clear to me that Beatrix Potter’s “The Tale Of Peter Rabbit” is catered for children. As we talked about in class, the text is easy to follow and the pictures are pleasant on the eye. Because of this, I found it interesting that the movie we saw this morning was catered to an adult audience. While we only saw a few minutes, it was extremely apparent that “Miss Potter” was not created to appeal to children. Considering the subject matter of “The Tale Of Peter Rabbit” and its continued appeal to modern day children, I believe the slow and mature angle the director took was a mistake. There were moments in the first few minutes where the film appealed to the childish nature of Potter’s book, like when a young Beatrix imagined her parent’s carriage in an animated light but this was a fleeting moment in the movie. I will have to finish the entire movie to comment fully but I have to believe the film would have been more successful if scenes like this one were included which would have appealed to a younger crowd.

4 Replies to “A Missed Opportunity for “Miss Potter””

  1. I absolutely agree! It’s interesting. It almost struck me as too sentimental to appeal to a wide audience of adults, but too focused on things like the logistics of publishing (and a possible romance with the publisher) to appeal to a wide audience of children. The moments of animation, I thought, were stunning! I bet it could have been very successful if those elements of fantasy and the sequences of childhood were expanded.

  2. I agree! I was surprised to see the animations come up on the screen, especially because the opening scenes had prepared me for a movie catered more towards adults. The scenes in which Beatrix was young seemed very relatable to a child, but the movie overall was too focused on the story of becoming published, which may not be as appealing to a younger audience.

  3. I agree! It seems like the movie consists of a mix of scenes designed to sometimes appeal to children, and sometimes to adults. Maybe the reason the movie got so many poor reviews was because it couldn’t appeal fully to either audiences. Perhaps the producers got lost between attempting to produce something that children who once read Peter Rabbit and were now old enough to understand its context could watch, and a sort of biography of Beatrix Potter’s life. I totally agree with you that the movie kind of lacked a specific “genre” to guide its plot.

  4. For me, the movie reminded me a lot of Saving Mr. Banks, which came out in 2013 and tells the story of how P.L. Travers and Walt Disney worked together to take Mary Poppins from book to movie. I think that both movies were definitively geared toward adults, with the intention of drawing their audience in based on the nostalgia they felt for either having read Peter Rabbit / watched Mary Poppins as children, or having done so with their own children. Just because Miss Potter includes animation does not mean that those scenes were meant for children. There are plenty of animated TV shows today that are meant exclusively for adults. It seems more likely to me that the slow pacing of the movie, whether appropriate for the story of Beatrix Potter or not, did not appeal to the general public.

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