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Western Animation / Peter Rabbit

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Left to right: Benjamin, Peter and Lily. Note  Not pictured: Cottontail.

An All-CGI Cartoon running on Nickelodeon in America and CBeebies in the UK, Peter Rabbit revolves around the familiar figure that starred in the first of Beatrix Potter's children's books. Peter is joined on his adventures by his cousin Benjamin Bunny and Lily Bobtail, a new character created for the series. The characters are also joined by a hodge-podge of characters from other Beatrix Potter books, such as Jemima Puddle-duck and Mittens the kitten.

This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Jemima Puddle-Duck.
  • The Ace:
    • Peter regards his late father this way, using his old journal to learn how to become a clever and brave young rabbit.
    • The Plum Thief from the same-titled episode, AKA Peter's Mother.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the original novel, Peter, while still managing to escape Mc Gregor, was more of a Miles Gloriosus Bratty Half-Pint left a wreck by the whole ordeal, his capability only starting to truly show in his final appearance as an adult. In the series he is an adventurer who tackles Mc Gregor and other threats on a regular basis.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Originally, Mr. Brown was more an example of why you Do Not Taunt Cthulhu. Old Brown, however, is another dangerous predator.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: A fair few examples. Benjamin in particular. In the novels, he was about the same age as Peter and even more headstrong, dragging him back to Mc Gregor's garden somewhat against his will. In the series, he is noticeably younger, and is Peter's Cowardly Sidekick.
  • Age Lift: In the book, all three of Peter's sisters seem to be the same age; in the series Cottontail is notably younger than Flopsy and Mopsy.
  • Agony of the Feet: This happens to Mr. Tod at the end of "The Tale of Mr. Tod's Trap" after he kicks a tree out of frustration from having been once again out-witted by Peter and the others.
  • Animal Stereotypes
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Cottentail has much a bigger presence compared to her appearances in the original books. She even ends up as one of the main characters.
    • In the books, Mittens is the least focused-on of Tabitha Twitchit's three kittens. Here, she's a major recurring character, while the rest of her family is completely absent.
  • Author Avatar: Lily is stated to be heavily based on Beatrix Potter herself.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Spring Has Sprung" from ''Peter Rabbit's Springtime Tale." It was, in fact, nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Song.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Cotton-tail, Mr. Tod, Tommy Brock, Pig Robinson, and Sammy Whiskers (unlike the original book version)
  • Blinded by the Light: In "Flooded Burrow," Peter Rabbit's mother uses this to get rid of the owl Old Brown.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness
  • Cute Kitten: Mittens.
  • Canon Foreigner: Rather than having Flopsy, Mopsy or Cotton-tail join their brother in his mischief, Lily Bobtail was added, along with her family. Cotton-tail is occasionally the Tagalong Kid, though.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Let's hop to it!", usually said by Peter, though see I Always Wanted to Say That below also.
    • Lily has "Just-In-Case Pocket, just in case." Also, "I know that for a fact!"
    • Peter also has "A good rabbit never gives up!", which he learned from his father.
    • Benjamin has his Survival Mantra "Rabbits are brave, rabbits are brave..."
    • Mittens has "Always alert and always on guard," not that there's really any truth to it.
  • Cats Are Mean: Played straight with Mr McGregor's cat, but averted with Ginger.
    • Subverted with Mittens. She seems mean, but she is nice once you get to know her.
  • Cat Stereotype: Ginger is is a yellow orange tabby and is the nicest of the three cats in the show.
  • Character Title
  • Christmas Special: Peter Rabbit's Christmas Tale doubled as the series premiere in 2012, while the series proper began the following February.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Mr. Tod says it in "The Tale of the Unguarded Garden" after Peter, his sister and friends elude his grasp and hide from him.
  • Cunning Like a Fox: The sly Mr. Tod.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Or rather, regularly endangers them.
  • Disappeared Dad: The Rabbit family's patriarch is not in the picture. It's implied in the Christmas special that he passed away.
  • The Ditz: Jemima Puddle-Duck.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Almost all of the characters have actual names, but the shrew character is simply "Shrew."
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Bobtail is a Downplayed version: his sternness generally stems from understandable concern about their activities, to the point where he considered moving away for Lily's sake.
  • Everybody Knew Already: In "The Tale of the Dash in the Dark," Benjamin spends most of the story trying to hide the fact that he's afraid of the dark from Peter and Lily, only for him to finally say that he has something to tell them and them to say "You're afraid of the dark?"
  • Exact Words: In "The First Bluebell," Sammy Whiskers approaches the group and says that he can get them a bluebell. They ask what he wants in return and he says he'll give them a flower in exchange for the oat cake that Benjamin happens to have. They agree, but when they give it to him, he gives them a snowdrop. After all, he never said he'd give them a bluebell, he said he'd give them a flower.
  • Expressive Ears: Seen on occasion. In "The Tale of the Angry Cat," when Peter tells Cottontail that it's way too dangerous for him to catapult her into Mr. McGregor's garden, her ears droop straight down and she cries.
  • Furry Confusion: Mr McGregor's cat and Ginger the orange cat. In one installment, Sammy Whiskers the rat comes face to face with the former, who would love to make a snack out of him, and the latter, who has no interest in eating him.
    • Also, the former cat doesn't talk, but the latter cat and Mittens the kitten do talk. Another installment involves Peter and Lily trying to steal milk from Mr. McGregor's cat to replace Mittens's spilled milk.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Peter, Benjamin, Lily and Cottontail.
  • Growling Gut: Happens to Benjamin like all the time since he's always hungry. Peter, Benjamin and Lily suffered this in "The Tale of Mr. Tod's Trap". Peter in "The Frightened Fox" and other characters in "The Tale of The Hero Rabbit and The Hungry Thieves".
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Peter, Benjamin, Lily, and Mittens.
  • Housewife: Mrs. Rabbit.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Mr. McGregor is feared by all the animals, though that doesn't stop them from constantly raiding his garden for goodies.
  • I Always Wanted to Say That: Benjamin with "Let's hop to it!" in "Benjamin's Strawberry Raid." He starts to say it again, then stops himself, seeming to realize that saying it a second time just kills the impact.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All of the episodes are "The Tale of..." something, in the tradition of the titling of the original books.
  • I Have This Friend: Peter tries this while asking his mother how 'his friend' might be able to get past all the defenses Farmer McGregor set up around his plum tree.
  • I Have Your Wife: In "Peter's Great Escape," Mr. Tod and Tommy Brock kidnap Squirrel Nutkin and take him to Rocky Island, as a means of baiting Peter Rabbit and his friends because they know he's Peter's friend and he'll come, then hopefully they can finish him off once and for all. They tell Nutkin, however, that they're having a picnic together. Despite this being Blatant Lies, he believes it.
    Nutkin: They wanna have a picnic!
    Mr. Tod: And you are the guests of honor. And the main course. And dessert. And leftovers, if there are any. We can make sandwiches, but it's not your problem.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Benjamin tries this in "Spectacular Sled," saying that he knew that Lily knew that Peter knew what they were going to do in terms of raiding Mr. McGregor's garden, but loses his train of thought about halfway through.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
    • Mr. Tod. Leaving aside the fact he wants to eat the protagonists, he asks for comparatively little in the grand scheme of things - he just wants to eat and survive. In fact, he's been shown on multiple occasions to be willing to settle for food like fruits and berries, only to have the bunnies swipe that from him. He ends most episodes without ever getting to eat a thing.
    • To say nothing of Mr. McGregor.
    • Tommy Brock doesn't want anything to do with Peter and friends, but they keep waking him up/stealing his things. And yet, he still ends up the bad guy...
  • Lyric Swap: A few of the lyrics in the theme song are different depending on the dub. It isn't clear as to why, but some think that the UK dub changed the lyrics so it would sound less violent than the US dub. The changes are as follows:
    • US: "Run through the fields, race everywhere, face every risk, and laugh at danger if you dare." UK: "Run through the fields, run wild and free, and grab a piece of every radish that we see."
    • US: "It's time to fly, just like an arrow from a bow." UK: "It's time to fly, come on, the wind's begun to blow."
  • Mouse World
  • The Moving Experience: In one episode, Dr. Bobtail considers moving to get Lily away from her friends' bad influences. To try and convince them otherwise, Peter and Benjamin try holding a picnic and being on their best behavior... while trying to keep the predators from crashing it.
  • Nice Guy: Pig Robinson. He is even nice to Mr. Tod.
  • Once an Episode: When ever a chase scene or other shenanigans insue, expect to hear the song "Run Rabbit Run" at least once or twice for each episode.
  • ...Or So I Heard: Benjamin says this when Peter's sister Cottontail is having trouble sleeping and he says that nightlights are good for helping little kids to get to sleep.
  • Pantsless Males, Fully-Dressed Females: Peter has his familiar blue jacket, while Benjamin has a knit cap and darker jacket. Lily, Peter's mother, and his sisters all wear dresses that cover significantly more of their bodies.
  • Percussive Maintenance: In "Flooded Burrow," Peter and his friends use a vacuum-like device to get the water out of the flooded burrow. Later, when the owl Old Brown threatens to attack, Peter decides to try to reverse it in order to spray him, but isn't sure how. Benjamin suggests giving it a kick, and does so. He ends up suffering Agony of the Feet for it, but it also works, albeit with a bit of a delay.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Lily who wears a pink cardigan with a reddish-pink dress and Peter who wears a blue jacket.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Lily's signature color.
  • Predators Are Mean
  • Primal Fear: Peter's sister Cottontail and Benjamin are both afraid of the dark. Peter admits to having been afraid of the dark himself when he was younger.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality:
    • In one episode the kids left some firewood out where anyone could get it while they had a snowball fight. When Mr. Tod happens by and helps himself to it, the kids undertake a mission to break into the guy's house and steal the wood back, on the grounds that Tod "stole" it - except he didn't. He found what was, as far as he knew, just a random pile of wood lying there unclaimed. But the fact he took "their" wood is enough for them to justify breaking into his house to get it back.
    • In another episode, Peter, Lilly and Benjamin help themselves to some berries near Mr. Tod's house and after he chases them away, he takes the berries home with him to eat. Once again they see no problems with breaking and entering to steal the berries back, on the basis that they're "theirs," nevermind that given the berry bush's proximity to Tod's house, a case can be made that they were his to begin with.
    • Stealing from Mr McGregor's garden doesn't even seem to register with the rabbits as stealing; that's what Mr McGregor's garden is there for, and his failure to understand this makes him a villain.
  • Rascally Rabbits
  • Rummage Fail: It tends to take a few tries to pull something out of the Just-In-Case pocket that's relevant, and Lily doesn't always recognize what'll come in handy herself. Lampshaded in "The Tale of Benjamin's Strawberry Raid", where she comments that she really needs to organize it sometime.
  • Same Language Dub: The U.S. version features the characters with American voice actors. The show originates from Britain with British voice actors.
  • Scenery Porn: Some of the backgrounds, such as seen in this video here are absolutely gorgeous.
  • Stock Animal Diet: Averted. You'd think Peter and his friends would favor carrots, but you'd be wrong. Well, sure, they'll eat them, but it's actually radishes that Peter apparently favors and the show's logo even features a radish. Additionally, one of the phrases stated by Peter's talking plush toy release is "Yummy, scrummy radishes, here we come!" In another installment, Benjamin leads a strawberry raid.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Mr. Tod treads the line, as he's generally willing to pursue the main trio yet again regardless of how many times he's failed. The same goes for Old Brown.
  • Survival Mantra: When Benjamin is scared, he likes to remind himself that "Rabbits are brave, rabbits are brave, rabbits are brave..."
  • Talking in Your Sleep: In "Flooded Burrow," Peter and his family have to sleep over at Benjamin's because of their burrow being flooded. In the morning, Peter looks tired and Benjamin asks if it's because he was talking about radishes in his sleep again. Also, at one point the owl Old Brown can be heard muttering "mice" in his sleep.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Let's go! Peter Rabbit! Go on a run, run for our lives, we'll tear a hole in every fence and every wall! Peter Rabbit..."
  • Token Human: Mr. McGregor.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Every once in a while Peter's sister Cottontail would sometimes join with Peter, Lily, and Benjamin on various adventures but mostly stay at home. She becomes more regular in later installments.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Peter, Benjamin and Lily
  • Utility Belt: Lily's Just-In-Case pocket, which usually holds something useful to the situation at hand... though it may take a few tries before she comes up with it.
  • What Could Possibly Go Wrong?: Lily asks this about "Benjamin's Strawberry Raid".
  • White Bunny: Lily Bobtail is a blue-eyed, light grey example.
  • You Can Talk?: In "The Great Tortoise Rescue," Squirrel Nutkin has this reaction when he first meets Tolly Tortoise, suffering under the mistaken impression that he is actually a giant nut, despite Peter and the others' insistence that he's a tortoise. Shortly afterwards...
    Tolly: Mr. Tolly Tortoise. What! Wait a second. You're Nutkin, aren't you? I remember you when you were knee-high to a twig.
    Nutkin: (giggles) The nut's trying to make friends with me! Isn't that sweet?
  • You Dirty Rat!: Sammy Whiskers.


Video Example(s):


Spring Has Sprung

The "Spring Has Sprung" song from the "Peter Rabbit" animation takes the opportunity to show off the show's lush backgrounds in the full glory of spring, with sweeping fields of flowers, trees covered in greenery and rolling mountains. "The grass just got greener, here comes the fun!"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / SceneryPorn

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