Film review by Jason Day (and my three year old niece Isla) of Peppa Pig: My First Cinema Adventure.
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(From IMDB.com) A 72 minute theatrical release comprised of previously unreleased episodes and musical interludes of the animated television series featuring stage-show versions of Peppa Pig and her brother George.
Review, by Jason Day and Isla Veevers (age 3)
Well, I tried to get my 3 year old niece Isla involved in this review but, as you will be able to discern from the video footage below, she was slightly less than reluctant to impart her views.
In summation though, based on my observations, she really did like this film.
For those not initiated to the delights of this rollercoaster-successful children’s TV series,
Peppa is (rather obviously) a pig whose animated adventures getting to know the big, adult world outside of her house with assorted animal friends have been chronicled since she made her TV debut in 2004. She has since become a global phenomenon; there is even a Peppa Pig theme park in Hampshire.
The title that includes ‘first cinematic’ adventure rather mis-sells this ‘movie’. From the trailer, we expect a feature length Peppa Pig movie involving the Queen, but we actually get is a 60-odd minute production cobbled from smaller, Peppa Pig TV episode length stories.
Presumably, these will all be broadcast on TV to pocket extra cash for Peppa’s creators,Neville Astley and Mark Baker.
Does this constitute value for money for parents? I schlepped my sister and my 3 year old niece to an expensive cinema trip (around £20 for them both, tickets, sweets and pop combined) when they really could have just stayed at home and waited for it to air on the telly.
They still enjoyed the participatory experience that the cinema venue offered them; getting up and singing and dancing along with the well-time directions from the lead actress (Arends). I felt more short changed than they did.
In spite of myself, I have to praise one element of this ‘film’ – its power in making toddlers stop in their tracks. I’ve written before about going to cinema with young children and the disastrous consequences this can wreak on a film critic (the fighting, the talking, the constant need for ablutions). But my niece, usually a perky and restless soul, sat still for almost a whole hour, fixed on the big screen, fascinated by this new experience of cinema. It was a delight sitting with her to see how entertained she was (only 1 toilet trip!)
Is there a budding, future film critic being developed here? Perhaps, but on with the other merits of this film…
The Queen seriously abuses her constitutional powers by hijacking a red London tour bus.
The vocal talents on display are fine: Morwenna Banks, David Mitchell, Jo Brand…a roll-call of British TV comedy greats.
No doubt that some of the little fans of the TV programme and books will lap-up seeing this extended version, but perhaps for very small ones this is too long, too much in one go.
For adults, there are some winningly funny moments (Mrs Kangaroo politely telling some over-staying couch surfers through gritted teeth that “she has to go to work today” and the gloriously sarcastic kangaroos commenting that recovered treasure will pay for “a lot more research”).
Enough, perhaps, to keep the Peppa Pig TV/book/film/internet juggernaut rolling along for a few more years to come.
Visit the official Peppa Pig site for more about the world’s most famous porcine adventurer.
Cast & credits
Director: Mark Baker. 72mins. Entertainment One. (U)
Emma Grace Arends, Morwenna Banks, Harley Bird, Jo Brand, David Mitchell, John Sparkes.