Streaming on AppleTV+ from director Jennifer Perrot and Rick Thiele adapted by the Margery Williams story is a story of love with THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.
William (Phoenix Laroche) is a young man who has difficulty making friends. His parents are very worries about him but do not know how to handle the situation. For Christmas, William receives a stuffed rabbit in his stocking and he is instantly captivated and found a friend.
Almost immediately William and Rabbit (Alex Lawther) set out for adventures and his new friend is absolutely delighted. Later, in the nursery, Rabbit meets the other bedtime toys with Wise Horse (Helena Bonham Carter), the King (Paterson Joseph), Car (Lois Chimimba) and Lion (Clive Rowe). They explain what it means to be real and Rabbit wants to be seen that way by William.
Left under a tree, Rabbit begins to questions William’s feelings and by the next morning, Rabbits world is about to change. Understanding what has happened and what must be done for his best friend, Rabbit begins to understand that love has no bounds. Doing what is right and based in love is what makes someone real – even a small rabbit.
Laroche as William is just endearing and so lovely as a young boy who can not seem to find his place in the world. He does, however, find adventure and love in a stuffed rabbit who is as real and alive to the boy as anything else in the world. I was so drawn in by Laroche’s portray of the young boy who just needed one rabbit to open his world.
Lawther as the voice of Rabbit is so soothing, calm and even when he is trying to understand the new world around him, remains ever dependable. There is something to be said for the way he speaks in that its almost a ‘thinking’ voice, the voice we all have within us but in Rabbit’s case is outside for William and his toy friends to hear.
Carter, Joseph, Chimimba and Rowe are sweet as Williams other nursery toys. They are gentle with Rabbit explaining how their world works. Even when things look dire, their explanation is filled with understanding and sympathy. We should all have such friends.
Other cast include Ellie Mejia as Miss Forrester, Samantha Colley as Mother, Leonard Buckley as Father, Tilly Vosburgh as Mary, Elizabeth O’Toole as Lucy, Nathaniel Parker and Bethany Antonia as the rabbits.
AppleTV+ is a video on demand web television that debuted in 2019 viewable through the Apple TV app. CEO Tim Cook wanted original content calling it “a great opportunity for us from a creation point of view”. From THE MORNING SHOW to TRYING and THE BANKER and Jason Momoa in SEE, there is plenty of choices for everyone. Plenty of genres? That is exactly what they are bringing to viewers and to see more of what they have to offer please visit www.apple.com/tv/.
THE VELVETEEN RABBIT is a stunning mixture of cgi and animation in a story of love between a boy and his stuffed rabbit. It only has a running time of 40 minutes but personally it is probably all my emotions can take. The mixture of mediums offers an even more in-depth look at the relationship of adventure and fun for William and Rabbit which is amazing.
Bringing this story to AppleTV+ offers the opportunity for the family to not only see the story come to life once again, but perhaps invite the youngsters who have not experienced it. For those of us a little older, the story is reminiscent of childhood and, for some of us, remembering our own Rabbits (yes, I still have mine).
As the holiday season gets busy, this is the perfect film to sit back with a cup of tea for yourself and hot chocolate for the kids and cuddle together for a story of the ages. William and Rabbit have something to teach us all about friendship, loyalty and the ultimate in love.
In the end – when a child loves you with all their hearts!