Matthew Harbour and Una Kay in The Velveteen Rabbit (2009)

An Old Rabbit

With his father having to go away on business, young Toby (Matthew Harbour) is sent to live with his austere grandmother, Ellen (Una Kay) who has not time for children what so ever. On his own Toby finds an old stuffed toy rabbit in the attic which once belonged to his father many years ago. Much to Toby's surprise the rabbit has magical powers and through it enters a magical dream world of other talking animals who like rabbit wish to enter the real world as actual animals. But the only way this can happen is through the power of love which is in short supply at his Grandmother's although Christmas is the time of miracles.

I think it was during an episode of "Friends" that I first heard mention of "The Velveteen Rabbit", I think it was one of the characters favourite books from their childhood. In truth I think that was the only time I heard it mentioned and whilst I didn't think anything more of it I never forgot the title because there is something quite enticing by the name "The Velveteen Rabbit". As such it should be pretty obvious that I can't judge or compare this 2009 movie against the original story which seems to have chanted readers for many a year.

The thing is that whilst you can watch "The Velveteen Rabbit" without knowing the story I am pretty sure it works better for those who do especially for grown ups because as an adult watching this without any prior knowledge what I got was a pleasant children's movie full of sentiment and a story about love, affection and friendship but nothing about it truly captivated me. To be honest director Michael Landon Jr. has done effective job of trying to recreate the childhood movies he might have watched as a child but crossed over with animated scenes but nothing is outstanding, it is just a solid movie with a message, probably a movie made with quite a limited budget.

What this all boils down to is that if you are looking for something clean and entertaining for your children then "The Velveteen Rabbit" might amuse a young audience. But it is only a decent movie which at times feels like it is paying homage to the family movies of yesteryear.

Tags: Christmas Movies