The Velveteen Rabbit
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Young Toby [Matthew Harbour] is sent to stay with his strict grandmother Ellen [Una Kay] when his serious father, John goes off on business to New York. Feeling abandoned and lonely, Toby explores the house and comes across the "Magic Room", which is filled with his father's old toys, including a rabbit stuffed toy. As Toby's imagination is given free rein, Rabbit comes 'alive' in a lively world of animation, and Toby together with rabbit and the other toys in the magic room run free and play in a lively dream world. The animals, i.e. Horse [Tom Skerritt], Swan [Ellen Burstyn], and Rabbit [Chandler Wakefiled] all dream of becoming real animals, and as we all know from "The Velveteen Rabbit", that can only be achieved by true love. Grandma Ellen and Toby soon bond, but his father John is still distant, and it takes a near tragedy to set things right.
A mixture of animated sequences and live-action, this movie appealed to my family. Though the original story has been adapted here, I felt that the adaptation doesn't stray too far from the original message of love overcoming all obstacles.Purists may not appreciate this adaptation, but those seeking family-friendly entertainment will love it.
Michael Landon did a great job of retaining the heart of the book while telling a very enjoyable story that stands on its own right. It is wonderful to see how love opens up the characters over the course of the movie and changes them for the better. Definitely a tearjerker (for adults anyway). The story borrows themes from several classic children's tales, such as The Secret Garden and Pollyanna, and weaves them together with the moral of the Velveteen Rabbit to create an inspiring, heartwarming tale.
I still would love to see a faithful live action or animated adaptation of the Velveteen Rabbit. I found the Meryl Streep narrated version to be slow and boring -- why sit there and watch that when I could just go read the book? But this movie does bring the same feelings and thoughts to me as reading the book does, even with the changes made to the story.
While his father is off to conduct business, Toby is left in the care of his grandmother. It's clear from the get-go that she is very intolerable of children. Forced to entertain himself there, he comes across Rabbit. Rabbit is a stuffed toy who comes alive in Toby's imagination. Toby also meets Swan and Horse who also comes alive in his imagination. All three toys hope to be made into real animals by the power of love. Soon, Toby's grandmother comes around and realizes how she has been with Toby. Yet, Toby comes down with scarlet fever. This threatens the safety of the toys so they urge him to reach out to his father before it is too late. It is a reimagining that tells of the power of affection.
I tell you, I've never been so moved by a children's movie as I have with this one. I was moved to tears by movie's end, I have to admit. Michael Landon Jr. truly outdoes himself directing this feature, which features a mix of live-action, CGI, and 2-D. Alternating between reality and Toby's mind. While I've seen other movies directed by Landon Jr., this-by far- has to be his best work. I'd love to see him direct other children's stories like this.
The Velveteen Rabbit features the voices of Golden Globe winner Jane Seymour, Emmy Award winner Tom Skerritt, and Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn. Chandler Wakefield provides the voice of Rabbit.
I highly recommend this movie to all. It is a very heartbreaking but uplifting story.
The differences and similarities between the movie and the book gave us a lot to talk about. The older kids were able to see how the movie expanded on the ideas in the book, and everyone could see how the filmakers switched between real actors and animation to depict Toby's real world and his imaginary world.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was not what we expected. The story is nothing like the book.Published 15 days ago by Mother of 3
This is an old favorite and I was glad to be able to order it and watch itPublished 19 days ago by Barbara's Digitech
This film awakens the child within us all in a world where some are too keen on being grown up, and lose so much of their humanity. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marc Drayer
My daughter has loved this movie since she was three. I like the mix of animation in it, which is great for mom's and dad's who get stuck watching cartoons whenever the TV gets... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lynn Gorraiz
This is a very special movie. I've viewed it with my grandchildren many times. We learn something each time and also just enjoy the movie.Published 8 months ago by peggy
This is one of my toddler daughter's favorite movies. She ask to watch it over and over. Bought it used and am very pleased that it was not scratched or marred in any way.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer