New Brunswick — The newly released children’s film Peter Rabbit continues to be a lightning rod for controversy, with several parents in New Brunswick taking exception to the movie’s portrayal of animals. Namely, the fact that they “talk and move around like people do.”
Many are claiming that this is “confusing” for kids, and “offensive” to animals by giving them anthropomorphic traits. They also said something about “cultural appropriation,” but it didn’t really make much sense.
“I thought this harmful representation ended with Babe,” said Angie Pratchett, a mother of three and vocal opponent of the film. “Leave it in the ‘90s where it belongs!”
At the centre of the controversy is no small tragedy: this week, an eight-year-old boy, whose name is withheld, stabbed his family’s pet Shih Tzu to death with a dull butter knife, then proceeded to perform a series of bizarre sex acts on the corpse.
His parents claim that they believe the boy did this because he was “upset the dog didn’t talk like the animals in the movie did,” despite the fact that they hadn’t actually gone to see it.
“I like to think it’s entirely the fault of Peter Rabbit,” his distraught mother told The Manatee.
Some parents say other concerns enter into the equation as well, such as syntax and poor grammar.
“I don’t mind so much that the animals talk,” said Patricia Malcolm, mother of two. “It’s how they talk. With that strange ‘blippity blah’ way of speaking. It’s the same reason I don’t let my kids watch Monty Python or Harry Potter — they all talk in that weird way. I think it’s very harmful for kids who are just learning to speak and pronounce words properly.”
You can catch Peter Rabbit in theatres everywhere this week. You know…if you’re a bad parent.