The Tales of Beatrix Potter (U)

UK 86 mins Director: Reginald Mills

A real family treat by the Royal Ballet.  Dance on screen rarely captures even half the magic of seeing it live on stage. Which is why this adaptation by the Royal Ballet is so successful – it doesn’t even try. Instead the action takes place in a variety of locations, from the green fields of the Lake District to the inside of a giant doll’s house.

All of Beatrix Potter’s most famous faces strut their stuff – Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck, Mrs Tiggy-winkle et al. Constrained by their costumes, not all the dancers have a chance to shine. But Michael Coleman as Jeremy Fisher would put any real frog to shame with his leggy leaps.

Filmed in 1971, the ballet has a traditional charm, which crosses the generational divide. With just enough naughtiness, in the form of food fights and plate-smashing mice, to spice up the odd moment of twee blandness