Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Esio Trot


Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Judi Dench and James Corden
Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £19.99


Certificate: PG
Release Date: 13 June 2022

Gentle, shy Mr Hoppy (Dustin Hoffman) is retired and lives alone, with only his beautiful balcony garden for company. But Mr Hoppy has a secret. He is hopelessly, passionately in love with the lovely, effervescent Mrs Silver (Judi Dench) who lives downstairs. But unfortunately for Mr Hoppy, Mrs Silver is more interested in her beloved pet tortoise, Alfie. When Mrs Silver confides in him that she wishes Alfie would grow, Mr Hoppy hatches an intricate plan to win his true love’s heart... with a little help from Alfie and 99 of his fellow tortoises...

Based on Roald Dahl's 1990 novel, Esio Trot is a 2015 made-for-TV movie that stars Dustin Hoffman and Dame Judi Dench in a sweet, mild comedic, love story. I say "sweet" but the whole premise revolves around someone trying to trick someone into falling in love with them.

If you put that rather dark element aside, it's a light comedy that has elements that everyone, no matter their age, will enjoy.

The film differs from the book in a number of ways, but is still a fairly faithful adaptation. Firstly, the Mr Pringle character was created for the film. Secondly, without spoiling too much, Mr Hoppy's clever plan works without discovery in the book. And finally, the novel goes on to show what happened to the original Alfie. James Corden pops up throughout the film as the story's narrator relaying the tale of My Hoppy to the audience. These segments help to move the story along.

Extras include: The Making of Esio Trot (55 min, 55 sec rather poor collection of interviews with cast and crew. The interviews themselves are fine, it's just that they cut whenever the interviewer asks a question and this means we have some very odd and very short breaks. It feels like it's not finished. It's almost as though there was a plan to edit in scenes from the film between the edited interviews, but then they decided to not bother. The Last 8 mins is random raw behind the scenes filming footage from the dance marathon scene); and Deleted Scenes (7.14 which includes extended pet shop scenes as well as Mr Hoppy's history with Pan Am. This also helps to explain where he built his customised tortoise fishing rod).

It's an fun and interesting movie. There's not many pensioner love stories that make it to film and this is a thoroughly enjoyable one.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online