Paddington Bear was hugely popular during its heyday on television, and has had a massive loyal following ever since the bear made his debut in a 1950s book. So it’s understandable that the announcement of a new Paddington movie left a lot of fans feeling anxious.
This film introduces us to a marmalade loving bear family in Peru. After a devastating earthquake destroys his home in the rainforest, the youngest bear decides to take the long journey to London in search of a new home. Mistakenly believing that he would find a loving home quickly and easily. After being disappointed and left out in the cold, he is finally found by the Brown family, whom end up giving him temporary shelter. They also give him a “human” name of Paddington. Paddington soon becomes thrilled as he learns the ways of humans and starts fitting in, but taxidermist Millicent Clyde has evil plans for Paddington.
From most accounts, I understand that there were some tweaks made in the film but the characteristics of Paddington and the family have been kept intact.
The first couple of scenes take place in a rainforest, and to say the CGI is absolutely stunning, would be an understatement. The lush green trees, shrubs and the contrasting oranges (Hello homemade marmalade!) are so realistic, you won’t even notice that they are computer generated. Happy to say, the same can be said for the design of the bears. They managed to balance the cartoonish characteristics of Paddington and his family, while retaining the look of a real bear. It is truly impressive.
The story alternates between sadness, abandonment, distrust, acceptance, love and happiness while Paddington innocently struggles to fit in. It is heart warming and absolutely hilarious even in some of the more poignant moments. Thankfully for all children, the film makers have chosen to handle the sadder aspects of the film very gently without drawing it out.
Paddington stars Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and Ben Wishaw as the voice of Paddington. The casting agent and the film makers have definitely hit the nail in the head with their choice of actors. Though Hugh Bonneville who plays Mr Brown, and of course Paddington, are the highlight. The character of Mr Brown is an uptight, extremely safety conscious father who desperately tries to get Paddington to move on to his new home. As a result, he finds himself in a lot of the “laugh out loud” moments of the story. Paddington is just a lovable, clueless, accident prone, fluff ball who is impossible to not adore.
This film is enjoyable for both the young and the young at heart. Although it is implied, some parts of the story which involve Ms Taxidermy herself, could potentially slightly scare the very young.
Overall, Paddington is a beautiful and delightful movie. One you will not mind watching again.
I rate it 8 out of 10 stars.
Paddington hit cinemas today.