A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family…
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At the risk of permanently tarnishing my reputation as a Cinema Snob, I am admitting that, by and large, I enjoyed this bit of "Family Entertainment". Minus points for the obligatory villain (not Nicole Kidman's fault, she is competent). Plus points for no fart jokes (American producers, please note!). Surprisingly good.
''Hey, and take your fucking bear with you!'' - Paul King's former film Bunny And The Bull. Give the animators a great big marmalade cookie, it sure is a pleasing picture to look at. I'm afraid none will ever best https://mubi.com/films/the-bear
Surprisingly fresh and endearing, and never swerving towards scat jokes or plain stupidity (something that seems to populate most children's films), Paddington will most likely become a Christmas family classic, and also could serve as an interesting allegory of the situation of illegal immigration in the UK (Not sure that was intended, but I found it very relevant and interesting). Anyway, really enjoyed this one.
Have no idea how it translates the character from the books. Was first introduced to Paddington with the movie. And was intrigued by what seems a charming and very well achieved apologetics of the British ways. "The Explorer" is presented as a humane, almost post-colonialist, eco sensitive figure. And the family presents the multicultural modern London, that has a place for everyone that comes and accepts its rules.
They really missed their chance not releasing this wide over Christmas. Would've made for the most pleasant holiday treatment, and would've provided young moviegoers with something other than "Annie" or "Big Hero 6" for the third time.
If you don't love Paddington then you don't deserve Paddington. It's a fantastic film with a flurry of straight up delightful family fun and humour, and the set design, my lord the set design. Glorious. (PS Aunt Lucy's Hard Stare is a real life working technique to point out when someone is being a dick, use it wisely!)
I love the fact that everyone in England seems to be rationally okay with a talking bear in a red hat and a blue coat out in the streets; like Paddington's all like "Hi I'm from Darkest Peru," and the Brits are like, "This is normal."
Beyond the standard family feelgood fare, there is a warmth and intelligence here which took me by surprise on release and is even more pertinent a year later: an affectionate and impassioned reminder of Britain's past legacy of being open to immigration - sentimental yes, but necessary. Some stunning art direction. Bonneville and Hawkins are pitch perfect as modern equivalents of the Bankses of Mary Poppins.