What happens when a young bear stows away on a ship and makes his way to Europe in search of solace? It might sound like making of a surprise documentary, but it’s actually the beginning of Paddington, a movie starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin. First released in the UK late last year, Paddington has now been released in the United States, bringing the popular children’s character to the big screen for the first time.
In Search of a Friend and Family
Paddington is a bear living happily in Peru, but his entire world is rocked when his native land is hit by an earthquake. He and his marmalade- eating family previously met a British man named Clyde Montgomery, a kindly soul who tells them they are always welcome at his home if they happen to visit Britain. With his aunt as the only other survivor of the earthquake and planning to enter a retirement home, Paddington takes her advice and heads to Britain in search of the man who promised that his home would always be open to Paddington and the other bears. Paddington ends up being taken in by the Brown family and while the situation is a little sticky at times, the Brown family adopts him as one of their own, even coming to his defense when a sadistic taxidermist tries to kidnap young Paddington and turn him into a museum attraction.
A Positive Message
Paddington is a fun family movie with plenty of unexpected laughs, humorous gags, and fuzzy feelings throughout. Here you have this naïve yet charming little character that makes his way to Britain and steals the hearts of his adoptive family that, while a little impatient with Paddington’s inexperience and odd habits, grows to accept him as one of their own. Rather than the usual one- dimensional, feel- good movie with the expected happy ending, Paddington offers a different take on the typical children’s film and it’s loaded with enough adult humor to keep the grown- ups almost as interested in the movie as the youngsters.
I watched Paddington with my nine year- old daughter and do you know what she said she liked best about the movie? The British accents! Yes, the setting for the movie is London, England and that means the performers talk the talk, much to the delight of my British- obsessed young one. She loves to listen to people from Britain speak and that Anglo- accented verbiage was music to her ears.
But my girl’s interest in Paddington- and my own- went far beyond the love of appealing enunciation. The plot was a little different than expected and the movie’s charms and gags are hard to resist. One moment, our beloved furry friend is using a toothbrush to clean his ears and another moment he is struggling to properly climb on and off an escalator. The mishaps are many and you never know what will happen next.
Take Your Family
Paddington is a fun and memorable movie with appealing characters and solid direction from Paul King. It’s a light- hearted film safe for kids of most any age and its main character is certain to charm you and yours with his cuteness and innocence. It’s a film that both children and adults will enjoy, but don’t be surprised when the movie is over- you may have a sudden and unexplainable urge to run to the store and buy a jar of orange marmalade and a loaf of white bread. Take your family, and enjoy!
Copyright 2015, Bryan Carey