- RatedPG /GenreComedy, Family
Paddington, the British duffel-coated bear, is a figure that has been entertaining children in the UK since 1958, and it is brought to life onscreen this festive season.
David Heyman, the producer of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, and director Paul King take a delightful spin on Michael Bond’s classic book, ‘A Bear Called Paddington’.
This film version of Paddington will provide barrels of laughter and tearjerking moments, what with a more elaborated back-story compared to the original plot from the book.
Explorer Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downie) goes on an expedition to “darkest Peru” in search of the world’s rare animals. He chances upon a family of bears and aborts his mission after being saved by the biggest of the lot, Pastuzo.
Amazed with their flair for English and marmalade, Montgomery promises to give them a warm welcome should they ever visit London.
Many years later, a fatal earthquake destroys the bears’ home and our ursine hero crosses the ocean in search of a new dwelling.
With a neck tag that states, “Please take care of this bear. Thank you,” the bear arrives in England. And of course, life there is not going to be all that rosy.
Photo: Shaw Organization
With its distinguishable red hat and brown suitcase, the bear struggles to find a home until the quirky but kind-hearted Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins) takes it in and gives it a name after the train station, Paddington.
Paddington continues to adjust to the Brown home, winning the hearts of Mrs Brown and her son Jonathan (Julie Walters), but getting on the nerves of Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville).
It goes through a series of mishaps in and out of the house, and its adventures serve to showcase London’s city streets.
The villain in this comedic tale is the taxidermist Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman), who has shady designs on the lovable yet clumsy bear. Kidman’s Millicent is emotionless and gives off only evil vibes as she plots and schemes to be rich and famous.
Ben Whishaw (‘Cloud Atlas’), who replaced Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington, brings life to the animated main character, conjuring wonder, curiosity, fear and an assortment of emotions –even when it is just breathing.
Paddington almost feels like a real person and not just a talking bear.
Young viewers will be amazed with the graphics while adults will get the read-between-the-lines jokes – along with the lessons on acceptance and love – making this a family-friendly movie for all.
‘Paddington’ opens 11 December 2014