Written By the King of Swag Jesse Delia. Disregard the written by above.
The film Paddington is based on classic English children’s character Paddington Bear. I must confess that I am unfamiliar with the character, but several friends and family have stated that Paddington Bear is famous and has been around for over fifty years. With my lack of knowledge regarding the history of Paddington Bear, I cannot say how accurate this film’s depiction is in relation to the original concept. What I can say is that no prior knowledge of the character is necessary in order to enjoy the film.
The story begins with an English explorer visiting Peru and meeting a pair of exotic bears whom he befriends, gives names to, teaches the English language, and shares marmalade. It should be noted that the bears are animated with computer graphics. Upon leaving, the explorer promises the pair of bears that if ever they desire a trip to England that they would be most welcome. Years later the pair of Peruvian bears have grown old and are caring for their nephew until an unfortunate event drives them out of their home and young bear to England in hopes of being able to take advantage of the invitation once extended to his aunt and uncle. With a note and a suitcase the young bear make his way to London. The bear finds himself at Paddington Train Station, where the young bear is given his English name. At the station a family comes across him and offers him a temporary home until the explorer can be found. Meanwhile, a woman who has a mysterious connection to Paddington hears of his arrival in London and sets in motion a devious plot to capture the young bear.
The film stars Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) as Mr. Brown the patriarch of the family that takes in Paddington. Mrs. Brown is played by Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and she is the real heart of the film with the amount of unrelenting compassion she shows the little bear. Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who) plays an irritable neighbor to the family that becomes all the more irritated with the appearance of Paddington. Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge) plays Millicent, the villain of the film who intends to capture Paddington. The voice of Paddington is provided by Ben Whishaw (the new Q in Skyfall) and Mr. Whishaw’s performance is perfect for bringing a sweet, naïve, but intelligent bear to life.
Paddington is filled with the kind of warm family fun and humor that usually comes with films released during the holidays. The film takes place in London so there is quite a bit of British humor (think Hugh Grant movies like Love Actually) or even the Harry Potter films. While there is no offensive material in the film, small children may be disturbed by some of the actions of the villain Millicent. I would suggest not to let this deter parents from taking children to see such a funny and sincere film full of love and family values.
Paddington is in theaters now!