Paddington is written by Hamish McColl (Mr. Bean’s Holiday, Johnny English Reborn) and Paul King (The Mighty Boosh, Bunny and the Bull), who also directs the film.
It is based on the much loved character, Paddington Bear, from the best-selling children’s books by Michael Bond (Parsley the Lion and the Herbs).
Paddington (Ben Whishaw – Skyfall, Cloud Atlas) is a young bear, living with his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton – Much Ado About Nothing, Maleficent) and Uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon – Harry Potter, Sleepy Hollow) in darkest Peru. Many years before, the family met The Explorer, Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downie – The King’s Speech, Les Miserables), who was fascinated to meet talking bears and gave them their names (as well as introducing them to marmalade).
He tells them that if they ever come to London they will be welcomed and given a home, so when tragedy strikes the family, Aunt Lucy puts Paddington on a boat to England, with a suitcase full of jars of marmalade, an emergency marmalade sandwich and his Uncle Pastuzo’s hat, a gift from The Explorer.
Upon arrival in London, this small bear finds that the city has changed much since the time of The Explorer and people are no longer interested in talking to strangers, let alone welcoming them into their homes. As luck would have it though, he is spotted by the Browns, who agree to take him into their home for one night until he can be taken to the authorities.
He causes total havoc as he has no idea how to live in a house and struggles with concepts like plumbing and stairs. However, Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins – Layer Cake, Godzilla) has a soft spot for him, even if Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey, Notting Hill) doesn’t and when the children Judy (Madeleine Harris – The Psychopath Next Door) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin – The Impossible) take to him as well, it becomes more difficult to part ways.
They are not the only people interested in Paddington, he is also pursued by the evil taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman – Moulin Rouge!, Eyes Wide Shut) and the Brown’s strange next door neighbour Mr Curry (Peter Capaldi – Doctor Who, The Fifth Estate) and living in London is far more complicated than he thought!
This is a truly enjoyable film and captures the spirit of Paddington perfectly. The graphics are nothing short of spectacular, the attention to detail is immaculate, the all star cast add extra weight to the whole experience and all the characters are lovable in their own way and easy to identify with.
There is also fun thrown in here for adults, as there is plenty of comedy and lots of little montages taken from other films, which will keep you head scratching and trying to work out what the films are all the way through.
I would thoroughly recommend this film for a fabulous family evening in, grab the popcorn, turn down the lights and enjoy!
“Long ago, people in England sent their children by train with labels around their necks, so they could be taken care of by complete strangers in the countryside where it was safe. They will not have forgotten how to treat strangers.”
Paddington is available to buy on DVD, Blu-ray and Download from 23rd March 2015.