Monday, June 08, 2015


On paper, Paddington looks like the fodder for a family friendly animation film. It’s about a bear from Darkest Peru, who can talk in English and has a specially taste for marmalade (there is a back-story how an English explorer taught his uncle and aunt speak English), who comes to English to find a family to live with. He does find a family after much adventure. The problem is the family is a human family, and the film is a live action film, with real actors, apart from the bear, which is a brilliant CGI creation voiced brilliantly by Ben Whishaw.

I learned later that Paddington is a beloved character from British children’s literature, and as such, I am sure most audiences would be able to suspend their disbelief in handling a talking bear. The talking bear was least of my problem. My problem was how nonchalantly all the other characters accept the bear’s ability to talk.

If you can get past this problem, and if you can believe Nicole Kidman as the villainous Millicent, the movie is actually a fun ride, with some brilliant set-pieces, but nothing that you haven’t seen before, aside from a few really funny gags (like Paddington carrying a dog to climb down the elevator, because there is a signboard saying, ‘carry the dog’!), and the presence of Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters.


Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children's literature. He first appeared on 13 October 1958 and has featured in more than twenty books written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists. The friendly bear from deepest, darkest Peru—with his old hat, battered suitcase (complete with a secret compartment, enabling it to hold more items than it would at first appear), duffle coat and love of marmalade—has become a classic character from English children's literature. Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

Paddington is an anthropomorphised spectacled bear. He is always polite – addressing people as "Mr", "Mrs" and "Miss", rarely by first names – and kind-hearted, though he inflicts hard stares on those who incur his disapproval. He has an endless capacity for innocently getting into trouble, but he is known to "try so hard to get things right." He was discovered in Paddington Station, London, by the (human) Brown family who adopted him, and thus he gives his full name as "Paddington Brown".

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Paddington is a 2014 comedy film, directed by Paul King, written by King and Hamish McColl, and produced by David Heyman. Based on Paddington Bear by Michael Bond, the film stars Ben Whishaw as the voice of the title character, along with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, and Nicole Kidman in live-action roles. It was released in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2014 and received mostly positive reviews from film critics.
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