Paddington

by Alan Rapp on July 13, 2021

in Home Video

  • Title: Paddington
  • IMDb: link

Paddington movie reviewThrowback Tuesday takes us back to 2014’s Paddington, written and directed by Paul King who succeeded in adapting Michael Bond’s character into one of the most complete, magical, and lovable family films of the 2000s. The term “family film” can often be a derogatory phrase for a movie that cuts corners, goes lowbrow, or oversimplifies in an attempt to hit an all-ages market. Paddington, not unlike classic Disney films, reminds us of what the genre can be.

The story follows a talking bear (a thoroughly believable CGI character voiced by Ben Whishaw) from Darkest Peru to London in hopes of finding a new family. Discovered at Paddington Station, the renamed Paddington is taken in the Brown family while more permanent accommodations are arranged. Despite the concerns of Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville) and the various trouble a bear gets into while trying to make sense of his new surroundings, he quickly wins over the rest of the family (Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin) providing enough time for the bear to search for the explorer (Tim Downie) who met his family decades ago and seems like the most viable suspect to give Paddinton an home.

The earnestness and sweet nature of both the main character and supporting cast is perfect. The surrounding world, in which a talking bear could show up in the middle of London without causing concern, shares the same magical quality of a place where anything could happen. While we get Paddinton having a few crazy adventures, they all stem from the good-natured bear’s simple mistakes or misunderstandings (like not knowing how indoor plumbing works or mistakenly chasing down a pickpocket). However, not every loves the bear. The film gives us Peter Capaldi as a nosy neighbor who wants Paddington gone and Nicole Kidman as a taxidermist who has a spot in the Natural History Museum all picked out for Paddington. Thankfully, their actions are not enough to stop Paddington from finding his new home in this delightful, heartwarming tale.

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