Thursday, 4 December 2014

Paddington (3 Stars)

This is a live action film based on the stories of Paddington Bear, who first appeared in a children's novel by Michael Bond in 1958. There have been three television series featuring Paddington, in 1975, 1989 and 2008, but this is his first appearance on the big screen. It's fortunate that we've waited so long, because the state of computer animation is finally good enough for a miniature bear to look realistic.

The film begins with Montgomery Clyde, an English explorer, visiting the "darkest jungles of Peru". He discovers intelligent bears, that he teaches how to speak English. He also teaches them English culture, including the love of marmalade.

50 years later a young bear decides to travel to England to see the wonderful country that his aunt and uncle have talked about. He arrives at Paddington Train Station and meets the Brown family. The Browns can't pronounce his name, so they call him Paddington. Things aren't as perfect in England as expected. Paddington is hunted by Millicent, an evil taxidermist who wants to stuff him. That's such a strange concept for an arch-enemy that I'd be tempted to ridicule it, except that Millicent is played by Nicole Kidman, who looks bizarrely sexy in her blond wig.

I was rather surprised to see Peter Capaldi. I hadn't heard he was in the film, and I almost jumped out of my chair when he first appeared on screen in a phone box. That was a nice touch.

As a children's film, I couldn't really relate to it. But take your kids to the cinema with you, I'm sure they'll enjoy it.

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