06 December, 2014


We went to see the Paddington film last weekend. I really wanted to go as I remember very fondly watching Paddington on TV after school back in the 1970s. I also love the dry, oh-so-British understated humour that Paddington delivers. And it is all just so improbable, a bear from darkest Peru who is quintessentially English. I love it.

The film was certainly good, but not much like the old TV series. For a start, the film fell into the adventure genre. It didn't just bumble gently along, rather it was full-throttle action for much of the ninety minutes. But maybe that’s how it has to be in order to hold the audience's attention for that length of time. And it was perfect, of course, all computer graphics and no flaws. I rather missed the cardboard sets and pencil drawings of old, but I don’t suppose that would impress an audience nowadays. It really is just my nostalgia kicking into play. There was quite a bit of humour in the film, but it didn't take the form of Paddington being ironic (he was actually quite naive), rather it was largely situational, with a number of amusing references to other blockbuster films, presumably to keep the adult viewers on board.

It sounds like I'm being negative about Paddington, but I'm not. I really enjoyed the film; it was very nicely done—but it just wasn't quite how I had expected it might be. My kids really enjoyed it too, so I’d definitely recommend Paddington as a good, fun family outing. But when you get home, fire up your computer and watch a couple of the old TV episodes on YouTube. You may just find yourself addicted.

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