Paddington bear has always had a warm place in my heart. I have fond memories of snuggling up with the Michael Bond books when I was a child and getting lost in Paddington’s adventures and mishaps. So when I was invited to watch the film adaptation at Vue with my own children this weekend, I really hoped the magic would cross over to the big screen.
Paddington tells the story of a loveable bear who has taught himself English and has impeccable manners. His arrival in London is a little bit of a culture-shock when compared to his home in the rainforest of darkest Peru so it is no wonder he ends up a little lost. Luckily, the Brown family stumble across him at Paddington station and are quick to temporarily adopt him into their home. Paddington normally sleeps in a tree top canopy, not a townhouse in London so naturally (and to the delight of the audience) calamity and chaos ensues.
The cast is filled with stars providing perfect performances including Hugh Bonneville (Mr Brown), Sally Hawkins (Mrs Brown), Peter Capaldi (the mean next door neighbour) and Julie Walters (the housekeeper). Nicole Kidman plays a Cruella de Vil type taxidermist who despite the film’s PG rating, isn’t too scary and is more like a pantomime villain. The real star however is Paddington and the CGI is simply amazing - you believe you are actually watching a real bear right from the start. The attention to detail is simply a delight to watch - look out for ‘the death stare’.
Paddington isn’t just a children’s film - it is a film for the whole family. I found myself giggling away at some of the little jokes that had clearly been written just for grown ups and there were parts of the film that really made me smile. All three of my children (aged 3,5 and 8) loved the comedy set pieces, silly jokes and action sequences and we were all gripped by the story to the very end when Paddington tries to escape from the evil Millicent who has trapped Paddington in The Natural History museum with plans to add him to her collection. I won’t spoil it for you but it all works out for Paddington in the end.
Paddington is one of those films that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside and I would certainly recommend a trip with your family this Christmas. Just make sure you prepare some marmalade sandwiches for afterwards!
Thanks to Manor Walks, Cramlington who provided us with complimentary tickets, goody bags and of course marmalade sandwiches for the purpose of this review.