Paddington – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

After an earthquake destroys his habitat, Paddington is sent off to London in search of a home. Something which he thought would be easy, but becomes quite the task. Especially since he learns a home is much more than a roof over his head.

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

In darkest Peru lived a species of bear which lived in treetops and was capable of talking like humans. This is the family Paddington (Ben Whishaw) was born into. However, with an earthquake destroying his home, and killing his uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon), and his aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) not spry enough to take care of the young bear, she sends him off to London under the assumption that he would easily find a home. However, upon arriving in London, he doesn’t meet friendly people for most of the day.

That is until he meets Mary Brown (Sally Hawkins), who decides to give him a place to stay for the night, against the wishes of her husband Henry (Hugh Bonneville), and their daughter Judy (Madeline Harris), who fears the embarrassment. Though, between Mary and son Jonathan (Samuel Joslin), eventually Paddington is accepted. Though whether he found a permanent family, or just met some nice people to help him find a permanent place, only seeing the movie will tell.

Praise

Paddington is a very cute movie. It has a silly bear which, even as an adult, made me smile and laugh from time to time. Then, on top of that, I oddly found the character Millicent (Nicole Kidman) to be quite good. In fact, I’d argue Kidman should have been in this and Ms. Hannigan in Annie, for she makes quite a good kid’s movie villain. She is scary enough to be taken seriously, and yet silly enough so that she won’t traumatize any children in the audience. Though, in general, all of the cast is rather likable from Hawkins and Bonneville to the children.

Now, as for the story, I wouldn’t nominate it for an academy award, despite getting teary eyed once or twice, but it is certainly is good enough to make 96 minutes fly by without you wanting to check your watch or phone.

Criticism

While a cute movie, I imagine kids would get more out of it than adults. For while it has its moments in which it is funny and emotional, pretty much it is mostly hijinks, of which include Bonneville cross-dressing. Though, in the long run, I can’t say this maybe a classic. It may be part of quite a few kids childhood memories, but it certainly doesn’t have the appeal of say, Space Jam, a Disney movie, or Hocus Pocus.

Overall: TV Viewing

Paddington is perfectly likable, definitely something to take your kids to see, but I’d imagine if I was a kid and forced my dad to go, he would probably use the time to take a nap. For unlike many kid movies nowadays which seem to try to appeal mostly to children, but make sure the adults aren’t forgotten, this one foregoes that. Which I say despite noting two – three emotional moments.

Though what really makes this TV Viewing is that, perhaps just for someone my age, it just doesn’t seem like the type of film you watch over and over again. It’s good for one viewing and that’s it.

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