Sunday 5.40pm – 7.30pm, Channel 4
Michael Bond first brought Paddington Bear to the world in 1958 when the little explorer made an appearance in his children’s book entitled A Bear Called Paddington, the lovable character has also been featured in more than twenty other books by Bond. Paddington’s adventures have sold over 35 million books in over forty languages across 20 different countries and been the inspiration for race horses, hot air balloons, plays and even pop bands. This film, directed by Paul King, modernises the story and brings it to a whole new generation to enjoy. A much loved character, the first item to pass between the British and French tunnellers building the Channel Tunnel was a Paddington Bear in 1994!
As with the original story, Paddington is forced to leave Peru after a terrible earthquake, his kindly Aunt sends him across the seas to London, to live a new, exciting life, armed only with his old hat, battered suitcase, duffle coat and a serious love of marmalade. Arriving at Paddington station after his epic journey, the little bear stumbles across the Brown family and moves into their west London household, they famously name him after the London train station he was found in. Calamities soon ensue in the Brown home as the little bear gets to grip with modern London life, but he wins the affection of the family eventually. Life is going well for the little bear until a sinister, stiletto heeled and mysterious taxidermist is hellbent on adding him to their collection in the Natural History Museum, the Brown family must keep him safe!.
The film will amuse the whole family, well-timed slapstick comedy will have the children in fits of giggles, whereas the adults will enjoy the wink-wink grown up jokes and the sly references to other film-makers such as Jacques Demy and Wes Anderson. Paddington is expertly voiced by Ben Whishaw, with a softly spoken engaging tone. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins play Mr and Mrs Brown while Nicole Kidman is excellent as the tenacious Millicent. Julie Walters also makes an appearance as Mrs Bird.
An excellent production which is as British as a double decker bus, red post box or English tea which will leave you smiling and feeling good in this run up to New Years Eve.
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