Halftime Leisure

Paddington  Is A Nostalgic Delight

January 16, 2015

Paddington, based off of the beloved children’s book “A Bear Called Paddington” by Michael Bond, follows a small bear as he travels from his home in Darkest, Peru to find a home and a family in London. When the Brown family finds him at Paddington Station, they decide to take him home and hijinks ensue.

The plot of Paddington is not necessarily groundbreaking. It’s a typical family film, with a worried, unfun father, prone to phrases such as “7% of childhood accident are a result of jumping” and a teenage daughter that proclaims everything to be “so embarrassing”. However, what Paddington lacks in plot and characters it makes up for in nostalgia and an immense amount charm.

Themes of home and family run deep in this move. Paddington leaves Darkest, Peru after the tragic death of almost his entire family (an unexpectedly dark scene for a children’s movie). Although he’s a bear, Paddington’s unease with being in a new place is relatable and when he finds help through the kindness of strangers like Mrs. Brown, a particularly nice palace guard, you can’t help but feel relieved. It’s heartwarming to see the film indulge in some of the more emotional moments.

Paddington is affably voiced by Ben Whishaw. His misadventures infuse fun into both the Brown family and the movie. While Paddington’s physical comedy delighted the children, the movie’s wry sense of humor drew laughs from the parents. This attempt at balancing the tone of the film was not perfectly executed. For example, Nicole Kidman, playing a taxidermist intent on stuffing Paddington, kind of clashes with the tone of the movie. Her severe nature doesn’t mesh well with the slightly whimsical tone of the film. However, her partner, played by Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi, plays into exactly the type of dry humor the film was going for.

On the whole, Paddington was a great family film. It was witty and the characters were lovable. The movie had talking animals, humor and even a little suspense, all you’d really want in a family movie. The bear called Paddington can still warm hearts whether on the page or on the screen. If you’re looking for a good laugh and a trip back to simpler times, Paddington is the movie to see.

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