“Paddington” was one of the most endearing and adorable films to come out so far this year.
The movie’s main protagonist, a young Peruvian bear named Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who has traveled all the way to England, is based off of Michael Bond’s loveable character that has previously been featured throughout dozens of children’s books and a handful of television shows.
I was honestly surprised that the film was anything more than mediocre. The preview made it seem like a cheesy, basic and unoriginal kid’s movie.
While there actually were many parts that came off of as cliché, they were all put together to form a plot with a powerful message.
At the open of the film, an explorer (Montgomery Clyde) is searching through the forests of Peru when he comes across a strange breed of bear. He teaches them English, tells them tales of London and abandons his prior taxidermist ways before returning to England.
Years later, Paddington comes into view. He lives with his aunt and uncle in the same forests Clyde once explored, but he is soon sent off to London after his uncle’s untimely death and his aunt’s retirement.
While sitting at a train station, the Brown’s (a family of four) come across him and offer him a place to sleep until he’s found a proper home. The one night stay elongates itself into something bigger, and Paddington grows so close to the Brown’s that, after a long string of unlucky events, he begins to seem like part of the family.
The film was filled with plenty of bland humor, from Paddington shoving toothbrushes into his ears like Q-Tips to Mr. Brown cross-dressing to skip through security. And, of course, there was the life-or-death predicament hanging over Paddington’s head for most of the movie.
But underneath all the childish acts, the pervading message was still unwavering: If you accept someone and invite them into your heart, you’re giving them a home.
Aside from great writing and directing (both by Paul King), the digital effects and production of the film were also amazing. At one point in the film, a narrative voices over an omniscient look at the house of the Brown’s and the lifestyles surrounding each of the family members.
Everything considered, I’d grant the movie four out of five stars. It’s a little childish, but it still manages to portray one message, that of belonging to a family, to everyone in the audience.