Paddington - 95min - PG
Good children's movies need to have several layers to engage not only the kids but also the adults. Parents are often subjected to films that are just directed to the kids and it can be classified as cruel and unusual punishment. Paddington, however has something for everyone. It was laugh-out-loud funny at some points and very emotionally engaging in others. I was introduced to this little bear in the gift shop at Paddington Station and was looking forward to seeing it. I wasn't disappointed. Oh and my son loved it as well. This is a very green light film.
A bear (Ben Whishaw) is found on the platform in Paddington Station, a note says “please look after this bear.” He is from the deepest, darkest Peru and has a worrying marmalade habit. The Brown family finds him and takes him in until he can find someone to connect with. He has a bear name but humans can't really communicate in bear. They settle on the English name Paddington. The Brown family helps him find a new home but find out that their home is the best fit.
The biggest problem I have with the movie is the trailer. It highlights the most disgusting part so I was concerned that it would be all gross body humor the entire time. So not the case. The art direction and some of the animation really set the tone of the mood of what is going on in the scene. For instance the main stairwell has a painting of cherry blossoms that are in full bloom when Paddington arrives, when he leaves the house because he doesn't want to be a bother to the Brown family the blossoms fall off. When he comes back to the family the blossoms come back. It's small things that generally get overlooked in a film that really make me appreciate the great film work.
There are some really good messages about community and family. How a person should treat other people as Paddington has to go from losing his family to being cared for by his aunt(Imelda Staunton) and uncle (Michael Gambon) . He also has to go to London and how he is brought into the home of come caring people is an excellent example of how we should not be afraid of helping people. Marry Brown (Sally Hawkins) has compassion for the lost lonely bear where her husband, Harry (Hugh Bonneville), sees a possible danger. We need to be more like Marry.
Paddington is easy to live with…mostly, because he also teaches manners. He goes through life living the example of how good manners can take you further. He even has the ability to give a hard stare, to use on people who forget their manners. You don't have to be a jerk when someone else forgets their manners you just give them a hard stare. Many mothers know this look instinctively.
The musical score is outstanding. There is a live band that makes cameos as the actors pass by them, but the music is very engaging and has made it to my iTunes Playlist. Very catchy tunes. Check it out.
Aside from the few gross scenes and a few very creepy scenes in the museum, this is a really great movie to share with the family. The adults will appreciate the lessons that are learned without beating them over the head, while also entreating everyone. Go see this fun movie.
What is your favorite children book? Have they made a movie out of it? Should they?