My husband went on a business trip to London a few years back and he made sure to stop at Harrod’s and pick up an “authentic” Paddington Bear stuffed animal while he was there. He carried it with great care through the airport and upon arrival in LA presented it to our then 3 year old daughter with great pomp and circumstance, expecting ripples of glee as she embraced her new Paddington Bear. No such luck. She thought it was cute, but since she hadn’t read any of the Paddington books at that point, this very special bear didn’t quite yet hold any special meaning for her. Daddy was disappointed but understood.
So when the trailers for Paddington started rolling out on tv and we started seeing movie posters around town, once again, Daddy enthusiastically brought up Paddington Bear. This time her got the response he had hoped for. Ah, the magic of movies. So we happily piled into the car with a few extra school mates in tow and headed to the AMC Theatre in Marina del Rey (with the awesome new reclining movie seating) to see Paddington in action this past weekend. We were not disappointed. The magic of Paddington shone through as he and the Brown’s stumbled their way into becoming a family. Although I don’t really remember the back-story of how the bears came to love (and make marmalade) and learned to talk in the books. Was this only for the movie? Perhaps I need a refresher. But that was fun to see.
It was also a terrific fun, as the Brits would say, to watch Hugh Bonneville play a slightly less stuffy English father. But he’s just as endearing and family oriented in Paddington as he is on Downton Abbey. The questionable character was the evil taxidermist played by Nicole Kidman. I couldn’t help but wonder her penchant for playing bad guys in kids movies. I mean – aren’t her kids going to watch the kids movies? I guess it’ll be a teachable moment for her.
Our summary? Paddington get 5 stars. Go see it. Its great family fun. And will make you really want a marmalade sandwich.