Review: Paddington

Title: Paddington
MPAA Rating: PG
Director: Paul King
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins

What It Is: When an explorer from England goes into Darkest Peru where he discovers a tribe of bears living in the rain forest. After refusing to hunt them he instead teaches them, and gives them an open invite back to England. As those bears named Pastuzo and Lucy get older they adopt their nephew into their family. Following Pastuzo’s death the young bear fulfills his guardians wish and heads to England with only Marmalade (which has all the vitamins a bear needs) with him all the way to England. It is their he gets in with the Brown family who name him Paddington (after the train station they found him in) and allow him to stay their temporarily until the explorer who invited him is found. Along the way the little bear will for the first time experience the wonders of London.

What We Think: Full of child-like enthusiasm and undeniable charm this is definitely a film for the kids, and it is one that is far better then it has the right to be. Ben Whishaw gives the little titular bear life with his solid vocal stylings. He gives Paddington a mischievousness and innocence befitting the character. In fact the cast as a whole deserves praise for the wonderful job they did with this film. Hugh Bonneville is likable despite himself as Mr. Brown and Sally Hawkins is as sweet as can be as his Misses. But the real treat is Nicole Kidman as the antagonist of the plot. She’s great without going into parody and really understand what she needed to do with the character based on the film around it.

Our Grade: A-, This is a real treat in the January landscape that was surrounding it. Not only is this a treat for your children, but adults will have a good time in the theater as well. It’s been on its theater run for some time now, but nonetheless you and your family should catch this before it leaves theater because it lends itself to the big screen really well. I cannot recommend this film enough, and I think that grade is well earned.