If I’m honest when the trailers for Paddington surfaced I just thought to myself, really? Is there any need for another old TV show to be turned into a movie? However then the reviews started pouring in and although I didn’t read it, Empire’s 5 star rating certainly grabbed my attention and made me more open to the idea of this movie.
Empire have it spot on, Paddington was brilliant. The film succeeds on so many levels; the cast are wonderful, the film is so funny whilst also delivering on an emotional level and the animation of Paddington himself was so fantastic. All of the cast do a brilliant job and in typically British fashion there are a whole host of familiar faces that pop up along the way. Nicole Kidman got to play the villain of the piece and it was nice to see her in a less serious role again after some fantastic performances in more serious films, however the more relaxed role didn’t compromise her talent as she delivered as always. Hugh Bonneville played Mr. Brown brilliantly and his character was written so well and was the cause for a lot of the humour that was present in Paddington. You already know that Julie Walters delivers in her role as she always does and Peter Capaldi has a great stint as Mr. Curry, the Brown’s nosey neighbour. However for me the star of the show has to be Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington. I don’t think any other voice performance has been as perfect for the character than it was here. Whishaw really became Paddington and managed to give the bear life through his talent
This film is genuinely funny, for several reasons. Unlike a lot of family films it doesn’t resort to stupid humour. There is really fun slapstick included but it never becomes so silly to induce eye rolling, it keeps within the perfect balance. The characters provide a lot of the humour and they are so relatable to people in the viewers lives that you will be chuckling away harder than you might think. To compliment this humour there is a strong emotional tone in the film from the word go, you instantly fall in love with this bear. Thanks to Whishaws performance, the fantastic animation and the character of Paddington you can’t help but get drawn into the story and form strong emotional feelings towards Paddington. What a great character, probably one of the nicest in film history. As I have already mentioned the animation was great, the finished product blended so well with the actors and not for a second did I doubt the validity of what I was watching. The film has great pace and the story develops in a way which makes for pleasing viewing. The several slapstick sequences really are a treat and keep the entertainment levels high whilst we watch the fallout from the last!
Paddington is the best family film of the year. I can imagine this being played on TV for many Christmas Days to come. It offers nostalgia for the older viewer and a brilliant new character for the younger viewers to fall in love with. A solid cast perform well to deliver the laughs and the more emotional moments with an actual strong message to convey as well. Paddingtons move from darkest Peru to London is nothing but successful.
BIGGEST FLAW – A few gags weren’t effective
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Everything about Paddington, the voice, character and animation
Rating – 10/10