A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.
Paddington lives up to all expectation. A family film with a gorgeously animated bear at the heart of it. Paddington is definitely the star even with such a starry cast. Your heart melts as soon as you look into those big brown eyes and you are taken on a roller coaster adventure as he travels from deepest, darkest Peru to London to find himself a new home. The beginning is a little traumatic as his home is destroyed but the children seem to cope with drama better than we adults sometimes!
There are definite nods to our current political situation with the influx of immigrants. The director clearly wants to put over a message to his young audience that immigrants are a valued part of our society that will, if given the chance, enrich. This is by no means a heavy message, but subtle and pertinent to the film. It certainly does it no harm and is a welcome relief to the negative press from politicians and press.
Anyway back to the film. Nicole Kidman plays the evil scientist who wants to stuff Paddington and is suitably over the top. Think Cruella De Ville. Hugh Bonneville heads up the delightful family who adopts Paddington under duress and saves the day with some hilarious consequences. The only part I felt was underused was Julie Walters who, despite being a brilliant comic actress seems to be given nothing to play with. Hugh and Paddington make a delightful double act especially when Hugh has to disguise himself as a maid.
This film is a real joy and the animators who did Paddington are incredibly skilled. I hope they get some awards for their hard work. I hope, and would be very surprised after such a huge success, that there will be a Paddington 2 shortly. I , for one, can't wait.