Where are your manners?
Bloody immigrants. Coming over here and stealing our marmelade. Getting free accomodation whilst not paying taxes.
I joke but actually this film articulates, almost perfectly, how I see London. It’s somewhere I look forward to going to and it’s somewhere that people have told me wondrous things about… yet when you arrive there’s people ready to trample your face into the floor in order to get their baby mochaccino caramel soya latte 5 seconds quicker. Cockney wide boys strutting around with weird chicken head bobs going on. Fashionistas looking down on anyone who hasn’t downloaded their drainpipe jeans from the Apple store. Ugh.
I guess I should leave my stupid country-boy sensibilities at the door – London is a cool place to be and, like Paddington it’s fantastically British.
Paddington, like all great family films, holds something for all ages. There are enough jokes and quips that adults will be constantly entertained but it has a bear… in a hat… who sticks toothbrushes in his ears so obviously kids will enjoy this.
Paddington has got a lot of slapstick physical comedy courtesy of CGI animals is somewhat reminiscent of Jumanji but some of it goes just a little too far. There is one scene where a flower petal triggers a mousetrap that fires a peanut that hits a jar that rolls some other stuff to bump a thing that tumbled a whatever and so on but it’s just a bit cliche. it’s like my mum trying to tell a story, just get to the point aye?!
Thankfully most of these scenes are handled with a jar-ful of British subtlety. This affords the slapstick scenes to be creative and fun to watch. The scene where Paddington tries to give a pickpocket the wallet he had stolen and subsequently dropped was full of childlike joy and I loved it.
The animation on Paddington is stellar. The attention to detail in his every movement is incredible; running his paw over a radiator and seeing each claw ripple along each bump or seeing him lying at the bottom of some escalators with his whole body undulating as each step zips underneath him is distractingly good.
Paddington’s voice is exactly as you would expect it to be and his expressions really help flesh out the character. The interaction with his adopting family is believable and the conflict with the boring and miserable dad (Hugh Bonneville) was particularly good but these relationships don’t really develop as well as they could.
In one scene we are told that the family needs Paddington as much as he needs them but you don’t get that importance in the film. The daughter is a shy teenager and the son butts heads with his dad but we don’t see how Paddington directly influences this relationship so the the statement about needing each other becomes irrelevant.
One of the worst parts of the film was the villain Nicole Kidman which felt like painting numbers but the only colour you were given is a sort of mustard beige. it’s weird seeing an all Brisith cast with an American villain – it’s normally the other way around – so I can only assume that the casting choice was taken because it would appeal to an American audience. Personally I think someone like Tilda Swinton would have been a more imposing villain.
One fear I have with the film is that Paddington 2 won’t have the same appeal. The best moments in the film are seeing Paddington trying to understand cities, technology, marme-ladies and gentlemen but how far can they push this theme? I don’t know; but if there is a second film I’d gladly go see it.
- Superbly animated
- Paddington was loveable
- Subtlely calamitous
- Some of the action scenes are a bit ham-fisted
- Nicole Kidman as the villain
- Lacking character growth