The truth is, I would have never seen Paddington had it not been for its myriad BAFTA nominations this year. The trailers looked cheesy and without purpose... and it really felt like it was just gonna be another family film massacre of a previously beloved children's book series.
So what's the deal? Paul King of The Mighty Boosh fame came along and rather masterfully crafted a film that's actually worth seeing. If you don't know the story, Paddington is a talking bear that lived with a family of other talking bears in darkest Peru. The bear family had previously learned the English language back in the 1950s when an explorer came through and made fast friends with them. But one day and earthquake comes along destroys Paddington's home... and with his aunt going to stay in a home for retired bears, he is forced to seek out a new place to live. So of course he goes to England in hopes of finding the explorer he had heard so much about. Well he ends up staying with a very kind family, the Browns, and their search for the explorer begins.
The cast feels spot on. And the CG is just swell enough. And the action of the flick moves just about right. The pacing is never off... and as the movie pushed forward I felt myself getting more and more comfortable with the world as a whole. Things just began to sink in. Paddington has a flavor all its own. It's a story about human kindness, young ingenuity, and learning to trust one another. These are lessons worth learning, and I'm very appreciative to have gotten a chance to see it. Amongst all of these serious Oscar films, Paddington becomes a very welcome change of pace.
Check it out. I was more than pleasantly surprised.