Like many of your our LBSW team is apart at the moment. Our weekly film club is designed to bring us all together through our shared love of book-to-film adaptations. Every Monday we’ll announce a new film to review. This week we watched Paddington, enjoy.
Quintessentially British, this film encapsulates childhood, bringing to life one of the most beloved bears in children’s literature. This film follows the adventures of Paddington and the Brown family, who aptly name him after finding him at Paddington station. He moves to London to find the explorer, Montgomery Clyde, who discovered his Uncle Pastuzo in deepest darkest Peru. While Paddington’s Uncle dies tragically in an earthquake at the beginning of the film, it is his Aunt Lucy, who is now living in the home of retired bears, that sends him to London.
The Brown family’s life is turned upside down as they are drawn into chaos by Paddington’s need to be a polite, kind and rule-abiding bear; with this often leading to disastrous and hilarious consequences. Paddington following the sign’s instructions on the escalator, being just one of these; as he is told that he ‘must carry a dog’ and ‘stand on the left’. Paddington diligently adheres to these rules, as he finds a random dog to carry and stands on only his left leg.
This film is warm-hearted, not only due to Paddington’s sweet and accident-prone nature; but is also owing to the quirky dynamics within the Brown family. Mr Brown, an uptight although well-meaning Risk Analyst, begrudgingly agrees to have Paddington to stay and despairs of the bear’s antics. This duo creates many comedic moments and sees Mr Brown’s tense nature slowly crack throughout the film. Mrs Brown, a kind-hearted illustrator, is a warm mother figure and is desperate to connect with her teenage daughter. Judy, her daughter, wants nothing to do with her parents and her brother, Jonathon, seems to be as accident-prone as Paddington, as his father continually reminds him of the risks that lie in and outside of the home.
For us at London Book and Screen Week, the development of the characters and how their relationships change, after a bear is thrown into their family home, is heartfelt and entertaining. The filming itself is a visual sweet shop for children and adults alike; with colourful sets and costumes as well as instances like the Brown’s family home opening up like a dolls house and an armed guard at Buckingham Palace producing tea and cakes from his hat.
So, sit down and enjoy a fun-filled adventure with Paddington and his family. Preferably with a marmalade sandwich, remembering to keep one in your hat for emergencies, as that’s what all wise bears do!