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Movie Review – Paddington

As a reward for a good week and for being good for his sister on Friday night while Irish Woman and I went out for dinner, I took Boo out to see the only kids movie that’s out right now that doesn’t include an anthropomorphized dish rag as a main character.  In short, we saw Paddington.

Paddington is loosely based on the series of children’s books by Michael Bond.  A young bear is sent to London by his aunt to seek out the explorer that visited their family years before.  On arrival, Paddington is helped out by the Brown family, who take him to their home.  The father isn’t sure about all this, and the daughter is embarrassed by the whole thing, but the son loves it, and the mother has a good heart.  Paddington and the Brown’s have adventures as they try to seek out the explorer.  In the end, Paddington finds himself in a good home with a new family.

The casting for this movie was outstanding.  Ben Wishaw provides the voice of Paddington, and he fits the character perfectly.  Likewise, the Brown family, played by Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris, and Samuel Joslin, was perfect.  Nicole Kidman plays Milicent, the taxidermist at the Natural History Museum, who tries throughout the movie to catch Paddington and add him to her collection, and she is an excellent villain.

The visuals and cinematography in the movie were quite good.  The character of Paddington is CGI, of course, but he doesn’t look cartoonish or over-done.  I did see a lot that reminded me of scenes from “Mary Poppins” or “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” in the movie, and that only added to its richness for the older crowd.

Overall, I’d give the movie an A for people with kids.  I enjoyed it, as did Girlie Bear.  It says a lot that the theater was about 3/4 full of small children and parents, and not a peep was heard for the entire hour and a half run of the movie.  This one is probably going on our Christmas list.

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