Paddington: What You Need To Know
Paddington’s journey from beloved literary character to the big screen is almost as complicated as the trek he takes from Peru to get to London. It was announced all the way back in 2007 that a film based on Michael Bond’s classic novels was on the way, but nothing really happened until 2013, when producers scored a big coup by getting Colin Firth to voice the eccentric bear.
The film went in to production later that year, but, after he’d completed most of his vocal takes, Firth and director Paul King had a change of heart and agreed that his voice sounded too old for the character. A short scrabble later, Ben Whishaw was cast as his replacement and production could finish.
Ultimately, in spite of all that, the film was a monster hit, it took over £200 million at the box office and scored rave reviews from critics. It comes to DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday (March 23rd) and here’s everything you need to know about it…
What’s The Plot?
It goes a little something like this: Paddington is happy in his homeland in the jungles of Peru, but after his habitat gets destroyed, he decides to head to London to find the explorer who promised his parents that he would look after them. After sneaking his way across the seas, Paddington is picked up by the kindly Brown family, who offer to take him home until he finds his way properly. All seems to be going swimmingly too, until he catches the eye of a devious taxidermist…
Who’s In It?
Ben Whishaw takes the voice of the main man (or main bear in this case), with Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville and Godzilla’s Sally Hawkins starring as Mr and Mrs Brown, parents of the family who end up adopting Paddington. Julie Walters plays their eccentric housekeeper Mrs Bird, while Peter Capaldi plays their permanently grumpy neighbour Mr Curry.
Nicole Kidman gives a star turn as Millicent, the villain who wants to capture Paddington and turn him into a museum exhibit, while there are also nice turns from Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton, who lend their voices to Paddington’s parents Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo.
Does It Deliver?
It’s fair to say that when early trailers were released for this family flick, expectations for this weren’t sky-high, likewise when Firth was replaced at the last minute, but it’s a total triumph. It’s funny, heart-warming, beautifully shot and fantastic fun for just about everyone.
Paddington is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday (March 23rd). You can pre-order it now in hmv stores across the UK.