(G) Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Nicole Kidman


Paddington is a bear. A bear that can be found in the much loved children’s book series of the same title.

After coming in contact with a British explorer while in Peru, Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) and his family develop the ability to speak. They also develop a romantic idea of all things British. After a significant family event, Paddington travels to London in search of a new home.

On arrival in London, he comes face to face with the cold realities of modern culture. Lost and desperate at Paddington Station, he is befriended and eventually taken in by the Brown family. Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins) is captivated by the kind, little bear who wears a label that states, ‘Please look after this bear. Thank you.’

Even though Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville) desires to find another home for Paddington, the family comes to love the charming bear. Through a series of mishaps and misadventures, Paddington begins to search for the British explorer who discovered his family in Peru, but comes in contact with a museum taxidermist (Nicole Kidman) who has other plans for the rarest of bears.

The premise of the story might sound ridiculous but, come on, go back to the part where it is based on a children’s book series. Of course it’s ridiculous, but it works so well on the big screen.

The CGI animation is best when you cannot tell it is CGI. Paddington looks real and he is a refreshing character in today’s cinema.

When I saw this film at cinemas, kids in the audience were laughing and enjoying his bumbling and innocent adventures. It also was endearing and entertaining to the adults who came along.

Paddington provides a refreshing take on the family. Many things happened that were completely unbelievable, but it is a story about a talking bear. Turn off the reality monitor, sit back and enjoy a good family film.

This was one of the best children’s films of 2014.

Russell Matthews works for City Bible Forum Sydney and is a film blogger



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