Paddington (2014)

After unfortunate circumstances, Paddington leaves his home country of darkest Peru and travels to London with the hopes of finding a new home. While waiting at Paddington Station, he is happened upon by the Brown family, who say they’ll only keep him for one night. However when a sinister woman tries to capture Paddington, the Browns bond together to try and rescue him.

The animation for Paddington is almost always brilliant, there’s a few minor little animation flaws or movements that look a little wonky, but for the most part he looks brilliant, and he interacts with the cast brilliantly. The rest of the animals feature however don’t fare too well, the pigeons especially look only a few steps up from the CGI animated film ‘Valiant’ from 2005.

The film Paddington is much like it’s titular character, fun, charming and family friendly. The film is filled with adventure and excitement for the whole family, rather than just catering for kids like other CGI animals in real world films. The amount of love and care for the characters on screen that have been put into this film is palpable, it’s a joyous film to watch throughout.

The colour palette used is so bright and cheery, but due to the overall tone of the film, it doesn’t feel forced, it just adds to the whimsical nature of the film. It’s also shot beautifully, some scenes are shockingly gorgeous for any film, never mind a family film. The quality of every aspect of this film seeps throughout.

There were a few scenes that didn’t quite hit the right notes, especially in the bathroom, and other scenes seemed to not know when to cut it and instead dragged it out way past the stage of it being funny.

The whole cast were very good, even the child actors weren’t bad at all. However, a special mention must go to Ben Whishaw and Sally Hawkins. Whishaw truly bought warm fuzzy charisma to Paddington, a sense of earnestness and a great sense of kindness, his performance was very impressive. Hawkins, playing Mary Brown, the first person who takes a liking to Paddington plays an almost sickly sweet mother who adores her family and has enough love in her heart for the whole world. Except, it isn’t sickly sweet at all, partly because Hawkins just radiates joy and partly because the world of Paddington just is that joyous.

Nicole Kidman was also delightfully evil and maniacal, even in a very goofy and poor scene, she exudes menace, which is absolutely a testament to her talents as well as the script. All of her scenes were fantastic, Paul King, the director, definitely has a fantastic eye for shooting Disney-esque villains.

The film would have been improved if the audience were shown more of Paddington with the Browns, and show how he helps them all grow as caring people. A few scenes dragged on way too long and some of the humour didn’t land at all, but overall Paddington is an absolute pleasure to watch, a non-stop joyride, emphasis on the joy.

7/10

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