‘Paddington’ Review Roundup: Children’s Film Charms Critics
Paddington brings to the small screen the beloved children’s novels penned by Michael Bond about a young Peruvian bear who travels to London.
Written and directed by Paul King, Paddington follows the eponymous bear’s misadventures as he finds a home with the Brown family (Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins). While Paddington (Ben Whishaw) settles into London life – where he can satisfy all of his tea and marmalade cravings – he encounters a taxidermist named Millicent (Nicole Kidman) who is hell-bent on getting her hands on him.
Across the board, critics have been praising Paddington for being a children’s movie that resonates with children and adults alike. King has been credited with reviving the well-known bear and ushering him into the modern age for modern audiences, keeping the story’s core message the same.
“Paddington is a wonder: warm, gentle, well-acted, funny without being stupid. Directed by Paul King, best known for helming the cult-favorite British television series The Mighty Boosh, Paddington is also visually stylish and inventive in a way that many live-action children’s movies don’t bother to be. You won’t need a second screen to stay happy during Paddington, and your kids will love it even more than you do.” – Dan Kois, Slate
“The filmmakers behind “Paddington” successfully bring the lovable bear into the future and strike a balance between honoring the spirit of the original books and updating the story for today’s young audiences. This is a charming film whose underlying message of tolerance and acceptance strikes a palpable chord in today’s world — both for children and adults.”– Mary Houlihan, Chicago Sun Times
“Artfully and cleverly, the sweet spirit of that young bear from darkest Peru and his many London misadventures materializes brilliantly on screen in the very good hands of writer-director-conjurer Paul King. The beloved storybook character created by Michael Bond in the late 1950s and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum are the film’s touchstones, the bear a creation of special effects, the people around him simply special. But rather than being inhibited by the great wellspring of affection that multiple generations of kids and parents have for Paddington, King seems liberated.” – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
“Paddington” sports its own distinctive look, a magic realism punctuated by spirited action sequences involving, among other objects and occurrences, a very long banister, a much longer escalator, a pair of hand-held vacuum cleaners and an epic flood emanating from an upstairs bathroom. The film is equally distinguished by dry humor and droll wordplay that echoes “The Goon Show” by way of “Monty Python,” as in one moment, among many, when Paddington, taking an escalator to an Underground train, notices a “Stand On Right” sign and dutifully stands on his right foot.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Paddington is currently in wide release.