Tuesday, November 25, 2014

'Paddington' (2014) directed by Paul King

At first sight, Paddington Bear looks monstrous, his creepy photorealistic fur bringing to mind 2010’s astonishingly misconceived Yogi Bear. You can almost hear the soft, squelching sound as audience’s hearts sink, the sound of teeth gritting as they prepare for yet another sacrilegious plundering of a beloved children’s classic. What nightmares are we going to have to endure? Is Paddington Bear going to have an attitude? Is he going to wear a puffa jacket? Oh god.. he’s going to rap, isn’t he?

This consuming sense of dread isn’t director Paul King’s fault. It’s just that we’ve been burned so many times by overblown, gagless, soulless cinematic abortions that we expect the worst; to look into the eyes of a CG bear is to see a grinning studio exec staring back (probably doing some warped approximation of the hated “Dreamworks face”).

This is a pity, because Paddington is secretly and surprisingly, really pretty wonderful.


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