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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Based on the series of children's books by Michael Bond, Paddington tells the story about a young Peruvian bear who travels from his native rainforest in South America to London, where he attempts to find himself a new family to live with.
When Paddington (Whishaw) arrives in London (after he loses most of his family in a natural disaster back in Peru), he is initially lost in a sea of strangers and of course, a bit overwhelmed by the whole 'bright lights, big city' vibe. Nevertheless, he does have a taste for all things British (with an accent to match and a love for marmalade too) and stoically decides to wait it out at Paddington Station until hopefully, he will meet a family which will let him into their home and make him part of the family unit.
As a helpful indicator of his intentions, he sports a sign around his neck that reads: 'Please look after this bear. Thank you.' Soon, Mr Brown (Bonneville), Mrs Brown (Hawkins) and their kids notice him and decide to take him home. He can stay, says Mr Brown, but for only one night. Back in the Browns' comfortable lodgings, Mrs Bird (Walters) manages the house in her own eccentric-but-efficient way. Mrs Brown learns that Paddington - a name she coined for him back at the train station - is quite literally, a rare bear and helps him to connect with his past in order to give him emotional grounding.
Along the way, Millicent the taxidermist (Kidman, channeling a 101 Dalmatians-style Cruella De Vil) finds out about Paddington's rare breed and makes it her mission to turn him into her latest specimen, stuffed with sawdust and preserved for posterity. The Browns and of course Paddington, will avoid her at all costs.
The seamless blending of animation with live action is the most striking point in the film. Apart from gently delivering the message about the importance of belonging, the jaunty film score also keeps things moving along rather nicely. Fun family viewing.
Colin Firth was first billed to play Paddington because the filmmakers needed someone who sounded quintessentially British. After he dropped out, Ben Wishaw got the job.
Nicole Kidman’s Millicent was supposed to be deadlier than she appeared. She reportedly had to learn how to chuck knives, but those scenes were deleted from the movie.
Paddington’s species is supposed to be that of a spectacled bear, which is actually an endangered species.
Paddington's adventures have sold over 35 million books, been published in nearly twenty countries, in over forty languages, and have inspired pop bands, race horses, plays, hot air balloons, a television series and now of course, a movie.
Although Paddington is entirely CGI, the actors represented him during the shooting with a stick-mounted puppet.
Paddington station, where the Browns find the bear, is reportedly Marylebone station. Apparently the filmmakers preferred the latter in terms of looks and aesthetics.
The first Paddington Bear stuffed toy to be manufactured was created in 1972.
The BBC television series based on Paddington was televised in 1975.
The initial scene where Paddington shuffles around looking lost in Paddington station was based on the many children who were transported out of London by railroad during WWII.
Colin Firth was originally roped in for the voice of Paddington. But six months before the film's release, Firth and the director released a statement saying that in a mutual decision, Firth would drop out as they could no longer see him doing the role.
Despite being a keen animal lover, Nicole Kidman had to learn taxidermy to prepare herself for the part.
Originally, author Michael Bond was nervous about the prospect of turning his character into a live action feature. But after seeing half a minute of test footage, he was convinced.
The film has 700 effect shots.
Julie Walters based her eccentric performance on her make-up artist from the film.
When Paddington steps into the Browns’ home after coming in from the pouring rain and drenched wet, he leaves no wet footprints or water marks in the house.
In one scene, the Browns and Paddington head to a certain ‘Westbourne oak’ tube station. However, this is really ‘Maida Vale’, and the sign is visible in the shot.
An explorer named Montgomery Clyde locates a family of intelligent, talking bears deep within the Peruvian rainforest. Apart from sounding like they went to Oxford, they also love marmalade as much as Winnie the Pooh loves honey. Naturally, he tells them, that they would fit right in back in Britain. However, there's a dreadful earthquake one day and the bears are forced to seek shelter. Except for Paddington and his aunt Lucy, everyone perishes. Later, she sends him off as a stowaway to London while she herself retires to a nursing home.
When in London, Paddington gets a culture shock, People walk by; not one seems to notice anybody and everyone's a stranger. But luckily for him, he is spotted by the Brown family. Mrs Brown asks about him and their two kids immediately take a shine to the cute bear. All except for the grumpy Mr Brown, who agrees to give him shelter only till he finds a permanent home. They agree that he can stay with them till they locate Montgomery Clyde, the explorer who 'found' the bears in Peru. Furthermore, the hat that Paddington wears (under which he also keeps a marmalade sandwich for lean times) is also apparently a precious artifact. So, they take it upon themselves to locate Clyde.
A museum's taxidermist named Millicent meanwhile, learns about Paddington's exotic breed and immediately tries to hunt him down. While avoiding her, Paddington, helped along by Mr. Brown, visits an archive and looks up people named 'M Clyde', and they use phonebooks to locate the addresses of each one. Meanwhile, Millicent, who is in cahoots with the Browns' neighbour Reginald Curry, sneaks into the Browns' home when Paddington is home alone and tries to capture him. In the ensuing struggle, the house catches fine and when the Browns return, they pooh-pooh his story of Millicent's attempt to capture him and assume that he must move into a new home as soon as possible.
Somewhat downcast, Paddington tries tries to locate Montgomery Clyde himself. He does find Clyde's house, however, but also finds out that Clyde died many years ago. And the twist in the tale is that Millicent is really Clyde's daughter. She developed such an obsession for capturing the bear because she bore a grudge against her dad who failed to capture a specimen of the bears he claimed to have found. Millicent almost succeeds in stuffing Paddington but he is saved in the nick of time by the Browns, when Curry realizes that Millicent wants to kill Paddington. The Browns save him and Paddington throws a marmalade sandwich at Millicent, who is immediately surrounded and distracted by a huge flock of pigeons.
Paddington is adopted by the Browns and Millicent is dispatched to an animal centre to do community service at an animal shelter. Happy at last, Paddington writes to his Aunt Lucy saying he has found a new home, as per her wishes.