Paddington - The Movie
Sunday was a bit of a weird day – Amazon Prime Video, as well as giving me tickets to give away to kiphakes.com readers, gave Georgia and me a set of tickets to go and see the World Première of Paddington Bear movie ‘Paddington’ at the Odeon Leicester Square in London.
G and Me dressed up in our finery and set off to a rather rainy London to see everyone’s favourite Peruvian Bear on the big screen.
After a seemingly long journey (thanks to some delays and weekend train works) Georgia and I got to Leicester Square in time to pick up our tickets, and queue up to walk down the red carpet. I’ve never seen Georgia so excited, my fairly nonplussed at EVERYTHING tween was buzzing – there were cameras, lights, music and hundreds of people standing and waiting to see the stars of the film on the red carpet. First though, the muggles like us had to be let in. Walking down the red carpet was surreal, the security were ushering us all along, but thankfully G and me managed to get a ‘Red Carpet Selfie’ before being growled at by security to get inside.
Once inside, we were shown to our seats, all of which had a toy Paddington Bear, a Marmalade Sandwich and a packet of crisps waiting for us. As the cinema filled up, on the big screen they were showing a live feed of the red carpet, with Jenny Faulkner interviewing the stars as the headed into the cinema. Underneath was a ‘Twitter Ticker’ showing tweets from people using the #BearOnTheSquare hashtag. Georgia ordered me to tweet something to see if it would work. I did and it did – moments later my ugly mug was on the cinema screen with Georgia shouting ‘OH MY GOD DAD YOU’RE ON THE SCREEN!!’. It took about an hour for all the stars to arrive and be interviewed, so it was a good time to sit eating our sandwiches and enjoying the show.
Then the live feed switched off, and all the stars were led down the aisle to come on stage, introduced by the Executive Producer and head of Studio Canal. Finally the creator of Paddington Bear, Michael Bond was introduced to the audience to a thunderous applause. Once the formalities were over, the stage cleared, and the film started..
So – how was it?
It was bloody fantastic – a fabulous family film, probably one of the best I’ve seen. It’s all set in and around London, and whilst it shows a very ‘sanitised’ slightly ‘corrrrr blimey guv’nor’ view of it, it’s a very charming and sweet film. The cast is fantastic, brimming with British talent – Hugh Bonneville is perfect as a slightly grumpy Mr Brown, and Julie Walters is fantastic as Mrs Bird the housekeeper. Nicole Kidman makes a brilliant ‘baddie’ (with Peter Capaldi as her accidental sidekick) – it was good to see her doing something a little more ‘frothy’ than normal and she really was perfect for the role.
The star of it all, is obviously Paddington Bear himself – voiced by Ben Whishaw. The CGI is fantastic, and I spent most of the film having to remind myself that it wasn’t ACTUALLY a real bear on-screen – yes – that does sound ridiculous, but the it is all done so wonderfully well, you get lost in the immersive world of Paddington. It’s beautifully made and directed and I LOVED that it had ‘cut to’ bits, reminiscent of what they do in ‘Family Guy’. It’s all put together very well and whizzes along quickly so younger viewers aren’t left bored, and there is enough to keep older viewers happy.
It is a funny film, I found myself laughing a lot, and G was cackling away too, and for a girl who is leaving childish things behind, it was nice to see her getting lost in the silliness of it all.
Interestingly the film has a PG rating, which is interesting – and definitely unwarranted. There are some moments of ‘peril’ but nothing too strong – I think it might upset J (2.5 years) in places, not because it’s particularly scary, or perilous, but really little ones don’t get it. The PG rating actually comes from a scene where Hugh Bonneville is dressed as a female cleaner and is being flirted at by a slightly seedy security guard. It’s nothing bad at all, there’s more smut in a ‘Carry On’ film, so really nothing a 3-4yr + old would mind or notice – it’s just a silly family fun.
I would recommend going to see Paddington, it is a perfect family film that will warm the hearts of even the most grumpiest of bears – I imagine there will be a sequel or two, and rightly so – there’s definitely life in the old bear yet!
As the credits rolled Georgia and I sat chatting about the film, and how good it was – she was slightly miffed that the experience was over and that we wouldn’t get to meet the cast like we did when we met Dick and Dom after Spamalot. It was an incredible experience to go to a proper Première and probably an experience I’ll never get to repeat – G and I headed home, slightly star-struck and buzzing with excitement, it really was a day to remember.