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Movie Review

Paddington also known as “Paddington Bear”

MPAA Rating: PG for mild action and rude humor.

Reviewed by: Emily Saur
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Family Adventure Kids Comedy Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release:
2015
USA Release:
January 16, 2015 (wide—3,303 theaters)
DVD: April 28, 2015
Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company) Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company)
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company)

city life compared to country life

importance of hospitality

kidnapping

thief / stealing

bears in the Bible

animals in the Bible

Featuring: Nicole KidmanMillicent
Michael GambonUncle Pastuzo (voice)
Ben WhishawPaddington (voice)
Jim BroadbentMr. Gruber
Imelda Staunton … Aunt Lucy (voice)
Peter Capaldi … Mr. Curry
Julie Walters … Mrs. Bird
Sally Hawkins … Mrs. Brown
Hugh Bonneville … Mr. Brown
Matt Lucas … Taxi Driver
Madeleine Harris … Judy Brown
more »
Director: Paul King
Producer: Heyday Films
StudioCanal
more »
Distributor: Dimension Films (The Weinstein Company)

Many people remember reading the fun stories of “Paddington,” as children. I was one of these people, so I was very excited to see this movie. The film “Paddington” begins with an explorer from London going to “darkest Peru” and finding an extremely intelligent species of bear. He befriends a male bear and a female and invites them to visit London sometime. Years pass, and the viewers see that the bears still dream of going to London and tell their nephew of this dream.

When a tragedy strikes, the female bear believes she needs to send her nephew to London. He goes with hopes that he will find a home. The Brown family take him in, temporarily, name him Paddington, and try to help him find a permanent home. That’s where the adventure starts. However, London is more dangerous for a bear than it seems…

“Paddington” has a good message of hospitality, which is refreshing in this age of mistrust. The Bible says that Christians are to “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). Jesus also commends hospitality in Matthew 25:34-44.

Despite the good message on hospitality, there are inappropriate details that distract from the moral message. The explorer says “good Lord,” which is using the Lord’s name in vain. This is prohibited by the 3rd Commandment (Exodus 20:7). The explorer also makes reference to someone he “met in a bar.”

There are sexual innuendos, throughout the film. The Browns” daughter makes a comment about how she doesn’t want Paddington to sleep in her room because he is male, but her brother teases about it, saying she would be okay with her crush “bunking up” in there. A man cross-dresses, disguising himself as a cleaning lady. While he is so disguised, a security guard flirts with him and calls him “hot” and “sexy.”

Two characters have a drinking contest with shots; one passes out at the end.

The word “damned” is seen on a billboard.

There are some scary moments; one character throws a knife at a picture and has scary-looking dissection tools. This character also has a tranquilizer gun and shoots it several times. Two security guards are shot with it in the neck. She threatens to shoot it at a person and kill him.

There are some gross scenes. Paddington uses tooth brushes to clean his ears and tastes the wax. Someone brushes his teeth with the brush that had wax on it.

There are some spiritual issues. The Browns” have a statue in their flat that looks like Buddha. Someone calls a museum, a “cathedral of knowledge.” Another character refers to coffee as “salvation.”

The movie, overall, has a positive message about the importance of family, but the Browns seem to idolize it. One character says the family (kids in particular) should be their “number one priority.” However, God should be more important than family; Jesus said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37).

“Paddington” is a well done movie that has an excellent message of hospitality. For me personally, however, the offensive details outweighed the good message.

Violence: Minor to moderate / Profanity: Minor—“Good Lord” / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I saw this in the UK where it came out mid-December. It’s a beautiful family film from an old classic children’s story. I was so impressed with the simplicity. It keeps so many of the old Paddington values, and coupled with great casting leads it to being such an enjoyable film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
David Simpson, age 25 (USA)
Positive—This was quite an amazing movie. I totally believed the reality of a talking bear (and his talking bear relatives). Total suspension of disbelief for me, so this was a satisfying fantasy story with a lot of good heart. Sally Hawkins, one of my favorites, plays the loving mother willing to take in a lonely little bear. There is a very beautiful villainess, played by the accomplished Nicole Kidman. Her character gives the movie the suspense and scary moments that give it a PG rating, instead of a G.

As an adult, I found this to be a thoroughly entertaining family movie, and as I said, I bought into the story completely. There is nothing quite like entering a fantasy world where everything turns out right.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
Halyna Barannik, age 68 (USA)
Positive—Went to see this with my two daughters, ages 3 and 10. All three of us loved it! You can’t help but fall in love with the cuddly bear and the tender and funny moments are throughout the whole movie. The objections in the review, I felt, were so minor that they didn’t even stand out to me while watching the movie. It was far and above cleaner and “safer” for young children vs. other fairytale movies popular today. Plus, it was just plain fun!

I do agree that they could have done without the evil Kidman character, as well, and stuck with the silly antics and still had a superb movie for littles.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Tracy W., age 39 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Daughter of explorer is a “taxidermist” killing and stuffing live animals from beginning to end of the movie. Symbolism with knives, operating table, numerology. This story was written by some bad people and nothing resembling a Paddington bear story.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Rick, age 57 (USA)
Comments from young people

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