Trailer Tuesday: Paddington

Illegal immigration: It's alright as long as the perpetrator is ADORABLE!

That's pretty much the cynic's interpretation of Paddington Bear - the beloved British literary character first unleashed on the world in 1958 by novelist Michael Bond and illustrator Peggy Fortnum. Generations of children (myself included) have fallen in love with this exceptionally polite and principled little bear, who is famous for his fondness for duffle coats and an even greater fondness for marmalade sandwiches.

Now Paddington has already starred in a iconic animated TV series, but the little bear from Darkest Peru has had a harder time making the leap to the Big Screen. When a film project was announced all the way back in 2007, I honestly believed it would sit in Development Hell forever. Yet, here we are, just 8 months from the release of family-friendly comedy adventure Paddington.

The official plot synopsis of the film is as follows:
Paddington follows the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British, who travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realise that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist...
Now granted the teaser trailer above offers only a minute of footage, but I'm hopeful live-action-CGI-animation hybrid Paddington will be more 101 Dalmations and less Garfield or The Smurfs. Fortunately, the more I read about the movie, the more it seems like Harry Potter producer David Heyman - and everyone else involved - is treating the source material with respect.

For one thing, the casting is pretty much spot-on! Colin Firth voices oh-so-polite Paddington, while Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins are kind-hearted but exasperated Mr and Mrs Brown. Julie Walters is the Browns' housekeeper Mrs Bird, and Jim Broadbent Mr Gruber, Paddington's best friend and the owner of an antique shop on Portobello Road.

On the bad guy (and gal) front, new Dr Who Peter Capaldi is nasty neighbour Mr Curry, who routinely takes advantage of Paddington's innate helpfulness. The film's chief villain though is Nicole Kidman, as a blonde bobbed taxidermist.

For the record, I've blogged about the Paddington film before, here.

Paddington's world premiere takes place in the UK on 28 November, and the film currently has a US release date of 12 December. Expect the South African release date to be around the same time, in line with most other countries.


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