In Michael Bond’s series of children’s books, Paddington is a talking bear from the jungle of Peru who is forced to move to London. Paddington is also the star of the new PG film directed by British filmmaker Paul King. When Paddington arrives in England, he meets a nice family who try to find a place for the bear to live. In the film, the father of the family is played by Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville.
While Paddington is definitely the star of the books and movie, the family is at the center too. It’s the family who rallies together to help Paddington. As Slash Film points out about the focus on family: “It’s so refreshing and surprising that it makes the film even more warm and inviting. That drive also sets up lots of funny jokes, and moments of redemption and drama, but everything has much higher stakes because the family is doing it together.” The question is, will American movie goers appreciate the simple good story of Paddington? Or will they want a more dynamic, dysfunctional, PG-13 kind of family?