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I somehow missed Paddington Bear as a child. He was originally featured in a series of British children’s books by Michael Bond. My childhood literature exposure was distinctly American, it seems. Since then, of course, he’s been around as a stuffed animal. I’ve been aware of him as an adult — fun name, cute hat, great coat.
I requested the film Paddington from Netflix not to relive a childhood memory but to relive our time in London. The movie is set in modern times so the adventure includes the same sites in London that we saw last fall. I recommend playing “spot the London Eye” while watching.
One of our favorite days of our vacation, a day trip out to Crofton Pumping Station, took us through Paddington Station. We took just a moment to appreciate the architecture and snap a photo while we focused on making sure that we got on the right train at the right time. It’s on our wish list to visit Paddington Station for a more leisurely look at the architecture and to appreciate the history and the continued bustle of the station.
The story in the film is predictable, once we’ve met the villain, but try to watch it with the eyes of the 8-year-old encountering this plot for the first time. There’s plenty of humor, fun story-telling techniques (I loved summaries done with a doll house version of the Brown’s home), and a great CGI bear. Hugh Bonneville as someone other than the Earl of Grantham from Downtown Abbey was fun, too. I always guessed he had more of a sense of humor than we normally get to see.
Were you a Paddington Bear fan as a child? Have you seen the movie?