I’ve never heard the word “marmalade” said so many times within the span of two hours before. Paddington is a delightfully charming movie that’s fit for the entire family. It has a surprisingly engaging story all centered around a lovable furry protagonist. The cast was excellent as a whole, with the talents of Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Nicole Kidman, and Peter Capaldi giving the characters the right amount of childish, over the top appeal. For children who grew up loving the fictional stories of Paddington Bear, I have no doubt this movie was a satisfying walk down memory lane.

Paddington meeting Mrs. Brown at Paddington station.

Paddington was a great first installment to the franchise and introduced the character very well. I didn’t grow up reading the books (I didn’t even know Paddington was based off children’s stories), but there’s a warmth to this movie that is very comforting. I thought it was funny but also sweet how nobody questioned why a talking bear was suddenly wandering around London – I loved the whole innocence of the idea. One of the highlights of this movie was following Paddington around and getting to watch him experience London like a fish out of water. There’s some hilarious interactions which will surely create many laughs for the whole family.

I was pleasantly surprised by the film and it’s really thanks to how adorable Paddington was and how he lit up every scene he was in. His innocent positivity was so endearing, I instantly fell in love with this little bear. I absolutely adored his little red hat and raincoat! I thought the CGI was also pretty well done and the textures and movement of Paddington’s fur looked seamless. There didn’t seem to be any issues blending live-action and animation in this movie, in fact that was part of its charm.

Paddington carrying a dog down the escalator.

Paddington had a very talented cast as mentioned, so it wasn’t a surprise they were able to deliver. My favourite character (aside from Paddington himself!) was definitely Mary Brown which was played by Hawkins. She was a totally gentle and loving mother whose kindness echoed the heart of the film.

The biggest surprise for me was seeing Nicole Kidman as the villain in a children’s movie about a talking bear moving to London. Her dramatic entrance was both really effective and hilarious for this reason. Totally random but I’m cool with it. I guess the whole concept of taxidermy goes over the heads of kids watching, but the fact that Paddington was so close to being stuffed was shockingly dark given the genre and tone. But hey, what the kids don’t know can’t hurt them.

Mrs. Brown taking Paddington to the antique shop to learn about his hat.

It’s very clear to me that Paddington was made by filmmakers that sincerely cared about the character and the fans who’ve grown to love him. There’s so much heart in this movie, you can’t help but feel good watching it. If you’re looking for a family friendly movie to watch with your kids, I would highly recommend you check this one out. I’m going to give Paddington a solid score of 7.5/10. After enjoying this movie so much, I can’t wait to give the sequel a watch (I heard there’s a third movie in the works too!).