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Paul King
Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins
Writing Credits:
Paul King

A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 4/28/2015

• “Meet the Characters” Featurette
• “When A Bear Comes to Stay” Featurette
• “From Page to Screen” Featurette
• “Shine” Music Video
• “The Making of ‘Shine’” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver;
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Paddington [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 28, 2021)

In 1958, Michael Bond wrote a children’s book titled A Bear Called Paddington and a legend came to life. Multiple screen adaptations resulted over the decades, and eventually these led to 2014’s Paddington, a mix of live-action and animation.

British geographer Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downey) discovers a clan of intelligent, speaking, marmalade-loving bears in Peru. He tells Lucy (voiced by Imelda Staunton) and Pastuzo (voiced by Michael Gambon) they would find themselves welcome in London if they ever came to visit.

Years later, earthquakes damage the bears’ Peruvian abode, so Lucy and Pastuzo’s nephew (voiced by Ben Whishaw) heads to England. There he finds it hard to adapt to city life, but he gets a boost when the Brown family assists him.

Named after the London train station at which the Browns found him, Paddington enjoys his new residence. However, museum taxidermist Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman) – Montgomery’s daughter - wants to add Paddington to her collection, a desire that threatens his very existence.

When Paddington hit cinemas in 2014, I didn’t see it, partly because my then-47-year-old self didn’t exactly fall in the target audience. However, I watch a lot of movie aimed at kids, so that didn’t fully explain why I skipped it.

In addition, I simply regarded the movie with a lot of skepticism. Too many modern-day “family films” seems crass and lowest common denominator, so I feared Paddington would follow suit.

Before I finally got around to this 2014 film, I watched 2018’s Paddington 2. It worked so well that it alleviated virtually all the concerns I had when the original flick hit screens.

Indeed, I found myself highly tempted to just cut and paste my review of Paddington 2, as both films boast identical strengths and weaknesses.

Famous actor who camps it up as a villain? Check – Kidman here, Hugh Grant in the sequel.

Potentially schmaltzy material that gets just enough British cheek to subvert the sappiness? Check.

Excellent cast of British stalwarts? Check, as in addition to those I already mentioned, we find Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Matt Lucas and Jim Broadbent. All add charm and occasional bite to the flick.

As noted, Paddington could easily become saccharine and sappy, but the film consistently avoids those pitfalls. Not that it lacks emotion, as it provides enough witty asides and mildly subversive elements to give it spark.

Indeed, the main plot of Paddington seems surprisingly dark. A museum employee who plans to murder animals just to keep her job? Add that on top of Pestuzo’s death in the movie’s first eight minutes and this seems like a less “kiddie safe” flick than you’d anticipate.

I liked Paddington 2 so much that I was almost afraid to watch the first movie, as I worried my increased expectations might lead me to like it less. Happily, I didn’t, as like the sequel, it provides a witty, charming fable.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus D+

Paddington appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This turned into a largely positive presentation.

For the most part, sharpness worked fine. Occasional wide shots could feel a little tentative, but the majority of the flick seemed accurate and well-rendered.

No issues with jaggies or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no signs of edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to occur.

Colors tended to favor a mix of amber and orange, with the occasional teal splash as well as some reds. These tones came across with appealing intensity.

Blacks seemed firm and deep, while shadows appeared smooth and concise. The image worked nicely.

As a light comedy/fantasy, I didn’t expect much from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, but it worked surprisingly well. In particular, the soundscape boasted greater immersiveness than I anticipated.

Early on, the shots in Peru offered fine involvement, especially with the short but intense earthquake. Once in London, the soundscape focused more on environment, but it still offered lots of good information.

From street scenes to rain to a mix of other elements, this became a pretty active soundfield. The audio complemented the material in a satisfying manner.

Audio quality seemed solid. Music was bold and full, and effects followed suit, as those elements appeared accurate and dynamic, with deep, tight bass.

Speech remained natural and without edginess or concerns. This became a surprisingly broad, involving track.

A handful of extras flesh out the disc, and Meet the Characters runs two minutes, 18 seconds. It brings comments from producer Nick Heyman, writer/director Paul King, and actors Jim Broadbent, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman.

We get basics about cast and their roles. Not much actual information emerges from this promo piece.

When a Bear Comes to Stay spans one minute, 49 seconds and features King, Hawkins, animation director Pablo Grillo, and actor Ben Whishaw. A few decent notes about the way the film brings Paddington to life appear, but the clip stays fluffy most of the time.

Next comes From Page to Screen, a three-minute, two-second sequence with Heyman, Kidman, Bonneville, King, Grillo, Walters, and author’s daughter Karen Jankel. This looks at more issues related to the story’s adaptation for movies. It ends up as another superficial clip.

After this we find a music video for “Shine” by Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams. A “lyric video”, it just mixes movie clips, on-screen lyrics and the song. It seems forgettable.

The Making of “Shine” lasts four minutes, 22 seconds and features Williams and Stefani. They tell us what a great experience they had. Yawn.

The disc opens with ads for Underdogs, The Giver and Escape from Planet Earth. No trailer for Paddington appears here.

In a world packed with sappy, cheesy movies aimed at kids, Paddington stands out as a happy exception to the lowest common denominator rule. Clever, witty and warm, the film becomes a delight. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio but it lacks substantial bonus materials. Despite the superficial nature of the supplements, the movie enchants and makes this a recommended

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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