The first Paddington story was published in 1958 and the character has since appeared in more than 20 books which have sold more than 30m copies worldwide. Yet it’s taken nearly six decades for the beloved bear to make his celluloid debut, in which time the likes of Winnie and Yogi have stolen some of his celluloid thunder.
It’s been worth the wait however, with the Paddington movie – which combines live-action with CG animation – remaining true to the heart-warming roots of author Michael Bond’s creation while at the same time bringing him bang up to date by telling a very topical immigrant tale.
Proceedings kick off with a spot of pilfering however, the opening scene hugely reminiscent of the sequence that opens Pixar animation Up. Via fake black-and-white newsreel footage, we witness an adventurer from the Geographer’s Guild of Great Britain travelling to deepest, darkest Peru where he stumbles across a new species of bear, introduces the wonders of marmalade to the sleuth (yes, that is the collective noun), and leaves them with several gramophone records that detail life in London.