Since his first appearance in a 1958 book by Michael Bond, Paddington Bear—a friendly, talking brown bear from Peru with an affinity for all things British—has been stealing the hearts of English children’s literature lovers everywhere. And now, after appearing in more than twenty books, he’s finally got his own film.
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In the film, directed by Paul King, the young bear who would become Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) lives with his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) and Uncle Pastuzo (Michael Gambon) in Peru. The bears are discovered by English explorer Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downie), who sees that the bears are capable of learning English, and offers them a place to stay in Britain.
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After an earthquake, Pastuzo disappears. Lucy decides to go into a retirement home for bears, and tells her nephew that he should go to London, which he does. When he arrives, he gets lost in Paddington Station. The clouds begin to part when the lost cub meets the hospitable Brown family, consisting of Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville), Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins), Judy (Madeleine Harris), and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin).
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After reading the label around his neck, which says “Please look after this bear. Thank you”, the Browns give him a temporary place to live, while they search for Montgomery Clyde. And, since no one can understand his Peruvian name, they call him Paddington, after the station in which they found him.
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Paddington is always polite, but he’s accident prone. He wreaks havoc at the Brown household, and quickly outstays his welcome. After resolving to find Montgomery Clyde on his own, Paddington walks right into the path of deranged taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman), who wants to stuff him and put him in the Natural History Museum.
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To tell you anymore would spoil the film for you, so we won’t do that. If you want to find out what happens, scoot on over to your local theater on January 16th.
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