If there’s one thing book lovers can agree on, it’s that the book is almost always better than the movie. But sometimes it isn’t about being better. Sometimes, it’s about being different. And that’s where the folks behind the new film Paddington got it right.
When the Weinstein Company decided to turn Michael Bond’s book series into a feature length film, they were venturing into dangerous territory. If they fumbled, they wouldn’t just be making a bad kid’s film, they’d be making a film that ruined one of children’s literature’s most beloved characters.
It was a gamble that paid off.
This is one kids’ book to movie conversion you can comfortably share with your children … even if they’ve yet to dive into the books themselves (although a purchase of them might not be a bad idea as a companion!). The storyline itself is different, but the little bear’s polite and lovable nature survives intact.
In fact, the movie version of Paddington, starring Nicole Kidman as a deliciously comic villain and Sally Hawkins as an adorably off-kilter mom, was a hit in theaters and boasts a solid 83 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And now that the film is headed to DVD and Blu-Ray on April 28, millions more kids will get a chance to get hooked on the story of a bear from Darkest Peru with a blue duffel coat and a taste for marmalade sandwiches.
The power of the movie is in that it hasn’t changed Bond’s lovable book character from the creature parents fell in love with decades ago. Paddington is, quite simply, a very polite and kind bear with a very terrible habit of getting into trouble. And despite the trouble often ending in hilarity, the little bear is always very sorry and eager to set things to rights — a refreshing change of pace from children’s films where things are often turned topsy turvy and then abandoned in the characters’ wake for who knows who to clean up.
What was your favorite children’s book character as a kid?
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Paddington. I was not otherwise compensated, and all opinions are my own.