Paddington Review and Blu-ray Features
16 Jan 2015
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
Despite being a keen animal lover, Nicole Kidman took a taxidermy class to prepare herself for the part
Creation of Paddington Character
The character of Paddington Bear is based on a lone teddy bear, noticed by author Michael Bond on a shelf in a London store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve 1956. Bond bought it as a present for his wife, and was eventually inspired to write a story. The outline of the lonely bear at Paddington Station was inspired by old newsreels showing train-loads of child evacuees leaving London during the war, with labels around their necks and their possessions in small suitcases.
Knife Throwing Tricks
Nicole Kidman learned to throw and twirl knives for her role as Milicent. She has noted that during shooting, the producers told her to tone down her knife-throwing tricks, as it was considered too intense for a children’s film. Ultimately, the scenes featuring her skills were cut out of the film
Casting of Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman’s agent originally considered rejecting the part of Millicent, before passing it on to Kidman herself. The agent casually mentioned the offer, thinking Kidman would turn it down immediately. However, to her surprise, she was met by an enthusiastic reaction from Kidman, who was eager to star in the film, as she is a childhood fan of Michael Bond’s books.
Reaction of Michael Bond’s Daughter
Karen Jankel, daughter of Paddington’s creator Michael Bond, was almost moved to tears after the first screening she saw. “For me, it was bringing to life the bear that was so real to me. And I think they got it absolutely right
Paddington character according to Main Cast Hugh Boneville.
Hugh Bonneville considers the Paddington character to be “a part of the DNA of the UK” and therefore he was nervous about joining the project: “I was very nervous when I first picked it up because I thought, ‘I don’t want my childhood being messed with’. He’s such a vivid character for so many people, certainly in Britain. So I was very nervous when I started reading but within a page I was laughing out loud and was reminded of all the charming innocence and the warmth that Michael Bond put on the page.”
Paddington Bear originates from “darkest Peru”. Which could mean he is a spectacled bear, which is the only bear species from Peru, and the only surviving species of bear native to South America. However, Paddington’s species is identified in the film as ursa marmaladus (a fictional species).
Nicole Kidman did some of her own stunts for the film. On her public Facebook profile she shared a photo of her from her first day of filming, in which she hangs upside down in wires, placed several feet above the ground.
The movie contains 700 effect shots.
RT/Meta Critic Review
Paddington is absolutely, positively delightful. (Click here to see)
The film is filled with inventive and imaginative ways of telling its story… The animated bear fits perfectly in this idealized portrayal of London. (Click here to see)
The bear and the Brown family get a fair amount of real laughs and also manage to weave a touching story. (Click here to see)
Loved it. Very clever and very English. Good for children too. Teaches about compassion. There are many episodes that are laugh-out-loud funny. To see Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey in one particular episode is just too much.(mschoa/Meta Critic)
Paddington features a top-notch 1080p transfer. It’s rich and alive with bold, striking colors and pinpoint real world and digital details alike. The palette is healthy and robust, producing natural Peruvian greens and bright oranges with amazing realism. Paddington’s red hat and blue coat and other assorted hues around London are likewise impressively reproduced. Details are exacting, with individual digital fur looking particularly strong. The transfer also excels in recreating London, whether train station details, in-home accents, or street level textures. Clarity is precise, sharpness comes naturally and only infrequently gives way to smudgy edges, and there’s an overall healthy, robust sense of vitality and textural nuance to practically every bit of visual information. Black levels are not problematic and flesh tones appear even. There’s no banding, noise, aliasing, or other eyesores getting in the way of a splendid Blu-ray picture.
Paddington‘s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack creates a rich, lifelike experience. Music is smoothly delivered and features precise instrumental detail, effortless front speaker spacing, light surround support, and a natural bottom end heft. The subwoofer cranks out some excellent scene- and event-specific bass, notably the rattly earthquake that ultimately sends Paddington to London; there’s a real sense of sonic chaos, volume, and depth to the event. Add in rattling details in their home when the tremor first starts, rustling leaves as they run for shelter, and other support effects and the moment is one of the best crafted in the film from a sonic perspective. The track finds a healthy bit of ambient support in London. Train station PA announcements reverberate naturally through the stage and light environmental din brings several locations to life, including a beautifully detailed sound of wind blowing through a drafty, creaky attic. Dialogue is delivered clearly and naturally from the center.
Paddington contains several brief featurettes and the obligatory music video. Inside the Blu-ray case, buyers will find a DVD copy of the film and a voucher for a UV digital copy.
- Meet the Characters (1080p, 2:18): A quick introduction to the primary cast and characters, cast chemistry and energy, and performances.
- When a Bear Comes to Stay (1080p, 1:49): A brief look at Paddington’s innocent, mischievous high jinks.
- From Page to Screen (1080p, 3:02): As the title suggests, this supplement examines story origins, character details, creating the digital Paddington, and voice work.
- Lyric Music Video (1080p, 1:34): “Shine” featuring lyrics appearing on the screen.
- The Making of “Shine” with Gwen Stefani & Pharrell Williams (1080p, 4:22): A look at the process of crafting the music video which, sadly, is the longest and most substantive supplement of the bunch.