CGI/live-action hybrids of iconic childrens’ characters don’t have a great track-record in terms of quality. We could list the many terrible films that have followed this pattern, but it’s probably much easier to sum up their quality in a single quote. When asked in “Zombieland” about whether or not he had any regrets, Bill Murray answers, simply, “Garfield.”
It’s for that reason that we’re not quite sure about the plans to bring the much loved British character of “Paddington Bear” to the big screen – despite the interesting mix of talent involved. StudioCanal will finance the project which will be produced by “Harry Potter” lynchpin David Heyman, and directed by “Bunny and the Bull” and “The Mighty Boosh” director Paul King. That mixes together the highly commercial with the highly creative, and that should make for a fascinating end-product.
This writer hails from England, and so is immediately familiar with ‘Paddington,’ but isn’t as sure about how well known he is throughout the rest of the world. If you don’t know much abnut him, Paddington is a little brown bear who wears a red hat, blue coat, carries a brown suitcase and comes from “Deepest, Darkest Peru.” But he winds up in the Lost & Found at London’s Paddington station – and that’s how he gets his name. He’s a really sweet-natured character who places an importance on manners and marmalade, and often finds himself getting into mishaps. “Ted” this ain’t. Michael Bond wrote the books that first birthed the character, but worryingly, it’s said that the film will be a “modern take.” Let’s just hope that doesn’t mean something along the lines of “The Smurfs” or “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”