A day I've been waiting for for a long time finally came last week, when Paddington 2 came out on DVD and I could pick it up at the Redbox. Cameron and I love the Paddington movies, for a number of reasons.
- It's dang funny. Though it's a kid's movie, the director rarely strays into easy humor of people farting, or the CGI talking animal humiliating a grumpy human for schadenfreude giggles. The laughs come long and strong, and say a lot about how Britain sees itself. One of my favorite moments in the first Paddington movie is when Paddington, alone on the streets, takes refuge in the sentry hut of one of the guards at Buckingham Palace. While completely maintaining his posture and duty, he serves Paddington some tea and biscuits and finger sandwiched, all of which he stored inside his giant hat. If you ever wanted to know what Buckingham Palace guards kept inside their hat, it's proper snacks.
- It's truly sincere. One of my least favorite things about 2018 is how cynical everyone is, myself included. It's generally assumed that everything good will become bad, everything bad will get worse, and given a choice, everyone will go for the easy money and cheap fame, and the only people who won't will make a lot of noise but accomplish nothing. Paddington, the character, is the opposite of that. He believes in the good of everyone, helps each person he meets, and generally makes the world a better place through sheer politeness and the simple assumption that people will do good if that's what's expected of them. Frankly, in a political climate where even the people I agree with often come across in print as sarcastic, vicious jerks, we could all learn a little from Paddington.
- This one gets a little deep, but Paddington doesn't make sense. He's the only talking bear in London, but is all but ignored when he steps off the boat. His aunt lives in the "Old Bears' Home" which is located in darkest Peru. Buckingham Palace guards keep teapots under their hats, and a mystical carny is somehow able to scratch clues into the location of a secret treasure all across London's most famous landmarks. No one bats an eye at any of this. They may have opinions (Paddington's neighbor doesn't like bears on account of their loud picnics) but one could assume an alien spaceship could drop out of the sky and throw ice cream at everyone, and they would simply thank it for the snack and get on their way. In a world that nowadays seems too complex and nonsensical for anyone with a normal brain to grasp, this sort of zen approach to the weirdness of modern life appeals to me.
- Simon Farnaby plays a security guard in both films, and he's completely hilarious both times. Regarding villainous Hugh Grant in disguise: "An unusually attractive nun is causing mayhem in the cathedral dome! Stop that stunning sister!"