There are some things about this popular British icon that may surprise you
This may come as a shock, so hold on to your theatre seats. Paddington Bear – one of the most beloved icons of English children’s literature – isn’t from London. Do you feel cheated?
That’s right, and it gets better: His real name isn’t even Paddington. Fancy that!
In the upcoming movie, Paddington, you can follow the comic misadventures of the bear, voiced by Ben Whishaw, throughout the land of the English. Along the way, Paddington squares off with a teddy bear’s greatest nemesis: A determined and sinister taxidermist named Millicent (Nicole Kidman).
Curious to know more? Here are 10 things about Paddington we think would take you by surprise!
1. “Paddington” isn’t his original name
We feel swindled too! Rather, “Paddington” has an inscrutable name that he never reveals. During his dream visit to London, he is picked up by a loving English family in Paddington Station, thus giving him his name.
2. Paddington isn’t from London
Again, we feel like our childhood was a lie. The fuzzy little bear may be decked out in British colours (red, blue, and white), and he may have come to represent London, but he’s actually from Peru! He just loves all things British – like many of us.
3. Paddington never addresses people by their first names
We think you couldn’t force him to, even if you tried! The polite creature always addresses people with a “Mr”, “Mrs”, or “Miss”. We could all learn from him just a little!
4. However, he can be pretty icy to some people
Coming from a courteous lovable teddy like Paddington, this is a surprise! He can inflict cold, hard stares at people he doesn’t like. We imagine his face must be cemented in eternal disapproval at Nicole Kidman in the movie!
5. Paddington loves marmalade
Correction: Paddington looooooooves marmalade, and he believes that all bears love marmalade. Tell that to our honey-hugging pal Winnie the Pooh!
6. Despite this, the bear has been used to advertise this other product.
We think the poor ol’ bear must be squirming uncomfortably. In 2007, he was used in a commercial for Marmite! You can see the advertisement here:
7. Paddington was embroiled in a political scandal
One of Australia’s cabinet ministers, Mick Young, was forced to resign in 1986 after failing to declare luggage content at customs. Among its contents was a large Paddington bear. This scandal became known as “The Paddington Bear Affair”.
8. Paddington is a symbol for a certain minority group
It’s pretty clear that Paddington is an illegal immigrant. He stowed away on a ship and arrives in the city of his dreams as a refugee. But, as Nicole Kidman shares on Australian website The Age, the movie explains how “we embrace strangers and people with cultural differences – and that’s an important message right now, particularly for young people.”
With nostalgia, comedy and cuteness all rolled into one, Paddington is the perfect movie to treat yourself and your family to this season! Watch the trailer here:
Director: Paul King
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville
Run Length: 97 min
Release: 11 Dec