If nothing else, the Internet will take what you love and maim it. This week’s Paddington-centric meme proves it, and while it would be a bald-faced lie to say that the rapidly rising #creepypaddington Twitter trend isn’t at least somewhat amusing, it does handily demonize a beloved member of my own personal childhood imagination. An anthropomorphic British bear in a kicky little raincoat? What else could you possibly want in a kids lit hero? How could you make that seem evil? Paddington would never hurt you!
Paddington is about to make his leap to the big screen with Paddington, where the throughly British (but actually Peruvian) real-life teddy bear will be voice by the thoroughly (and actually) British Colin Firth. Paddington is an origin story, which shares the tale of how Paddington, a forest bear, makes his way to the big city in hopes of finding some adventure and excitement. What he finds is disappointment, until the charming Brown family takes him in (and takes the note around his neck, which reads, ““Please look after this bear. Thank you,” quite seriously) and all sorts of lovely things happen. I am getting teary already. Just look at the film’s first full-length trailer while I gather myself:
See, Paddington is really well-meaning, but he’s just a little bear in a big, strange world — bad stuff is just going to happen. How fortunate then that he’s lucky enough to end up with the Browns, who are not just kind, but smart enough to think about the kind of repercussions housing a bear could have on their insurance (though they probably didn’t consider what would happen to their toothbrushes, ew). And, my God, will they need that insurance.
This first trailer is a fun affair (with plenty of collateral damage), but it doesn’t do much in the way of passing along the real drama of the film — turns out, in the film Paddington will eventually catch the eye of a museum taxidermist, who we can only assume wants to kill and stuff him, which seems both very mean and totally imprudent. Wouldn’t you want the incredibly rare bear to, I dunno, live? In any case, we feel fairly certain that Paddington will make it out of this one alive.
Alongside (the voice of) Firth, Paddington also stars Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent and Julie Walters.
Paddington will pull into the train station of your heart, you monsters this December.