'Paddington Bear: Collector's Edition'
(Michael Hordern, Jonathan Kydd, et al / 3-DVD / NR / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: A stow-away from darkest Peru, Paddington eventually finds himself alone in Paddington Station, a tag around his neck reading: Please look after this bear. Thank you. When the Brown family take him home, they get a lot more than they bargained for.
DVD Verdict: In truth, being an Ex-Pat here in Michigan, USA, I grew up watching 'Paddington Bear.' Many other British stop-motion productions of the days also, of course, but aside from 'Mr. Ben' and 'Bagpuss,' it was always 'Paddington Bear' that stood out for me each lunchtime. Sure, when you look back on something your childhood claimed to be beloved to your mind, sometimes it can just be, well, sadly lacking.
But here on these 56 original episodes from the day, I truly didn't feel there was a wasted moment watching 'Paddington Bear' It was whimsical, charming and funny. I always loved the characters, cute and endearing Paddington, Mr and Mrs Brown, Mrs Bird, and the hilarious Mr. Curry ("BEAR!"). The look of the series is still superb, and the background music is excellent. I also loved the story lines and Paddington's situations, but it was always, in reflection now, the tender, heartfelt narration by the wonderful Michael Hordern that made this show what it was to us kids.
Come on now, who cannot love Paddington Bear, for he is everyone's favorite Peruvian bear, is he not?! While nearly always finding himself in trouble, he is still so lovable. All the voiced characters are just perfect for their roles, but special mention has to go to Jonathan Kydd, who was simply perfection as Paddington Bear himself.
My favorite episodes of the 56, now having watched it via a massive, and heartwarming binge-watching marathon over 3 days, are 'Paddington Bakes a Cake,' where baking a cake for Mr Curry's birthday isn't quite as simple as Paddington expected; 'Paddington Buys a Share,' in which Paddington is sold a fraud oil share and then is mistaken for the actual crook (but all is well when Mr. Gruber explains); 'Paddington Clears the Coach,' which begins with the Browns are on their way to the seaside. On the train Paddington overhears a discussion in the kitchen which he tells to the other dinners and so causes much confusion (of course); and then 'Paddington Goes Underground,' is when disaster strikes the Brown household because Paddington is told he must attend school (you have to watch it to understand the title!).
In closing, I honestly hope children of today will get to experience this wonderful show. I mean, come on now, it's a heck of a lot better then what kids are exposed to today! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs with the Special Features of:
All 56 Episodes
All 3 Bonus Half-Hour Specials
13 Episodes of the Animated Series, 'The Adventures of Paddington Bear'