Available February 2011 under the title Paddington Bear: The Complete Classic Series, the old school Paddington (1975) production should make for an interesting purchase both for parents of a more conservative mindset as well as for aging cartoon aficionados easing the pang of nostalgia. Paddington's story, derived from an original series of children's books by Michael Bond (writer) and Peggy Fortnum (illustrator), begins with the gentle bear arriving in London, England, after having stowed away on a boat from his home in Peru.
Taken in by a kindhearted family, the Browns, Paddington slowly becomes familiar with the city. Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their two children have a heart of gold, and teach the curious bear everything from washing his clothes to to cleaning a chimney.
Paddington was a short-form series, with five-minute episodes. The program debuted in 1975 in the UK, running for fifty-six episodes and three TV specials, over the course of the next eleven years.
Distributed by Mill Creek Entertainment, the DVD Set release of Paddington-classic will include the entire series as well as the three specials. The three-disc set will be available February 15th ($14.98); runtime 487 minutes.
As Paddington adjusts to life in London, he tries his hardest to get along with his new foster family and their many neighbors. However, whether he's baking a cake or attempting to shop the best bargain stores, Paddington always has a funny way of letting things get out of hand. The series' three TV specials included: Paddington Goes to the Movies (1980), Paddington Goes to School (1985), and Paddington's Birthday Bonanza (1986).
Visually, Paddington is more of a mixed-media title: the production filmed a stuffed bear (Paddington) via stop-motion, mingling and engaging clever sets of buildings and characters that were 2D papery cut-outs. The resulting experiences was a bit surreal, but entirely fascinating. Paddington weaved in and around these two-dimensional settings on a three-dimensional plane, teasing audiences with the juxtaposition of the bear's bigness with his humility. Paddington's camera work and production design, then at the hands of Filmfair Productions, elevated the cartoon's emphasis on humor or brevity with relative ease and exceptionality. Additional versions of Paddington's adventures would follow, from other production studios, in the eighties and nineties.
Past Mill Creek Animation News:
"Cookie Jar Animation News" at AnimationInsider.net (03/2010)
Recent Old School Animation News:
"WB Places The Phantom Tollbooth Animation on-Demand" at AnimationInsider.net (12/2010)
"Rock & Rule Returns, Hits Blu-ray Disc" at AnimationInsider.net (08/2010)
"Fantasy Forgotten: 25 Years of The Black Cauldron" at AnimationInsider.net (08/2010)