Story

Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) is a special bear who loves marmalade sandwiches and lives in deepest darkest Peru with his aunt (Imelda Staunton) and uncle (Michael Gambon). When an earthquake destroys their home, Paddington is forced to relocate to London to find a new family to live with.

The Brown family find Paddington alone at Paddington Station and reluctantly let him come home with them. Much to the horror of Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville), Mrs Brown (Sally Hawkins) promises to help Paddington find his explorer friend. Paddington hopes this friend might give him a home.

Meanwhile, Millicent (Nicole Kidman), an evil museum taxidermist, finds out about Paddington. She wants to find him so she can stuff him and put him in her museum. When Paddington is kidnapped, the Brown family realise how much they love him. They must try to save him. 

Themes

Kidnapping; loss of a family member; cruelty to animals; natural disasters

Violence

Paddington has some violence. For example:

  • Millicent tries to shoot Paddington several times. She eventually succeeds in shooting him with a tranquilizer gun.
  • An explorer points a shot gun at Paddington’s uncle but doesn’t shoot.
  • Millicent slaps her assistant in the face.
  • Millicent threatens to cut up Paddington with knives and stuff him.
  • Millicent hangs a taxi driver upside down and threatens him with a knife. Then she throws him in the water.
  • Millicent tries to burn Paddington in a furnace but he manages to escape.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Paddington has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • At the beginning of the movie there is an earthquake that destroys Paddington’s home in Peru. This might be scary for young children as the screen shakes and trees crash down everywhere. It also seems that Paddington’s uncle dies in the earthquake, because searchers can find only his hat.
  • Paddington is alone at Paddington Station in London. People are busily rushing around him and he looks scared.
  • There are many slapstick comedy scenes in this movie where Paddington accidentally falls off things, sets fire to the kitchen and floods the bathroom. Although these scenes are meant to be funny, some children might find them scary.
  • At one stage it looks like Paddington might be sent to an orphanage. There’s a shot of a scary-looking orphanage surrounded by thunder and lightning.
  • When they’re on an underground train, Mr Brown tells Paddington that there are ‘thieves, murderers and pickpockets on every platform’.
  • Paddington accidentally sets fire to the kitchen, and Millicent has a fireball explode in her face.
  • Paddington runs away from the Brown family and sleeps alone on a bench. He looks scared and frightened.
  • Mr Brown dangerously climbs up the outside of a building and almost falls.

From 5-8
Children in this age group might also be scared or disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.

From 8-13
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.

Over 13
Nothing of concern

Sexual references

Paddington has some sexual references, including when Mr Brown disguises himself as a cleaning lady. A security guard leers at him and calls him ‘sexy’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Paddington shows some use of substances, including when Mrs Bird gets the security guard drunk with shots of whisky. They drink one shot and, when the scene comes back to them, they’re drunk, with two empty bottles.

Nudity and sexual activity

Paddington has some mild sexual activity, including when Mr and Mrs Brown share a passionate kiss.

Product placement

There is no product placement of concern in the movie, but plenty of associated merchandise is being marketed to children. 

Coarse language

Paddington has some coarse language that children might copy.

Ideas to discuss with your children

The movie Paddington is based on the well-known children’s books by Michael Bond. It’s a funny and heart-warming movie about being kind to strangers and learning that it’s OK to be different.

Paddington is ideal for children aged over seven years. Despite its G rating, this movie isn’t recommended for children aged under five years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-7 years. This is because of the violent and scary elements in the movie. Our reviewer reports that several young children were scared at the preview she attended.

These are the main messages from Paddington:

  • It’s OK to be different, and it’s important to accept others who are different.
  • Families should stick together.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include kindness and politeness.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the treatment of animals and the real-life consequences of poaching.