You know how two weeks ago I said that I was really stressed and there was a lot on my plate and after about two weeks it will be alright? Well, turns out that is exactly what happened. I have been self-actualizing my butt off the past few days. I might even be able to produce some extra content this week (like livestreaming gameplay) which is exciting since I usually don’t have a ton of free time.
Last week was Zelda theme week, and it was a lot of fun to play all of my favorite childhood Zelda songs. It was really stressful to produce, but quite rewarding having people come check out the videos. If you want to check them out here is a link (no pun intended) to a playlist of the entire theme week. I hope to do more theme weeks and more themed content in the future. If I can muster up 7 spooky songs, I’ll play them leading up to Halloween.
That is just a meta sidenote though. Here is the real content.
One (summer?) afternoon my brother and I were hanging out and we wanted to go see a movie. There wasn’t anything we wanted to see in the normal movie theater, so we checked out the dollar theater. Now I don’t actually remember what that theater was called, but the reason we called it the dollar theater is because they showed month or so old movies for about a dollar (maybe two).
We arrived and there wasn’t anything there that really grabbed our attention. A whole bunch of (what we thought were) mediocre movies. We were there though. We parked. We weren’t going back. We were dedicated to this movie-going cause.
So we pick Paddington, it was the least worst looking movie out of the bunch. We didn’t know what to expect, we never read any Paddington growing up, neither of us looked up any plot or read any reviews, and the trailer made it just seem like a cheesy bear comedy.
I now define my life as pre-Paddington and post-Paddington.
It is a cheesy bear comedy. But really it is a lighthearted, family-friendly movie where a polite and tragically displaced bear gets adopted by a slightly dysfunctional family. And through the magic that is children’s movies, every family problem is resolved by putting a wild animal into the household.
Aside from the stock plot that I described above this movie has a lot going for it. It has subtle humor, it has over the top humor, it has fun family moments, and unbearable puns to boot. On top of the family being dysfunctional there is also an arc where a taxidermist tries to hunt the bear throughout the town of London (and fails miserably every time), giving the movie some good action.
What takes this movie from great to transcendent though is the underlying arc throughout the entire movie.
Paddington is a bear. In London. Who can talk. And wears people clothes.
Throughout the entire movie they forget about this fact. If I saw a bear walking around in people clothes I would be utterly shocked. The movie doesn’t do that though, it knows that if it had to constantly explain itself then there wouldn’t be any time for actual plot. Instead what we get from the movie are scenes where they make fun of the fact that everyone so nonchalantly accepts this bear.
Although that shock and awe factor doesn’t exist, there still is an underlying theme of Paddington trying to fit into human society. The whole concept of “I want to be a real boy” exists in so many movies and this one isn’t an exception. Throughout the whole movie they do a great job at making him wear people clothes, making him more understanding of human society, and making his character more human.
Let’s review. What do we have so far:
- A movie that is genuinely fun and entertaining.
- A movie that has moral lessons in it.
- A movie that doesn’t take itself seriously in just the right places.
- A movie where the main character is learning to fit in.
And so the movie is wrapping up. Hooray, the taxidermist’s plans are foiled, the family is functional and happy, and Paddington feels like he is an actual human-equivalent member of society.
And then the final scene comes to a close and Paddington is reflecting on the adventure. The whole movie is supporting the idea that Paddington might as well be human.
Mrs Brown says that in London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in. I think she must be right – because although I don’t look like anyone else, I really do feel at home.
And there it is, the most heartwarming thing you have ever heard (but in this case I guess it’s read). He is a bear and yet he could still fit in, anyone can feel at home, anyone can belong to society. Paddington’s adventure can finally be replaced with a small boy and you would see no difference from here on out. And that’s the end of Padd-
Except it isn’t. There is one more line in the movie.
I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright, because I’m a bear. A bear called Paddington.
The entire movie they don’t point it out, they try to make him more human, they end it with him being the equivalent of a functional human member of society. And finally as everything wraps up they slap you with one last zinger.
HE IS A BEAR
They have an entire movie to point out the absurdity of this bear getting along with society, and throughout it they decide to hold back that punch, instead dropping little crumbs of reality here and there. And then the end comes and they make, not just anyone, but the main character say how utterly absurd the entire plot of this movie is.
This is the reason why Paddington is one of my most favorite movies of all time.