of the weather, 'Singin' in the Rain'
sounded an ideal way of keeping dry..."
his first FilmFair special, Paddington is doing the weekly shopping
the Browns, when he gets caught in a storm
and finds himself blown towards
the entrance to the local Podium Cinema. And
as coincidence would have it,
"Singin' in the Rain" is the week's
movie attraction (with Reginald Clove
at the organ during the intermission). But
alas for Paddington, the
Commissionaire on the door informs that the film
currently showing is
an "A" certificate, which prevents him
from entering on his own, because
Paddington is only seven. Thus our little bear
is moved on, but as he
passes a side exit he hears music and investigates..
a whole new way of life...
What follows is Paddington's finest FilmFair
moment in which he reenacts
Gene Kelly's titular dance from that classic
MGM musical. And yes, it's that
very same song, straight out of the film.
And Paddington apes every beat
of the original rain dance. He romances his
umbrella, swings around a
lamp post, and stands under a water chute.
It even ends with a haughty
policeman watching Paddington depart, after he's
kicked his way
through the puddles...
It's a wonderful sequence, and frankly, negates
any need to take the
story any further. But because it occurs only
a third of the way into
this film special, we therefore continue with
more shenanigans at the
Podium cinema. Our young bear returns with
the Browns that very
same evening, whereupon he creates havoc with
Magi-Toff toffee that's really glue, and he
manages to get
a marmalade sandwich into the film projector. Even
so, Paddington is able
to make amends by helping Reginald Kloves
at the organ, and he and the
Browns depart with applause in their ears
and Paddington's newfound
adoration for the cinema no less diminished...
And likewise, our adoration for that magical
sequence isn't diminished.
Paddington isn't the most flexible of bears. That
stop-motion puppet has
quite stubby legs and arms that restrict his movement.
Barry Leith and his then assistant Martin
Pullen are able to get
the fellow shuffling, jumping and tapping
through the rain with terrific
aplomb. It's a class act with which to crown
a classic teatime tv series...
the cinema, Paddington reveals that his famous black hat was
given to him by his uncle
in Darkest Peru...
films discernible on the reels outside the cinema projection room
include "The Wild
Bunch", "The Wild Geese" and "This Island Earth"...
with the scissors?
"Paddington Goes to the Movies"
is Paddington's crowning FilmFair
appearance. The animation is impeccable. But
a curious object pops
into frame, 27 seconds into the film. It's
only there for the briefest of
moments, on the right-side of our screen.
Let's take a look:
Oh dear. It's a pair of scissors, left in
shot by the animators!
Birthday Bonanza (special)
a Robert Harrop figure
2008 is Paddington's 50th anniversary, don't you
know. And to
celebrate, Robert Harrop Designs have launched
a range of collectable
figures, as well as a rather desirable ltd edition
music box. But before
we get sidetracked with that beauty, in the
heart of the range is this fab
figure of Paddington taken from his famous film
special. Ain't it great?
for these figures include the fine folks at Boojog
Paddington Goes to the Movies on DVD
In the UK, this classic film is paired up with
Bonanaza" as a double-bill release:
Goes To The Movies
2 / double-bill / Abbey
Home Media / Oct 2007
Paddington Goes to the Movies
by Michael Bond
a FilmFair presentation
animated & directed by Barry
exec producer: Graham
with grateful acknowledgement
to Gene Kelly
paddington theme: Bert
music at the organ: Bill
in the Rain"
Polydor Intl GMBH
prod co-ordinator: Barrie
assistant editor: Andi
as told by: Michael