|First appearance||13 October 1958 |
"A Bear Called Paddington"
|Created by|| Michael Bond |
(owned by Paddington and Company)
(now subsidiary of StudioCanal)
|Family||Aunt Lucy |
Paddington Bear is a fictional character in children's literature. He first appeared on 13 October 1958 in the children's book A Bear Called Paddington and has been featured in more than twenty books written by British author Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum and other artists.
The friendly bear from "darkest Peru"—with his old hat, battered suitcase, duffel coat and love of marmalade—has become a classic character from British children's literature.An anthropomorphised bear, Paddington is always polite – addressing people as "Mr", "Mrs" and "Miss", rarely by first names – and kindhearted, though he inflicts hard stares on those who incur his disapproval. He has an endless capacity for innocently getting into trouble, but he is known to "try so hard to get things right." He was discovered in London Paddington station, by the (human) Brown family who adopted him, and thus he gives his full name as "Paddington Brown" (his original Peruvian name being too hard for them to pronounce).
As of June 2016, the Paddington Bear franchise was owned by Vivendi's StudioCanal. Bond, however, continued to own the publishing rights to his series, which was licensed to HarperCollins in April 2017 (two months before his death) for the next six years (up to 2023).
Paddington books have been translated into 30 languages across 70 titles and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. A much loved fictional character in the UK, a Paddington Bear soft toy was chosen by British tunnelers as the first item to pass through to their French counterparts when the two sides of the Channel Tunnel were linked in 1994.Paddington Bear has been adapted for television, films and appeared in commercials. The critically acclaimed and commercially successful films Paddington (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017) were both nominated for the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film.
Michael Bond based Paddington Bear on a lone teddy bear he noticed on a shelf in a London store near Paddington Station on Christmas Eve 1956, which he bought as a present for his wife. He may have also been inspired by the sight, during World War II, of Jewish refugee children from Europe, or of London children being evacuated to the countryside.
The bear inspired Bond to write a story; and, in ten days, he had written the first book. The book was given to his agent, Harvey Unna. A Bear Called Paddington was first published on 13 October 1958 by William Collins & Sons.
The first Paddington Bear stuffed toy to be manufactured was created in 1972 by Gabrielle Designs, a small business run by Shirley and Eddie Clarkson, with the prototype made as a Christmas present for their children Joanna and Jeremy Clarkson (who later became a well-known British TV presenter and writer).
Shirley Clarkson dressed the stuffed bear in Wellington boots to help it stand upright.(Paddington received Wellingtons for Christmas in Paddington Marches On, 1964.) The earliest bears wore small children's boots manufactured by Dunlop Rubber until production could not meet demand. Gabrielle Designs then produced their boots with paw prints moulded into the soles.
Shirley Clarkson's bookdescribes the evolution of the toy Paddington from Christmas gift to subject of litigation and ultimately commercial success.
In the first story, Paddington is found at Paddington railway station in London by the Brown family, sitting on his suitcase with a note attached to his coat that reads "Please look after this bear. Thank you." Bond has said that his memories of newsreels showing trainloads of child evacuees leaving London during World War II, with labels around their necks and their possessions in small suitcases, prompted him to do the same for Paddington.
Paddington arrives as a stowaway coming from "Darkest Peru", sent by his Aunt Lucy (one of only a few known relatives aside from an Uncle Pastuzo who gave Paddington his hat),who has gone to live in the Home for Retired Bears in Lima. He claims, "I came in a lifeboat, and ate marmalade. Bears like marmalade." He tells them that no-one can understand his Peruvian name, so the Browns decide to call him Paddington after the railway station in which he was found. Paddington's Peruvian name is ultimately revealed to be "Pastuso" (not to be confused with his "Uncle Pastuzo").
Bond originally wanted Paddington to have "travelled from darkest Africa", but his agent advised him that there were no bears in Africa, and thus it was amended to Peru, home of the spectacled bear.
They take him home to 32 Windsor Gardens near Notting Hill. While there is a real Windsor Gardens off Harrow Road between Notting Hill and Maida Vale (close to the location as described in the books) the Windsor Gardens in the book is fictitious and does not resemble the real road.Paddington frequents the nearby Portobello Road market, where he is respected by the shopkeepers for driving a hard bargain.
When he gets annoyed with someone, he often gives them one of his special "hard stares" (taught to him by Aunt Lucy), which causes them to become flushed and embarrassed. Paddington's adventures usually arise from him misunderstanding something and trying to right (what he perceives to be) unfair or unjust situations. This typically ends with him messing things up in some way. But in all his adventures, he ends up on top and everyone involved can laugh about it. (A notable exception to this rule is the Browns' next-door neighbour Mr Curry, who, in every adventure, ends up in trouble.)
The stories follow Paddington's adventures and mishaps in England, along with some snippets of information about his past. For instance, one story reveals that Paddington was orphaned in an earthquake,before being taken in and raised by his Aunt Lucy.
There is a recurring cast of characters, all of whom are in some way entangled in Paddington's misadventures. These include:
The first book, A Bear Called Paddington, was published in 1958. Although the books are divided into chapters and each book has a time frame, the stories all work as stand-alone stories, and many of them were used like this in the TV series. In order of publication the titles are:
The fourteenth collection of the main series includes these stories:
This picture book is the finale of the original Paddington series.
It was finished before Michael Bond's death. The final book in the "Paddington" series to be written by the creator himself was released on 27 June 2018 to mark the anniversary of the day that Michael Bond died and the 60th anniversary of "A Bear Called Paddington".
Author Michael Bond was also a BBC TV cameraman who worked on the popular children's television programme Blue Peter . After this was revealed in 1965, a special Paddington story, in which he got mixed up in the programme itself, appeared in the Blue Peter Annuals for many years. They were collected in the novel-length Paddington's Blue Peter Story Book in 1973. A second book based around Blue Peter was titled Paddington on Screen.
The first TV adaptation of Paddington was a serialised reading of The Adventures of Paddington Bear by Thora Hird for Jackanory in 1966. The 15-minute episodes were broadcast over five afternoons from 14 March 1966. No episodes survive in the BBC archives.
ITV’s answer to Jackanory was Once Upon a Time, which featured three readings by Ian Carmichael in 1968 and a fourth in 1970. The episodes do not survive in the ITV archives.
Christmas Eve 1970 saw a reading of Paddington's Christmas by John Bird. The episode no longer exists the BBC archives.
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The BBC television series Paddington , written by Michael Bond and directed and animated by Ivor Wood at London-based animation company FilmFair, was the first broadcast on 5 January 1976.The storylines were based on comedic incidents from the books, chosen to appeal to the TV audience which included much younger children than those the books were written for.
This series had an extremely distinctive appearance: Paddington was a stop-motion puppet moving in a three-dimensional space in front of two-dimensional backgrounds (which were frequently sparse black-and-white line drawings), while all other characters were 2D drawings. In one scene, Mr Brown is seen to hand Paddington a jar of marmalade that becomes 3D when Paddington touches it. Animator Ivor Wood also worked on The Magic Roundabout , The Wombles and Postman Pat . The series was narrated by Michael Hordern.
In the United States, episodes aired on PBS, on the syndicated series Romper Room , on Nickelodeon as a segment on the programme Pinwheel and on USA Network as a segment on the Calliope (TV series) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as in between preschool programming on The Disney Channel as a segment on the program Lunch Box from the late 1980s into the 1990s.The series also aired on HBO in between features, usually when they were airing children's programmes. The series won a silver medal at the New York Film and Television Festival in 1979; the first British animated series to do so.
Buena Vista Home Video released 6 volumes of episodes for NTSC/Region 1 Format:
In 2011, Mill Creek Entertainment under the licence of Cookie Jar Entertainment released the complete original 1975 Paddington Bear series on DVD. The 3-disc set also featured three half-hour television specials, "Paddington Birthday Bonanza", "Paddington Goes To School" and "Paddington Goes to the Movies" along with 15 bonus episodes of The Wombles and Huxley Pig . It also had special features for children on DVD-ROM.
Paddington Bear's 1989 television series was the first by a North American company, Hanna-Barbera, a co-production with Central Independent Television. This series was traditional two-dimensional animation and featured veteran voice actor Charlie Adler as Paddington and Tim Curry as Mr Curry. The character of an American boy named David, Jonathan and Judy Brown's cousin who arrived in London on the same day as Paddington, was added to the stories in the 1989 cartoon.
Cinar Films produced the third series, which was first broadcast in 1997 and consisted of traditional two-dimensional colour animation. The show was called The Adventures of Paddington Bear .
Paddington Bear also appeared in "The Official BBC Children in Need Medley" with Peter Kay along with several other animated characters. In the video, Paddington makes a grand appearance by winking at the cameramen when they take photos of him; Kay tries to put a cloak on Paddington, but it keeps sliding off. He also joins the rest of the group for the final act.
StudioCanal made a TV series based on the live-action Paddington films. The studio teamed with David Heyman and Nickelodeon to make the series with animation studio Blue-Zoo, with the working title of Paddington and Ben Whishaw reprising the role from the two live-action films. The series officially came out December 20, 2019.
In 1975, Alamo Mode released a stop motion film called A Bear Called Paddington (1975).
In September 2007, Warner Bros. and producer David Heyman announced a film adaptation of Paddington Bear. Hamish McColl, who penned Mr Bean's Holiday , would write the script. The film would not be an adaptation of an existing story, but "draw inspiration from the whole series" and feature a computer animated Paddington Bear interacting with a live-action environment.Colin Firth had been announced to voice Paddington, however he announced his withdrawal on 17 June 2014, saying: "It’s been bittersweet to see this delightful creature take shape and come to the sad realization that he simply doesn’t have my voice". In July 2014, it was announced that Ben Whishaw had replaced Firth.
On 25 June 2012, an official teaser poster was released for the film,stating that it would be released during 2014. A trailer was subsequently released confirming the release to be 28 November 2014. On 17 November 2014, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the film a PG certificate and advised parents that the film contained "dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, [and] mild bad language". Paul King, the film's director, told BBC reporter Tim Muffett: "I'm not surprised about that [the PG certificate] but I don't think it's a PG for sexiness. That I would find very odd". Paddington's creator, Michael Bond, said he was "totally amazed" at the BBFC's advice. After the film's distributor challenged the certification, the BBFC revised the wording of its parental guidance, replacing "mild sex references" with "innuendo". It also further qualified the "mild bad language" as "infrequent", saying it referred to "a single mumbled use of 'bloody'".
To celebrate the release of the film, the Paddington Trail was launched.From 4 November until 30 December 2014, 50 Paddington statues were placed around London close to museums, parks, shops and key landmarks. The statues have been created by artists, designers and celebrities, including supermodel Kate Moss, actress Nicole Kidman, and Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville. As the lead charity partner of The Paddington Trail, the NSPCC held an online auction in November and a live auction in December for the statues. All proceeds from the sale went to charity.
During 2015, it was announced that the studio was in talks with the producer about a sequel.The sequel, titled Paddington 2 , was released on 10 November 2017 in the UK to universal acclaim.
Paddington was featured on the Royal Mail 1st class stamp in the Animal Tales series released on 10 January 2006 and had previously been featured on one of the 1st class Greetings Messages stamps, released on 1 February 1994.
There is a Paddington Bear themed hotel in Lawrence Block's The Burglar in the Rye (1999).
Paddington Bear featured in the Marmite UK TV advertisement (first broadcast on 13 September 2007),in which he tries a marmite and cheese sandwich instead of his traditional marmalade sandwich.
On 13 October 2008, Google celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Paddington publication by placing an image of the travelling bear with a sign showing Peru and London incorporated into Google's logo.
In November 2014, a balloon with Paddington Bear was introduced in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
A song about Paddington Bear, "Shine" was released on 13 January 2015 by Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams.
As part of the promotion of film and to celebrate cross-cultural links between the UK and Peru, the British embassy and StudioCanal commissioned a statue of Paddington in Parque Salazar in the Miraflores district of the Peruvian capital, which was unveiled in July 2015.
Paddington Bear is also used in marketing for Robertson's, on the label of their Golden Shred marmalade.
The 2017 Marks and Spencer Christmas advertisement for television shows Paddington mistaking a petty criminal for Santa Claus and helping him right the wrong by returning the gifts to their rightful owners.
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Thomas Michael Bond was a British author. He is best known for a series of fictional stories for children, featuring the character of Paddington Bear. More than 35 million Paddington books have been sold around the world, and the characters have also been featured in film and on television. His first book was published in 1958 and his last in 2017, a span of 59 years.
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The Adventures of Paddington Bear is a Canadian-French animated children's television series. It is based on the book Paddington Bear by Michael Bond and was written by Bruce Robb. It was produced by CINAR Corporation and Protecrea, in association with FilmFair, in co-production with Canal J, and with the participation of Teletoon, TF1 and ITV.
Paddington is a 1976–1980 children's animated television series based on the Paddington Bear books by Michael Bond. The series was scripted by Bond himself, and produced by FilmFair; it was narrated by Michael Hordern, who also voiced all of the characters.
FilmFair was a production company and animation studio that produced children's television series, animated cartoons, educational films, and television advertisements. The company made numerous stop-motion films using puppets, clay animation, and cutout animation.
Paddington Bear is a 1989–1990 American/British animated television series. It was the second television adaptation of the children's book series, following the 1976–1980 Paddington.
Paddington is a 2014 live-action animated comedy film written and directed by Paul King from a story by King and Hamish McColl and produced by David Heyman. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear created by Michael Bond, the film stars Ben Whishaw as the voice of the title character, with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman in live-action roles. The film tells the story of the eponymous character Paddington, an anthropomorphic bear who migrates from the jungles of Peru to the streets of London, where he is adopted by the Brown family. Kidman plays the role of a taxidermist, who attempts to add him to her collection.
Paddington 2 is a 2017 live-action animated comedy film directed by Paul King and written by King and Simon Farnaby. Based on the stories of Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond, it is the sequel to Paddington (2014), and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal UK. The film, a British-French co-production, stars Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Hugh Grant in live-action roles. In the film, Paddington tries to get a present for his aunt's birthday, but when the gift is stolen he is arrested and imprisoned for the theft, and his family have to find the real culprit and prove Paddington's innocence.
The statue of Paddington Bear at London Paddington station is a bronze sculpture by Marcus Cornish. Erected in 2000, it marks the association between Michael Bond's fictional bear and the station from which his name derives.
The Adventures of Paddington is a French-British animated television series co-produced by StudioCanal and Heyday Films, with the participation of Nickelodeon, M6 and Piwi+. Animation for the series is produced by Blue-Zoo and Superprod. The series is based on the Paddington Bear franchise. The series currently airs on Nickelodeon internationally all through the world, while in France, the series airs on Gulli and later on M6 and Piwi+.
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