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Case Number 20846: Small Claims Court

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Paddington Bear: Marmalade Madness

Mill Creek Entertainment // 1976 // 194 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // March 6th, 2011

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All Rise...

Marmalade Madness? Judge Roy Hrab prefers Pomade Madness.

The Charge

"Please look after this bear. Thank you."

The Case

One day at Paddington Station in London, England the Brown family came across a small bear hailing from "Deepest Darkest Peru." The bear wears an old hat and duffle coat. He has a beat-up suitcase and a note pinned to his coat that states "Please look after this bear. Thank you." The bear is very polite and loves marmalade sandwiches. The Brown family decides to adopt this bear, naming him after the station: Paddington. So begins the story of the classic children's character Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond. Paddington spawned many books, a few television series, and soon, a Hollywood feature film.

Paddington Bear: Marmalade Madness is a collection of episodes from the 1970s stop-motion animation, BBC television series. The DVD contains 28 episodes from the first and second seasons of the show:

"Please Look After This Bear"
"A Bear in Hot Water"
"Paddington Goes Underground"
"A Shopping Expedition"
"Paddington and the Old Master"
"A Spot of Decorating"
"A Family Group"
"Padding Makes a Bid"
"A Disappearing Trick"
"Something Nasty in the Kitchen"
"Trouble at the Launderette"
"Too Much Off the Top"
"A Visit to the Dentist"
"Paddington Cleans Up"
"Trouble at Number Thirty Two"
"Paddington Goes Christmas Shopping"
"Mr. Curry Take a Bath"
"Paddington Turn Detective"
"Paddington and the Cold Snap"
"Trouble at the Waxworks"
"A Sticky Time"
"Paddington Hits the Jackpot"
"Paddington Hits Out"
"A Visit to the Hospital"
"Paddington Recommended"

The Paddington Bear series by BBC is a unique production that older audiences who watched the show as kids will not have forgotten. The twist is that Paddington is a three-dimensional figure while all the other characters and much of the scenery are 2D cut-out drawings. Each episode is about five minutes long and follows a strict formula:

1) Paddington focuses his attention on a particular object or activity (e.g., cooking, cleaning, a magic show, going to an auction, etc.)
2) A misadventure or mistake occurs
3) The problem is resolved (for better or worse)

Paddington is always kind and polite even when he realizes that he has bungled something. It is aimed at kids, teaching them about many activities that they will encounter as they grow-up in an amusing, but mostly realistic, steady and direct manner.

The full frame transfer is pedestrian, showing its age with soft and dull colors. If it's any consolation, the picture is clean. The 2.0 mono audio is nothing special, but the dialogue is clear.

The DVD also contains five episodes from the Huxley Pig television series. It's another stop-motion animation show, featuring the title character, Huxley, dreaming of various professions (e.g., working as a clown at the circus) and adventures (e.g., going to a haunted house).

Paddington Bear is a show that I watched as a kid, so I could be suffering from nostalgia here. It is quiet tame compared to the hyperactive fare found on Nickelodeon, making it unclear how contemporary young audiences will react. However, parents will likely prefer that their kids watch the adventures of Paddington instead of much of what passes for television for children today.

The Verdict

Not guilty.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Mill Creek Entertainment
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
• None
Running Time: 194 Minutes
Release Year: 1976
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• All Ages
• Animation
• Foreign
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Episodes


• IMDb
• PaddingtonBear.com

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