Marmalade Madness? Judge Roy Hrab prefers Pomade Madness.
"Please look after this bear. Thank you."
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"
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.)
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.
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