September 9th is National Teddy Bear Day and we're celebrating it by highlighting some of our favorite bears from over the years. Click to read up on five famous bears in literature and television!
Just weeks after releasing into theaters, Paddington 2 has won over many critics, earning a certified 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and receiving 164 consecutive fresh reviews, shoving long time favorite film Toy Story 2 into second place with its meager 163 fresh reviews.
Though the beloved childhood classic has received critical acclaim for decades, the success of Paddington 2 offers a pretty big win for adaptations.
The success of Paddington 2 falls into line with the critical acclaim of its predecessor, Paddington (2015). Directed by the same director, Paul King, the film saw critical and cultural embrace. Of the sequel, film critic Courtney Howard said, “With a heartening, valuable and wholesome message, coupled with dazzling animation and a smashing dose of whimsical hilarity and fun, [Paddington 2] is an unforgettable cinematic gift.”
Adapted from the beloved children’s series written by Michael Bond, the Paddington series follows a lovable bear (named Paddington) who ventures off to England in search for a new home after his previous one is destroyed. The series (and film counterparts) detail his adventures and escapades along the way.
Image via StudioCanal
Paul King, director of Paddington 2 and its predecessor, expressed joy at seeing the handiwork of his team receiving such recognition. He said,
The Paddington films are a real labour of love. So many people pour their hearts and souls into them for months or even years, hand-crafting every last frame, and we are all incredibly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had so far.
The recognition Paddington 2 has received is important, as it emphasizes the success adaptations can have on the big screen. The work King and other directors have done to effectively portray incredible stories like Paddington introduce audiences to the worlds and characters that authors have created. In turn, the acclaim and recognition that adaptations received can transfer interest to their source material. All in all, it offers a big win for the incredible authors whose work has touched us so deeply.
Feature Image Via StudioCanal
January is finally here. At least here in New York, that means the snowstorms will slowly ramp up until my back will 100% break from shoveling. But also, January has good things in it, such as New Year’s Day, when we all sit around hungover and anticipate all the things we’ll accomplish in the coming twelve months.
Best of all, January has four Fridays. That means four opportunities to go to the movies and see our favorite books come to life. Here are the movie adaptations you can get hyped for this January.
Image Via FilmWonk
Based on Molly Bloom’s memoir of the same name, Molly’s Game tells the true story of Bloom’s time running the most exclusive poker games for about a decade before getting arrested by the FBI. Jessica Chastain stars alongside Idris Elba.
Image Via OpenAir Cinemas
The sequel to 2014’s Paddington, Paddington 2 continues the adventures of Michael Bond’s classic bear. This one is looking good, sitting at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and people say the first one is excellent as well. Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, and Hugh Grant star, with Ben Whishaw voicing Paddington Bear.
Image Via Teaser Trailer
Based on Doug Stanton’s non-fiction book Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong is the story of a 12 member team deployed in Afghanistan following the September 11th attacks, where they fight using unconventional tactics. Such as ride horses. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Michael Peña.
Mary and The Witch’s Flower
Image Via Studio Ponoc
Based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, Mary and The Witch’s Flower is a little bit like Cinderella, except instead of becoming a princess for a night, Mary becomes a witch for a night. Sounds like a better deal. This is the first feature film from Studio Ponoc, which was founded by former Studio Ghibli animator Yoshiaki Nishimura.
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Image Via Flickering Myth
The much-anticipated finale to the Maze Runner series, based on James Dashner’s novels, The Death Cure promises a fiery conclusion. You can expect more mazes in this one, as the characters must infiltrate the famed Last City. Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, and Patricia Clarkson star.
Feature Image Via IMDb
Hot off the success of Paddington 2, which has been sitting merrily atop the box office charts in the UK since its release, StudioCanal have announced they will be responsible for bringing Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree to the silver screen. This is great because the Paddington movies are wonderful. Please see my further thoughts on this here.
Me, climbing totally on board with this new adaptation | Via Giphy
The Faraway Tree series was a favorite of mine as a kid, though I recall one of my childhood best friends dismissing it as ‘twee.’ (She did actually use that word at age ten, which in itself is very twee but however.) Maybe it is a bit twee, but it’s also pretty funny and has wonderful characters with names like ‘Moon-Face’ and ‘The Saucepan Man.’ What’s not to love? The story follows a group of children (one of whom is named Fanny and I wonder if this will be kept for the modern adaptation) who discover a wonderful, nebulous tree in the Enchanted Forest, which is home to various wonderful, colorful characters.
Sam Mendes and Pippa Harris first began plotting to adapt Enid Blyton’s beloved 1943 classic in 2014, with their company Neal Street Productions. Simon Farnaby, who wrote the new Paddington film, will write the Enid Blyton adaptation.
Image Via The Enid Blyton Society
Farnaby has said “The Magic Faraway Tree books are a firework display of the imagination. The pages are lit up with wonderful characters, humor, peril and adventure,” while Danny Perkins, CEO of StudioCanal UK, has called Blyton’s work “timeless,” saying that it was “not unlike” the work of Michael Bond, who created Paddington. “We very much look forward to bringing enduring family classics to audiences worldwide.”
I’m such an advocate of the Paddington films that I have no doubt at all this adaptation will be just beautiful.
Featured Images Via Amazon
Paddington: adorable bear, attracter of shenanigans, toddler fashion icon, passionate advocate of the marmalade sandwich. What’s not to love? After many, many years and many, many adventures, the Paddington books are finally drawing to a close, with the last in the series announced for next year.
The final Paddington Bear book, Paddington at St. Paul’s, will be released in July of 2018, the one year anniversary of the death of creator Michael Bond. The story will follow Paddington as he is mistaken for a choirboy during a visit to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
In an interview with BBC, Bond’s daughter, Karen Jankel, said that the idea for the story came about after Sir David Attenborough read aloud a piece by Bond at the Queen’s ninetieth birthday celebrations in St. Paul’s Cathedral. Bond finished the story just before he died.
Via The Telegraph
Jankel explained that her father wrote his whole life, and she couldn’t imagine him not writing. The first Paddington book was published two months after she was born, and some of her own exploits, such as her attempts at learning to drive a car, ended up influencing some of Paddington’s subsequent adventures.
When asked if she could see the character of Paddington being handed off to another author in order for his adventures to continue, she said no. “My father had the magic touch…and I don’t think he wanted anybody to continue writing the stories after he died. But he wrote so many of them.”
There may not be any further Paddington books, but the news of the final book coincides with the release of the second Paddington motion picture, about which I am EXTREMELY EXCITED. The first Paddington film was absolutely charming and judging by how much I laughed (cried) at the trailer, I’m pretty sure the sequel is going to be just as good.
Featured Image Via Prue Batten