One of my childhood favourites, and one that holds up
Paddington Bear as a character I have always had a fondness for. This 1989 is not quite as good as the 1997 or 1976 series, but is just as great and one of the better 80s Hanna Barbera series. The animation is smoother and more focused in the 1997 series especially in the backgrounds, but it still has some vibrant colours and well-drawn characters. The music fits with the nature of the stories wonderfully, having the right jauntiness as well as that nostalgic 80s Hanna-Barbera feel. The writing is great, very funny with a lot of charm and heart, while all the stories are wholly engaging and never dull, Paddington's well-intentioned but clumsy antics are nonetheless amusing. My first episodes were the ones with Paddington at the laundrette/theatre and Paddington at the marmalade factory, but my favourites are Bear Hugged, Calling Dr. Paddington and Please Look After This Bear. The characters and voice acting are equally memorable. Paddington is really endearing and what he does is what makes the stories so fun to watch. Charlie Adler voices him with his usual distinctive voice but is thankfully more restrained than usual. The Browns are the sort of family that you'd love to be part of, they seem so loving, while Mrs Bird is one of those characters that is firm but kindly, Georgia Brown brings those sides out very well. Mr Gruber is a lovely humble sort of character with a certain wisdom about him, yet another character who genuinely looks out after Paddington. After seeing/hearing him in funny and villainous roles as well as when he was singing, it was nice to see Hamilton Camp in a sympathetic sort of role. This show also has my personal favourite Mr Curry, not just because it has one of my favourite actors Tim Curry in somewhat dark-toned and cockney mode but as well as cracking me up in his disdain for Paddington he is the epitome of the neighbour you love to hate. So all in all, a childhood favourite that still holds up and one that I still have a lot of fondness for to this day. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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