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Paddington Bear film announced

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Paddington BearPaddington Bear, the ursine star of numerous children's books, is set to make the transition to the big screen.

A film of Paddington has been on the drawing board since 2007. Originally, Warner Bros. was to be involved, but, on May 10, it was European production company StudioCanal who announced that they were teaming with Harry Potter producer David Heyman and director Paul King to make the movie. Like The Smurfs, Yogi Bear, and Garfield, the Paddington film will incorporate live-action footage and CGI.

Paddington was created by British author Michael Bond in 1958. The marmalade-eating, dufflecoat-wearing bear was found at Paddington station by the Browns, who took him into their family. Bond's stories chronicled Paddington's subsequent misadventures, and were adapted into a television series by the BBC in 1975.

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What I want is a movie of The Exploits of Mr. Saucy Squirrel and The Further Exploits of Mr. Saucy Squirrel by Woodrow Wyatt (Lord Wyatt of Weeford, 1918-1997), illustrated by Gareth Floyd, Geo. Allen & Unwin, 1976 & 1977. These are veddy British pastiches of the Paddington Bear stories. Where the Paddington Bear tales are gentle learning parables for young British children – Paddington Bear comes from Darkest Peru to London, is adopted by a middle-class family, and has humorous misadventures “helping” Mrs. Brown in her trips to the supermarket, accompanying the Brown children to elementary school, taking a bath, shopping for holiday presents, etc. – recognizable attempts of a very young child to copy older siblings and adults – Mr. Saucy Squirrel has similar experiences, but very upper-class: how to pick a fashionable tailor, how to hire a contractor to build a mansion, how to book a suite at the most exclusive hotels, how to develop a stable of racing horses, how to stock a cellar of the finest wines, how to have valuable antiques appraised, etc. The advice is designed for British 7- to 10-year-olds and is entirely realistic; but how many 7- to 10-year-olds would be in a position to take advantage of them?

“’Mr. Saucy Squirrel has an alert and enquiring mind. That is how he discovered a hoard of gold sovereigns though he did not know what they were at the time. His curiosity prompts him to live in the style of a human being and to find out what goes on in the world. His belief that everybody is entitled to have a good time provided they don’t hurt other people encouraged him to set about having a good time himself.’ The story was written for Petronella Wyatt when she was seven. Among other things it contains a great deal of information about the correct way to keep port, but, probably in deference to young Petronella’s lungs, nothing about cigars.”

http://www.aucott.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=28600&keyword=woodrow+wyatt&...

http://www.amazon.com/Further-Exploits-Mr-Saucy-Squirrel-Woodrow/dp/0048231436

Fred Patten

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