Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Paddington (1975) The Bear Facts

The BBC television series Paddington, produced by Michael Bond and London-based animation company Film Fair, was first broadcast in 1975. This series had an extremely distinctive appearance: Paddington was a stop-motion puppet moving in a three dimensional space in front of two-dimensional backgrounds (which were frequently sparse black-and-white line drawings), while all other characters were 2D drawings — in one scene, a character hands Paddington a jar of marmalade that becomes 3D when Paddington touches it. Animator Ivor Wood also worked on The Magic Roundabout and Postman Pat. The series was narrated by Michael Hordern. In the United States, episodes aired on PBS, on the syndicated series Romper Room, on Nickelodeon as a segment on the programme Pinwheel and on USA Network as a segment on the program Calliope in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as in between preschool programming on the Disney Channel throughout the 1990s. The series also aired on HBO in between features, usually when they were airing children's programmes. The series won a silver medal at the New York Film and Television Festival in 1979 — the first British animated series to do so.

A second television series, produced by Hanna - Barbera, debuted in 1989 as part of The funtastic world of Hanna - Barbera. This series was traditional two-dimensional animation and featured veteran voice actor Charlie Adler as Paddington and Tikm Curry as Mr. Curry. The character of an American boy named David, Jonathan and Judy Brown's cousin who arrived in London on the same day as Paddington, was added to the stories in the 1989 cartoon.

The most recent series, produced by Cinar Films, was first broadcast in 1997 and consisted of traditional two-dimensional colour animation. The show was called The Adventures of Paddington Bear.

Paddington Bear also appeared in The Official BBC Children In Need Medley with Peter Kay along with several other animated characters. In the video, Paddington makes a grand appearance by winking at the cameramen when they take photos of him; Kay tries to put a cloak on Paddington, but it keeps sliding off. He also joins the rest of the group for the final act. In the second season Christmas episode of Community Prof. Duncan talks about his tenth Christmas. He states that his mom always gave him Paddington books for Christmas.

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