Cast: Charlie Adler, Tim Curry, Georgia Brown (VOICES)
Release Date: August 4, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7/10
A young bear ends up in London’s Paddington Station, where he is spotted sitting on an old leather suitcase outside the lost and found by a family called the Browns. Unable to resist the label around his neck that reads “PLEASE LOOK AFTER THIS BEAR. THANK YOU,” the Browns decide there is only one thing to do. They take the tired, hungry little bear home and adopt him — not as a toy or a pet, but as a child. He is then named Paddington, after the place where he was found. Since 1958, when his story was first told in Michael Bond’s classic book, Paddington Bear has delighted millions of children throughout the world. Years later, Hanna-Barbera brought Paddington to cartoon life in all his innocent, duffle-coated charm. Merrily plunging into one misadventure after another, Paddington keeps the Brown family in constant comic turmoil. But thanks to his pure heart and good luck, things always turn out all right for Paddington in the end.
Everyone’s favorite bear from Darkest Peru returns home in the Hanna-Barbera ‘Paddington Bear’ animated series which debuted in 1989 and ran for one season comprised of thirteen episodes. The first adaption of Paddington from the states, the cartoon series joins the lovably clumsy bear as he is welcomed into the home of the Brown family after they discover him alone at Paddington station with nothing but a note stating “PLEASE LOOK AFTER THIS BEAR. THANK YOU,” and fittingly name him Paddington in honor of where they found him. After settling into his new home with the Brown family, Paddington quickly finds a friend in the wise and patient Mr. Gruber and a nemesis of sorts in his short-tempered neighbor Mr. Curry, both of who often play a part in Paddington’s various misadventures and mishaps as he learns to adapt to life in a whole new world of sorts.
The beautifully animated and heartfelt ‘Paddington Bear’ cartoon series from Hanna-Barbera may have only lasted one season consisting of thirteen episodes, but thanks to the Warner Archive Collection fans can now finally own this beloved animated series in its entirety. Available on DVD for the first time ever in this 2-disc DVD collection which features all thirteen episodes together at last with surprisingly gorgeous standard definition video presentations paired with highly capable audio tracks on every episode, its DVD debut definitely doesn’t disappoint. Now fans of this animated classic can revisit it anytime they might desire on DVD, as well as have the opportunity to share the series and the ever-rewarding love, care and message of the Paddington Bear character himself to a whole new generation of fans. Not to mention all of the comedic antics and mishaps that tend to follow him everywhere he goes, whether it be a fun day out with the family to the seaside or unknowingly taking on thieves in his own home, his pure intentions always seem to help him find a way to a pleasant outcome. Featuring the voice talents of Charlie Adler as Paddington Bear and the legendary Tim Curry as Mr. Curry along with many more, it all helps to make this animated series a touching, amusing and adventurous gem worthy of the name Paddington Bear.
Overall, Warner Archive Collection’s 2-disc DVD release of ‘Paddington Bear: The Complete Series’ brings home all thirteen episodes of the short lived Hanna-Barbera animated series with impressive standard definition video presentations that look even better than most will expect, complimented by nice dual mono soundtracks that never falter or lose their way. While there may not be any bonus content included on the release, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise with the show’s age and its short life on the air, but fortunately the noteworthy video and audio presentations should still make this one well worth owning for fans of the series and of the Paddington character in particular. It’s a humorous, kind-hearted and consistently fun animated batch of outings with your favorite well-mannered bear that fans will have a lot of fun revisiting.
Warner Archive’s DVD release of ‘Paddington Bear: The Complete Series’ features a 4×3 presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio on every episode of the Hanna-Barbera animated series. The video presentations look marvelous and only surpass expectations, serving up wonderfully sharp, detailed and brightly colored presentations on all thirteen episodes of the cartoon series. They hold up nicely even during the various fast moving and heavily populated moments, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become notably affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are fantastic standard definition video presentations from Warner Archive that should downright thrill fans of this warm-hearted animated series.
The DVD release includes a 192 kbps 2.0 channel Dolby Digital mono soundtrack on all 13 episodes of the animated series. These dual-mono soundtracks do their job quite nicely and provide a smooth, clean and highly capable audio presentation on each episode of the series. They do a great job of balancing the various audio elements and never allowing the music, effects and dialogue along with the rest to clash with each other, always keeping any simultaneously occurring audio elements from negatively affecting each other and delivering a clean and quite crisp audio presentation at all times. Overall, these are great 2.0 Dolby Digital dual-mono soundtracks that sound great for what they are and definitely shouldn’t disappoint.
Warner Archive’s DVD release of ‘Paddington Bear: The Complete Series’ doesn’t include any bonus content.