There’s a moment in the film Paddington that you should recognize from your typical modern family film. You should recognize it, but it’s not quite what you’re used to.
Early in the film, there’s a chase scene in which Paddington crosses paths with a thief. Many live-action “kids’ movies” have similar set pieces, but few handle them the way this film does. The chase doesn’t rush. It unfolds. It takes its time to reveal its delights. It trusts its audience. It’s not built on mayhem, but on something we don’t see as often as I’d like: a sense of surprise and wonder and charm and joy.
And that’s the beauty of the film.