Country of origin United Kingdom
Running time 5 min.
First episode date 5 January 1976
Starring Michael Hordern
No. of episodes 56 + 3 specials
Production company(s) FilmFair
Networks BBC, CBBC, BBC One
|Distributor CINAR (1996–2004)
Cookie Jar Group (2004–2012)
DHX Media (2012–present)
Nominations Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children's Program
Cast Michael Hordern, Joel Grey, Tim Curry
Paddington Bear is a series of British animated shorts based on the Paddington Bear book series by Michael Bond produced by FilmFair. This was the first television series based on the popular children's book Paddington Bear. In the United States it was usually shown on pay television as filler in between programmes. Its narrator was actor Michael Hordern. The series has a very distinctive art style. Paddington himself is a stop-motion animated puppet who moves within a 3-dimensional space and interacts with 2-dimensional animated drawings of the human characters, buildings, etc.
Series One (episodes 1 to 30, entitled Paddington) was aired on the BBC1 in 1976 (having been produced the previous year), and Series Two (episodes 31 to 56, entitled The Adventures of Paddington) between 1978 and 1979, with specials airing in 1980, 1984 and 1986. Internationally, episodes of the series aired in the United States 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 Calliope (TV series) in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as well as in between preschool programming on The Disney Channel as a segment on the programme Lunch Box from the late 1980s into the 1990s. The series also aired on HBO in between features, usually when they were airing children's programmes. It was also aired on the ABC in Australia in the early 1980s.
A 21-minute special in which Paddington goes to the movies. On leaving, in the street outside complete with umbrella, he performs Gene Kelly's famous dance routine from Singin' in the Rain. Original Air Date: 15 March 1983
A 25-minute special in which Paddington is forced to go to school when a truant officer says that he must go since he is "of age". Includes a scene in which he performs Flight of the Bumblebee on a violin. In this episode, colour has been added to all the 2-D animation and backgrounds. Original Air Date: 3 January 1985.
A 24-minute special in which Paddington finds himself in trouble as he becomes a one-man band to raise money to buy Mr. Brown's birthday present. Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan... In this episode colour has been added to all the 2-D animation and backgrounds. Additionally, this is the first and only episode where the animated characters' mouths actually move when they speak. This is also the series finale. Original Air Date: 26 December 1987
In popular culture
Paddington is seen in four adverts for Marmite in the late 2000s.
In Region 2, Abbey Home Media Group released the entire series on DVD in the UK on 23 June 2008. The 2-disc set features all 56 shorts as well as the 3 specials.
In Region 1, Mill Creek Entertainment (under licence from Cookie Jar Group) released the complete series on DVD on 15 February 2011 in a 3-disc set entitled Paddington Bear- The Complete Classic Series.