After my article on marmalade there was no possible way I could resist writing about the iconic marmalade-munching Paddington Bear.
My introduction to this character was via the television series called, simply, Paddington. Created by Michael Bond and first broadcast in 1975, this was a stop-motion animation which, to briefly explain, begins with the kind Mr. and Mrs. Brown coming across an immigrant bear from "darkest Peru" at Paddington Station whilst waiting for their daughter Judy. The bear introduces himself and, once the Brown's discover the tag around his neck reading, "Please look after this bear. Thank you", they decide to take him in and name him after the train station. Then, through subsequent episodes, we learn how this polite, well-meaning bear has the rather unfortunate, yet humorous, tendency to get himself in to trouble.
Of note was the unique look of the series with a three-dimensional figure of Paddington animated in a two dimensional world of cut out figures and objects. Moreover, whilst the characters were depicted in colour, the backdrops were left black and white.
All in all, the beauty of the animation together with the instantly lovable character of Paddington and kind voice of the narrator made for a masterpiece of not just animation but children's television in general.
I am going to finish by referring you to the following "Paddington goes to the Movies" episode from the series which contains a Gene Kelly inspired "Singin' in the Rain" sequence that never fails to put a smile on my face.
Official Paddington Bear Website