FESTIVE FUN WITH BEARS

‘Tis the season to put your feet up with a mince pie and indulge in a Christmas movie marathon, so here for your viewing pleasure are our favourites, and they all feature teddy bears. 

Of course, we don’t mention ‘Ted’ (not our sort of bear!!), and there are bears to be found in some of the most wonderful children’s films, not least of which is the villainous ‘Lotso’ in Toy Story 3 or his absolute opposite the very charming Winnie the Pooh; but our top five choices are a broad range and we hope there is something for everyone! 

1. Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Well without the bear there would have been no romance!  

We defy anyone to make it through the Observation Deck Scene at the Empire State Building without reaching for the tissues, as Annie (Meg Ryan) pulls out Jonah’s teddy bear from the backpack, just as Sam (Tom Hanks) and Jonah emerge from the elevator to retrieve it!

Perfect Christmas viewing for old and young alike.

Watch on Amazon Prime

2. Brideshead Revisited (2008)

We all loved the amazing 1981 television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel of privilege through the 1920s to the second world war, but if you do not have the time to indulge in a whole series, we recommend the engaging film starring Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode and Ben Whishaw. Of course, for us the star is Aloysius, the teddy bear owned by the tortured Sebastian Flyte, he doesn’t get quite as much screentime as his TV series opposite but is charming none the less.

Bear ‘fun fact’ – Aloysius was inspired by poet John Betjeman’s own teddy bear, whose fabulous name was Archibald Ormsby-Gore.

Watch on Amazon Prime

3. AI (2001)

Steven Spielberg’s futuristic film set in a twenty-second century ravaged by climate change, has the robot Teddy at its heart.

Central character David (Haley Joel Osment), a prototype ‘Mecha’ child capable of experiencing love, is abandoned by his adoptive mother who must choose between sons, his only true friend is the robotic toy Teddy.

It is a dark but moving film about relationships and what it is to be human, and we think it says something very profound about a child’s relationship with a bear. It is Teddy afterall who is by David’s side for all the film’s adventures, from the terrifying scrap-heap circus to his momentous visit to Manhattan …

Watch on Amazon Prime

4. Labyrinth (1986)

Jim Henson’s movie is as much about young Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly) march to maturity as it is a quest to confront the Goblin King (David Bowie).

The symbol of her ebbing childhood is her toy-filled room (it is worth pausing to study the set and prop design) at the heart of which is Lancelot her golden mohair bear.

Frustrated by her baby brother’s constant crying, the last straw breaks when Sarah finds Toby with Lancelot in his cot; she wishes the baby would be taken by the goblins in her story book and the rest forms a curious, surreal film which really has endured the test of time to become a cult classic!

Watch on Netflix

5. Paddington 1 & 2 (2014 & 2107)

We absolutely love the Paddington Movies so we’ll finish our top 5 with a cheeky two for one!

Perfect family films, which are fun to watch whether you have children in the room or not! Settled in with the Brown family, Paddington is a bear who spreads joy and marmalade wherever he goes and these two films are classic stories of love and adventure which capture the heart of Michael Bond’s books … we hear there is another film in production and can’t wait.

Canterbury Bears Paddington

If you want your very own Paddington made by Canterbury Bears, pop along to the eponymous shop at Paddington Station and remember to ask for their Canterbury Bear.

The films will be shown on BBC One on 26th & 27th December 2021


PAWS FOR THOUGHT

The Great Teddy Bear Project Update:

The Auctioned Celebrity Bears (read more about the project here and in the previous blog post) sold for almost £20,000 in support of Together for Short Lives.  Christmas is an incredibly difficult time for the families this charity supports and so our ‘moment’s pause’ is to wish them respite and warmth through the festive season. 

We have a sweepstake raffle running for the last ‘Big Celebrity Bear’ and tickets are available at £5 each until 16th December 2021.  Buy Tickets Here.


NEXT TIME: A Journey Through Time …

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