Belfast Telegraph

Paddington Bear movie rating shocks creator

By Sherna Noah

Scenes showing cross-dressing flirtation and a villainous taxidermist mean the new Paddington film has been given a parental guidance (PG) certificate - to the surprise of the famous bear's creator.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) initially said the film featured "dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references (and) mild bad language".

However, it later had a change of heart after the film's distributor expressed its unease with the description, which was amended just hours later. The BBFC went on to clarify that the swearing was "infrequent" and substituted "innuendo" for "mild sex references".

The bear's 88-year-old creator Michael Bond had still to see the film by the time it was given its certificate, but was surprised by the classification advice.

The writer, who makes a cameo appearance in the film, told the Daily Mail: "I'm totally amazed."

"I'd be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can't imagine what the sex references are. It doesn't enter into it with the books, certainly," he said.

The "infrequent scenes of dangerous behaviour" in the film refer to Paddington hiding in a fridge while "mild threat" was seen when a villain "threatens to kill and stuff" the famous bear.

Among the "mild sex references" - later revised to "innunendo" - is a "comic sequence in which a man disguised as a woman is flirted with by another man".

Ben Whishaw voices the Peruvian bear in the live-action film.

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