Mild sex references push ‘Paddington’ into PG rating

Scenes showing cross-dressing flirtation and a villainous taxidermist all contributed towards the new Paddington film being given a Parental Guidance certificate — much to the surprise of the famous bear’s creator.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) posted the rating on its website, saying there was “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, [and] mild bad language”.

It said “infrequent scenes of dangerous behaviour” included 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” is a “comic sequence in which a man disguised as a woman is flirted with by another man”.

Michael Bond, 88, the author of the popular books, 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.”

Ben Whishaw voices the Peruvian bear in the live-action film, which also features roles for Hugh Bonneville, Peter Capaldi, and Nicole Kidman.

Whishaw replaced Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington after The King’s Speech star quit, saying he was having trouble finding the voice of the marmalade-loving bear.

The film sees Paddington despatched from his native jungle, and smuggled on board a boat to England.

Paddington is released in Ireland on November 28, and the Irish Film Classification Office has given it a ‘G’ rating, for general release.


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