One thing you don’t equate with the upcoming family film “Paddington” is sex, or rather sexual innuendo.
Nevertheless, earlier this week the British Board of Film Classification handed down its official rating for the upcoming family film. They gave the movie a PG for several reasons including “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references and mild bad language” and warned that “some scenes may be unsuitable for young children”.
It’s the inclusion of ‘mild sex references’ that has raised eyebrows. 88-year-old Michael Bond, who created the iconic marmalade-loving bear character, tells 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.”
The film’s U.K. distributor StudioCanal wasn’t happy with it either and requested a reconsideration and more clarification. Subsequently the BBFC agreed to alter their decision. The film remains a PG but it is now for “dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language”.
Ben Whishaw voices the bear while Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman star on screen in the film which is currently slated for release in the U.K. on November 28th.
Bonneville told the BBC yesterday that he thought the ruling was ‘hilarious’ and believes the ‘mild sex references’ are probably in relation to a comedic scene in which he disguises himself as a cleaning woman and is hit on by a security guard:
“I was scratching my head thinking ‘what are the censors talking about?’ There were four and five year olds watching it the other day laughing uproariously, so I don’t think it’s going to damage any young children – or indeed any 75 year olds.”
The U.S. censorship board, the MPAA, has yet to make its ruling on the film which opens States-side on January 16th.