Favorite Fictional Characters, #231: Paddington Bear
I loved the Paddington books when I was a little boy. Long before Harry Potter, there was the window into the just-a-little-different British world, with strange words (like "torch" instead of flashlight), different foods, and slightly different social mores. There was the bemused, surprisingly tolerant Brown family. And there was Paddington, the very strange little bear from Darkest Peru.
A sort of ursine Curious George, Paddington's sense of inquiry and adventure led him into all manner of scrapes and tight places, usually ending in a messy bath. Misunderstandings, mistakes, and missteps were Paddington's stock in trade, something with which any seven-year-old boy can readily identify. Above all, he had a good heart, and was really, really good at apologies.
The recent movie actually wasn't bad, capturing the character's essence, a rare enough thing in today's subpar cinematic adaptations.