POSTMAN PAT: THE MOVIE
Like always, Postman Pat (voice of Stephen Mangan) is happily going about his duty delivering letters and parcels around the town of Greendale. In order to try to win a trip to Italy for his beloved wife Sarah (Susan Duerden), Pat decides to audition for the TV talent show. While he is away, the new efficiency expert (Peter Woodward), who has been hired by the postal service's CEO (Jim Broadbent), deploys Patbot 3000 robots to take over Pat's postal duties. This soon becomes an evil plot for robots to take over the post office and the world.
Review by Louise Keller:
Whether or not you're familiar with the hit TV show hero, Postman Pat, this family friendly animated film sends all the right messages, when good family values take precedence over greed. The story, characters and setting may be overwhelmingly English, but there's a universality about the tale and the sentiments at its heart. The satirical elements will appeal to adults, while kids will warm to the well drawn characters, the simple lines of the animation and amusing sequence of events. There's a TV talent quest, an ambitious efficiency expert, an army of postman robots and an endearing protagonist worth rooting for. It's a colourful adventure filled with charm and humour that the whole family will love.
The scene is set: verdant hills, sheep baa-ing in the fields, cattle grazing, a stream trickling and a green and yellow train puffing its way into Greendale Station. It's an idyllic setting. But the focus is on the white house with climbing roses, where a cute black and white cat wearing a postman's hat is sitting and the unassuming, spectacled man in a blue uniform who lives there, is intent on assuming his all-important duties as the local postman. The fact that everyone knows and loves Postman Pat (Stephen Mangan) is due to the fact that he genuinely cares for everyone. Nothing is too much trouble. Even wandering sheep who find themselves stranded high on the branches of trees are rescued - with the help of Jess, the cat of course, who is Pat's invaluable side-kick. Although Jess doesn't speak (he makes a few sounds now and again), this cute, loyal feline friend steals the limelight in many scenes.
It's an opportunity to win the trip to Italy of which his wife Sarah (Susan Duerden) has always dreamed, that prompts Pat to audition for the TV talent quest - and judge Simon Cowbell (Robin Atkin Downes), along with escape artists, jugglers, singing sheep and other local talent. 'A wasteland of talent wannabes,' sneers the perpetually cynical Cowbell. The filmmakers have a field day with Cowbell, who unsurprisingly assumes all the characteristics and mannerisms of TV talent judge Simon Cowell, while Ronan Keating lends Postman Pat his beautiful singing voice.
Jim Broadbent as the post office CEO brings in the efficiency expert, the villain of the piece, aptly named Edwin Carbunkle (Peter Woodward), who decides that robots are a far more cost efficient to the human alternative. While Postman Pat becomes a celebrity ('he deserves a pat on the back,' declares the local newspaper), the locals discover to their horror, that automated efficiency has much to be desired. The scenes when the locals are unaware that the Pat look-alike is not their favourite postie but a robots are very funny, as is the robotic Jess look-alike that sits next to the clone in his red postal van. There's plenty of action in the lead up to the grand finale, when the army of Patbots and Jess mingnons (complete with luminous red eyes) set the real Pat and Jess as their targets in a bid to discredit them.
Family beats celebrity in the pursuit for happiness stakes and in this high tech world, there is something rather special about the role of the humble postman; Postman Pat reminds us that the human touch is irreplaceable.
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POSTMAN PAT: THE MOVIE (G)
VOICES: Stephen Mangan, Jim Broadbent, Robin Atkin Downes, Rupert Grint, Peter Carbunkle
PRODUCER: Robert Anich
DIRECTOR: Mike Disa
SCRIPT: Annika Bluhm, Nicole Dubuc, Kim Fuller
EDITOR: Robert David Sanders
MUSIC: Rupert Gregson-Williams
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Art direction: Richard SMmitheman
RUNNING TIME: 88 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Pinnacle Films
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 16, 2014