As someone who watched the original Postman Pat television series as a very young boy, I have very little memory of the show of which this film is a theatrical spin-off so therefore very little to compare the movie with. But I was curious how they were going to make this kind postman the star of his own film so I watched to see for myself. While I can’t compare the film to the series, and therefore just have to judge it as a movie itself, I find that I can’t fault Postman Pat: The Movie, it is a nice animated film for kids and a good one at that.
Postman Pat: The Movie sees the famous postman entering a talent competition in order to win a honeymoon to Italy for his wife. Upon discovering he has a wonderful singing voice, the town rally behind him to win the competition after he is put through to the next round. However, with Pat so busy with his new showbiz commitments, his new evil boss at the Post Office (he cancelled all bonuses, the scum of a man) has created robots, the “Patbot 3000”, which are exact replicas of Pat, to do his job, in his eyes more efficiently and profitably. However, the residents of the town realise something is not quite right with “Pat” and must figure out a way to get rid of the robots and bring Pat back before he is completely seduced by fame.
The film has gone out of its way to modernise the characters and world of Postman Pat, as not only is the film’s running theme the threat of technology replacing men, something similarly explored in 2012’s Top Cat The Movie, another feature-length modern-day adaptation of a classic kids’ television series, but the cast is filled with famous voices, including Stephen Mangan, Ronan Keating, David Tennant, Rupert Grint and Jim Broadbent. All do decent work bringing their characters to life, especially Mangan, who does effectively capture both Postman Pat’s innocence, simple manner and kindness.
While some could criticise this modernisation, especially with the addition of the talent show and a very obvious spoof of Simon Cowell (Simon Cowbell), I found the movie pleasant enough to watch. While I can’t really recommend the film to adults who are into the likes of The Godfather and Goodfellas for example, I think kids will enjoy this simple, British animation with a nice story and good message. The digital CG animation is rendered nicely and the characters are engaging enough, with a good selection of voices. I think families will enjoy a nice day out going to see this movie so a positive review from me. Or as Siskel & Ebert would say, thumbs up.