I'm not sure how much more I can take. One day all our favorite characters will be turned into slapstick movie stars, constructed out of CGI and a desire to cash in. The latest is Paddington Bear, that classic character abandoned in London's Paddington Station with his marmalade jar and his famous duffle coat. According to Variety, producer David Heyman, of the Harry Potter franchise, is bringing the talking bear to the big screen for a live-action movie. The trade speculates that Paddington will be rendered with CGI, and that is certainly likely, what with the trend of Garfield, Underdog, Alvin and the Chipmunks and others. Bothering me even more, though, is that the movie is being written by Hamish McColl, who will probably turn the character into a bear version of Mr. Bean. Of course, Paddington is traditionally similar to Bean, who is also very polite and also very accident-prone.

After being discovered in the station, Paddington is adopted by the Brown family, who take him home. The movie is expected to show the bear's origin (minus his early life in "Darkest Peru") and then follow mishaps and misadventures that are inspired by the entire series, not any specific book. Looking back now on the original storyline, it seems to me that the TV show ALF must have been heavily influenced by the books, which were first written by Michael Bond and illustrated by Peggy Fortnum. I also realize that, personally, I preferred the books about another bear, Cordoroy. I think I even preferred the teddy bear version of him. But I'm sure the movies will get to Cordoroy one of these days. In the meantime, the ever-popular plush versions of Paddington are about to receive a huge bump in sales.