When movies are made from popular children’s television characters there always seems to be that need to create some adult humour to sneakily hide behind the child safe story in order to keep the adults entertained too. Now Postman Pat has made this leap there is definitely an intent to appease the Postman Pat fans who have grown up a little, but the question is did Postman Pat: The Movie forget its younger audience in the process?
When the postal company that Pat works for cancels all bonuses for the workers Postman Pat (Stephen Mangan) worries that he can’t take his wife on the holiday to Italy that he promised her. When a talent contest comes to town though with a promise of a record contract and a trip to Italy he sees this as his chance. When Pat finds success though and makes his way to the final the evil Carbunkle (Peter Woodward) sees this as his chance to manipulate Pat and the CEO of the postal company with his evil plans to take over the service with robots.
Moving a character like Postman Pat to the big screen is going to change the format in a few ways, for one there has to be more of a spectacular storyline. Adding a talent contest with Simon Cowbell (Robin Atkin Downes) working as the judge does just that, as does adding robot replacements for Pat and his famous black and white cat. With plenty of knowing jokes you can’t help but grin at (like Simon Cowbell, obviously being Simon Cowell), most of these jokes are going to go over the heads of the kids that you would expect would be the target audience. The fact is I couldn’t help but think that Postman Pat: The Movie is aimed at kids that are older, as well as adults who still remember watching the show when they were younger.
One of the highlights of the movie (for those old enough to really care) is the vocal talent in the movie. Stephen Mangan is good as Pat, with Ronan Keating taking over for the singing scenes. Jim Broadbent as the CEO of the postal company is easily recognisable and on the more evil and grumpy side of things is taken care of by Robin Atkin Downes as Simon Cowbell, David Tennant as an over ambitious talent agent and Peter Woodward as Carbunkle. Surprising additions such as Rupert Grint and Parminder Nagra also add to the quality. The only questionable choice really is having Ronan Keating as the singing voice of Pat. It’s not his singing ability in question but the difference between his voice and Stephen Mangan is recognisable.
Postman Pat: The Movie is not a bad film for the older fans who like the more adult jokes, but I can’t help but feel that this film loses sight on the target audience. Postman Pat has always been aimed at young children and it is questionable as to whether Postman Pat: The Movie may over power them with tales of evil robots and corporate take overs. In a film about Pat seeming to lose focus on what is important in his life, this is the very thing that the film appears to do too.
Postman Pat: The Movie is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.