All the signs suggested Paddington would be rubbish. The script wasn't exactly on Hollywood's black list and Colin Firth voluntarily dropped out of the film after principal photography because the studio decided his voice wasn't suitable for the famous bear. 

PaddingtonBen Whishaw voices Paddington in the movie, replacing Colin Firth

Firth was replaced by the Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw and the voice parts were re-done. At $50 million, Paddington represents the most expensive movie ever produced by StudioCanal. Oh, and the British Board of Film Classification announced that the movie had been rated PG for "dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references and mild bad language". Oh dear, what have they done to the loveable, innocent, bear?

More: everything you need to know about the Paddington movie

And so what a surprise to find that the critics really like this one. 

"A film that has an accessible, and yet significant message running through it, while never losing sight of the enchantment and frivolity that makes for such an entertaining piece of cinema," said our friend Stefan Pape at HeyUGuys.

Paddington BearThe Paddington movie has been rated PG, to the disappointment of creator Michael Bond

"...the film around him [Paddington] is a total delight, as warm and welcome as a hot pair of socks on a winter morning," said Robbie Collin of the Telegraph, "It's also enormously funny in an unmistakably British way: the overall effect is something like a Children's Film Foundation adventure styled by Wes Anderson and written by Peter Cook."

More: Ben Whishaw named as Colin Firth's replacement in Paddington movie

Paddington creator Michael Bond said he was "upset" at the BBFC's PG classification of the movie.

"I'm totally amazed. I'd be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight," he told the Daily Mail, "I can't imagine what the sex references are. It doesn't enter into it with the books, certainly."

Paddington, co-starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent and Peter Capaldi, hits cinemas on Friday (November 21, 2014).

Watch the Paddington trailer: