Postman Pat: The Movie
Postman Pat: The Movie is a 2014 British-American 3D computer-animated children's comedy film based on the television series Postman Pat by John Cunliffe and Ivor Wood. It was directed by Mike Disa, produced by Robert Anich Cole, written and screenplay by Nicole Dubuc, with music by Rupert Gregson-Williams. It was co-produced by DreamWorks Classics, RGH Pictures, and Timeless Films.
The film stars Stephen Mangan, Jim Broadbent, Rupert Grint, David Tennant, Ronan Keating, Susan Duerden, Sandra Teles, TJ Ramini, and Peter Woodward. It was released on 23 May 2014 by Icon Productions and Lionsgate.
Patrick "Pat" Clifton, also known as "Postman Pat" (Stephen Mangan), is a friendly postman who has been delivering letters in the village of Greendale in the north of England for many years. He wants to take his wife, Sara (Susan Duerden), on a late honeymoon to Italy. He plans to afford it through a bonus from his employer, the Special Delivery Service (SDS), but their new boss, Edwin Carbunkle (Peter Woodward), has cancelled all bonuses. He plans to make SDS more efficient by replacing its human workers with robots, thinking that being friendly is a waste of time.
When Pat gets home and tries to tell Sara about the fact that the honeymoon is cancelled because the new boss has cancelled all bonuses, his son Julian (Sandra Teles) shows Pat a television talent show, You're the One, hosted by Simon Cowbell (Robin Atkin Downes doing a stereotypical Simon Cowell impersonation), who states the next auditions are coming to Greendale. Cowbell also confirms that the person who wins the contest will be awarded a holiday to Italy and a recording contract.
Pat decides to take part in the contest and his unexpected singing voice (Ronan Keating) wins the contest. Pat is to sing again in the finale, in a head-to-head contest with the winner of another heat, Josh (Rupert Grint). His Scottish-accented manager, Wilf (David Tennant), however, is very keen to make sure it is his client who wins at all costs.
The Chief Executive Officer of the SDS, Mr. Brown (Jim Broadbent), and Edwin Carbunkle had been watching the contest on television. They say that they would like to use Pat in a publicity campaign including his own television series. Carbunkle also confirms that, because Pat will be away participating in the contest, a robot replica of him called the "Patbot 3000" will be taking over his postal duties, along with another robot replica of Jess called the "Jessbot" as well.
After Pat and Jess are gone, the Patbot delivers the rounds like Pat normally does, but it soon starts acting up and the people of Greendale begin to complain. Sara and Julian are starting to worry about Pat too. Meanwhile, Ben Taylor (TJ Ramini), the manager at the SDS, is fired by Carbunkle and is convinced that Pat doesn't want him anymore, not realizing that Pat is a robot. Meanwhile, Wilf tries his schemes to stop Pat, not realizing that the "Pat" going around Greendale is in fact a robot, but they all backfire. The more Pat's family and friends become concerned, the more Pat feels guilty about coming to the contest in the first place.
Despite Pat's efforts to tell his wife the truth about why he entered the competition, he fails and starts to become fearful that he might have pushed his family away. It isn't until shortly after Pat's departure for the final competition that Ben and Jess discover that there appears to be more than one Pat and Edwin Carbunkle's true intent is exposed. It turns out that Carbunkle is in fact making these robots enslave all of humanity, seeing them as "good-for-nothing cattle". Ben then rushes to tell Sara and Julian the terrible truth about Mr. Carbunkle's plan.
Now fully aware of Carbunkle's plan, a desperate Sara informs the whole of Greendale about Carbunkle's true intentions and explaining that deep down, Pat has not changed. They all agree to head to London to support Pat in an effort to thwart Carbunkle's plan. Meanwhile, Jess, who has stowed away on one of the SDS helicopter replicas that one of the Patbot 3000s used, manages to make his way to where Pat's performance is, and he helps Pat escape after he is locked away in a dressing room by a Patbot and Carbunkle, who reveals that Pat's publicity was just so Mr. Carbunkle could replace him with a Patbot and make sure that no-one could tell the difference. They are then pursued by the Patbots and Jessbots but manages to outsmart them all and get inside the theater.
Meanwhile, in the performance, a Patbot performs instead of Pat, unbeknown to the audience. Wilf arrives, knowing it to be a robot (after defeating a Patbot with a magnet at the sorting officer earlier), and uses a magnet to unmask the Patbot. The real Pat interrupts the performance and gives a speech on what's real and important and how he forgot to take time for those he really cares about. As Carbunkle releases the Patbots to kill off Pat, Simon, and Brown, revealing that he has had enough of them hindering his plans, Josh saves them by using Carbunkle's phone to turn off all the Patbots before they can kill Pat, Simon, and Brown. Little does Pat know that his wife and friends from Greendale arrive in the chaos.
After Carbunkle is arrested for his crimes, everything goes back to normal. Unaware that Sara is listening, Pat expresses that he is only doing this competition to win the flight tickets for their honeymoon. Sara is suddenly heard calling Pat's name. Once Pat catches sight of Sara, Julian, and all the people of Greendale in the audience, it dawns on him that Sara has heard the truth about why he entered the competition and was fully aware of Carbunkle's plan. Now fully aware that Sara has forgiven him, Pat decides to do his act but decides to change the act slightly. In the end, Pat sings Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" with Brown, Josh, Wilf, and the people of Greendale joining in. Sara also takes part in the act. They both win the holiday to Italy but pass the recording contract to Josh, so Wilf is happy too, and all is forgiven.
Why Nobody Can Deliver The Goods At All
- Poor grasp of the source material. To get the elephant out of the room, the film isn't connected to the original series in the slightest and is more based on the SDS series (which received mixed reviews from Postman Pat fans for it's more faster pacing when compared to the slice of life style of seasons 1-5), and a lot of elements from the first two seasons are rather absent from this series and even the 2004 series too, and to make matters worse for the film, the film isn't animated in stop-motion animation and is instead animated in CGI animation which lacks the charm of the nice and beautiful animation of the original series and even SDS series (which is not a good sign for this film). And also adding to the fact that the film acts more like a typical kids movie made in the 2010's rather than an adaptation of Postman Pat, which makes the film blatantly unoriginal since many other bad cartoon adaptations have done the same thing as this film did (though much worse than this film however).
- Unfunny humor with abundant pop-culture references.
- The new characters feel like generic additions to the Postman Pat series. One example is Mr. Carbunkle, who is a completely one-dimensional villain whose goal is to (you guessed it) take over the world and enslave all of humanity.
- Jess is as annoying as he was in the 2004 series and Special Delivery Service.
- It has the same fast-paced, action-packed and generic tone of the Special Delivery Service series, which the original two seasons and seasons 3-5 (to some extent) weren't known for.
- False advertising: Josh is shown on the movie poster, but he barely even appears in the movie.
- Stiff voice acting from some of the cast, mainly Sara who's voice lacks the charm of the original Sara who had a voice that fitted her age since she was voiced by Carole Boyd who gave the character life when compared to Susan Duerden who's voice doesn't fit Sara in the slightest bit.
- Tom and Katy Pottage, the two kids who were friends with Pat in the original series, are somewhat absent in this movie without a reason given, in fact, a vocal minority of characters from the TV series are also absent too, such as Ajay's baby son, Nikhil, and Mr Pringle, who still hasn't come back since Season 5.
- It features an extremely awkward and pointless subplot about an army of Postman Pat robots that want to replace him and take over the world, which is something completely unrelated to the original series' mood and content.
- The residents of Greendale are portrayed as complete buffoons, as nobody, not even Pat's own son, can tell that Pat's been replaced by what's so clearly a robot.
- Jess's CGI design looks terrible.
- Sara looks and sounds rather young when compared to her counterpart in the original TV show.
- The storyline is very cliched. In fact, in his review of the movie, Jambareeqi noted it bears a considerable amount of similarities to The Flintstones and Jetsons: The Movie, which were released in 1994 and 1990, respectively.
- Pat's singing voice, while decent, sounds completely different to his regular speaking voice and the transition between voices is awful, making it look like Pat's lip-syncing his way to the top.
- Lots of filler scenes, the main example being the subplot where Wilf hatches a plan to kill Pat, which just consists of a short slapstick montage that pointlessly parodies Looney Tunes' Willie E Coyote & The Roadrunner shorts and goes absolutely nowhere and it quickly forgotten about at the end of the film.
- A rather awkward misuse of the Wilhelm scream from Wilf at some point in the film.
- The CGI animation, despite not being flat out bad, is rather weak, compared to the nice stop-motion animation in the TV show, as it doesn't do a perfect job at translating the series to CGI as some parts can be extremely off in the movie, such as the poor character animations, uncanny designs that look plastic and fake, awful visuals that feel like they came from an early 2000's film by Sony Pictures Animation, bad texturing with the objects and an awful framerate that is rather slow-paced and doesn't set up for the pacing in this film.
- The editing isn't any better either, as whenever the film makes a close-up to a character, the background disappears for unknown reasons which gives out a sign that the film was made on a very low budget.
- The movie misunderstands everything that made the original TV series a classic.
- Speaking of which, the movie goes far to actually insult the TV series it was based on in one scene, where Mr Brown gives Pat a puppet version of him and that there's even a show based on him with, but Pat gets baffled and literally says "Who'd watch something like that" which is such a literal punch in the face towards the audience who grew up with the series back in the 1980's. James A. Williams heavily pointed this out and commented on this scene by saying "Oh I don't know, how about umm, 25 million people, roughly speaking".
- Generic ending, as it's just another typical "dance party" finale with a pop song playing in the background and lots of loose ends get solved very predictably, and it is way too short and ends the movie on a rushed note that doesn't have anything come out as satisfying nor memorable and just ends very suddenly like that with very little conclusion at all and no wrap-up for anything worthy of ending the movie, which makes the final half of the film feel rushed and poorly-scripted.
- The movie features a pointless cameo appearance from Ronan Keating, who only appears in the movie for less than a minute and is only used as a one time gag that isn't even funny in the slightest, and has very little pay-off at all as he is later pulled out of the competition and is never seen throughout the entire movie ever again.
- Pat's singing voice, while obviously different from his normal voice as mentioned before, is decent. In fact, the same can be said with Josh's singing voice provided by Rupert Grint.
- Some of the jokes are decent.
- The first few minutes of the film feel like the first two series from 1981 and 1996, with it being relaxing and calm unlike seasons 3-5 from 2004 (even though they were still good seasons) and Special Delivery Service, and the rest of the movie as a whole. It even uses a nice remix of the original theme song.
- Aside from a few exceptions, most of the character designs look faithful to their TV show counterparts with added details.
- Pat remains a likable character in the film, which is a nice subversion of the "fame getting to the character's head" trope; not to mention how Stephen Mangan is pretty good in the role.
- Wilf, Josh (despite being generic additions) and Simon Cowbell are likable characters.
- They brought back some of the characters from the first two seasons, like Miss Hubbard, George Lancaster, and Major Forbes.
- The soundtrack is beautiful.
- To add more, the musical score from Rupert Gregson-Williams is very well-done.
The movie's reception went from being mixed to being bombarded with overwhelmingly negative reviews. Some of them praised the film for the animation, the direction, the humor, and the voice acting, while others found it too complicated and frightening in comparison to the television series.
Fans of the show hated the film, as they criticised it for lacking the charm and overall spirit of the original series & even compared it to SDS for having elements that feel incredibly out of place for a show that's meant to be calm and relaxing, on top of that, they also criticised it for being another generic kids movie with dated pop culture references, unnecessary slapstick humor, tons of movie cliches that are common in kids movies & absolutely offering nothing for audiences to enjoy, and overall being considered by many to be another bad adaption of a beloved cartoon series.
Jambareeqi hated the movie, stating that it might be one of the worst films he has ever reviewed on his channel and gave it a 3/25 which he translated to "Half of a Singing Strawberry out of 5". James A Williams was also fairly critical about the film as he criticised the film for it's animation, story, characters, humor, and Pat's Voice transitioning from Stephen Mangan to Ronan Keating, and even slammed it for insulting the original series in one scene where Pat gets baffled to why somebody would even watch a show that is based on his life.
- It was originally reported that Kate Winslet would voice Sara prior to Susan Duerden taking on the role.
- This is the only film to be produced by Rubicon Group Holding's film division RGH Pictures, as the company ceased operations in 2016.
- Simon Cowbell is a parody of Simon Cowell.