This week we got the opportunity to visit Madame Tussaud’s in Blackpool where Hugh Bonneville took up his place by the seaside!
To mark the launch of Paddington on DVD, Madame Tussaud’s was transformed into a teddy bear’s picnic. With the promise of picnics, Paddington AND a visit to one of Blackpool’s top attractions, we couldn’t possibly say no!!
We were welcomed in at around 11am and found a room set up with picnic tables complete with popcorn for us to munch during the film…
… which is brilliant! Paddington is a real cutie, I wasn’t sure how the cartoon version would translate into a movie but they managed it beautifully. Mrs Brown is so appealing, they allude to the fact that she was skinny-dipping outside the Wool Museum and she embraces fun and adventure whilst Hugh Bonneville’s character, Mr Brown is rather repressed which lends itself to humour easily!
The film shows how the arrival of Paddington changes the family’s perspective on life and brings them closer. Mrs Bird is brought to life by Julie Walters and doesn’t get enough screen time in my opinion: she is a marvellous character.
After lunch and some marmalade sandwiches (of course!) we went to experience the attraction.
I have to admit, on our recent visits to Blackpool we didn’t go to Tussaudes because I felt that there wouldn’t be very many exhibits the children would recognize: I thought it would attract a more grown-up audience however the children recognized many of the people featured such as the Queen and Bear Grylls
and with those that were more ‘historical’ such as The Two Ronnies’ it didn’t seem to matter, they were happy to get involved with mimicking them and having their picture taken anyway!
The person who had absolutely the most fun of all was Oona! She simply loved running around, climbing up the stairs and onto the podiums where the models were standing. Each area had its own music whether the theme tune to a TV show or the music the artist sang.
The older children recognised the pop stars, Ant and Dec and the judges from X-Factor, Elizabeth was interested in Micheal Jackson and The Beatles. She has listened to their music but to see them almost ‘for real’ amazed her.
I have to say I was amazed too, by how teeny tiny Cheryl Cole is and Paul was surprised by Tommy Cooper’s height: he was really tall! I had a moment in the Coronation Street section, I haven’t watched Corrie for about 12 years but of course the exhibits were from my era: Jack and Vera, Ken, Hilda Ogden and the loud and brash Bette Lynch.. I tried to explain to the kids but they are too little for soaps and it’s just a long gone era.
So I posed with Jack and Vera and told the kids they were my Mum and Dad and they almost believed me (since I’m not in contact with my parents) and I looked for a long time at old Hilda remembering how truly funny she’d been.
For me Tussaud’s held a little sadness because the models are so real yet are a snap-shot in time just as a photo or piece of film is a snap shot in time yet I can’t touch the person in the TV, I think meeting them in person, even just seeing them in model form allows you to see their true vulnerability.
Hugh Bonneville is the latest addition to the attraction and he is eerily realistic!
Look how slim Kate is and how tiny the Queen is!
Google Paul McCartney’s death and you will see why my conspiracy-theorist husband is stroking his chin!
The I’m a celebrity section was a hit because everyone wanted to have their photo taken with bugs!
Paul’s bush tucker trial!
Elizabeth and Jacko!
The girls pose with Morcambe and Wise
The children in Shrek’s chair!
I have to say we had a brilliant time at Madame Tussaud’s and would recommend it to families with young children … I didn’t really expect to recommend it for kids under 10 but it really was fun.
I haven’t mentioned the fact that the kids could drum with Jamiroquoi and that there was a dress-up box containing hats and the photo opportunities with Spider-Man … I could go on all day!
We were given free tickets to the attraction but will be returning because it’s ‘proper good’ (Leon’s words)