The much loved children’s television figure Postman Pat has made his big screen debut in Australia this month.

As a character, he is somewhere between Batman and Susan Boyle: an all-round do-gooder who has a hidden talent for singing. Pat’s world is a somewhat removed from our own: a close-knit village where the postman is a figure of great significance. Pat also enjoys an unusually high degree of job satisfaction and gets to bring his cat to work.

It appears that the film-makers are well aware of the limitations of this set up and, while staying true to the characters and setting of the TV show, introduce a dose of the modern. For starters we see the impact of real-world economic factors, with Pat’s job under threat by new boss, Carbuncle, who makes cuts in the name of efficiency and savings. Carbuncle’s dastardly plan is to replace all the postal workers with robots (I also suspect that Carbuncle might be to blame for my local post office closing its doors).

The second modern element comes in the form of reality TV. When Pat loses his bonus to the new cost-cutting measures he can no longer afford to take his wife on a promised holiday to Italy. Rather than break the bad news to her, Pat takes the unorthodox step of entering a television talent show to win a holiday; and here his secret singing ability is discovered. With Pat shooting to stardom, however, Carbuncle is free to replace Pat and the rest of the postal service with his robots.

It’s all great fun for the kids who will be engrossed from start to finish. However, the robots might prove a little scary for very young ones.

While there isn’t the same degree of adult humour as some other animated features, the film never takes itself too seriously. It provides some enjoyable moments for the adults in the audience through poking fun at the ‘Idol’ television phenomenon and there’s also a welcome Dalek gag. Plus there’s the added joy of spotting the voices, a bevy of British stars including David Tennant, Rupert Grint and Jim Broadbent.

Watch the trailer:

Postman Pat: The Movie is in cinemas now.

Reviewed by Matthew Trainor

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