How can you not love any animated kids' film that includes a don't-blink reference to Russ Meyer's 1965 "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"? So it goes with "Postman Pat: The Movie," the amusing, sweetly satirical CGI feature directed by Mike Disa and written by Nicole Dubuc based on the iconic British children's TV series.
Pat Clifton (wonderfully voiced by Stephen Mangan of Showtime's "Episodes") is a humble, helpful employee of SDS, "the oldest package delivery service in England," and rural Greendale's beloved postman. He's also totally devoted to wife Sara (Susan Duerden), young son Julian (Sandra Teles) and trusty, crafty cat Jess.
When "You're the One," an "American Idol"-like TV show hosted by the snippy Simon Cowbell (get it?), comes to Greendale in search of new talent, Pat wows the judges with his stirring vocals (sung by Irish pop star Ronan Keating) and a sensation is born. But Pat, hardly the spotlight type, agrees to further competition — and attendant publicity duties — to win a grand prize trip to Italy as a surprise for Sara.
Meanwhile, ruthless efficiency expert Edwin Carbunkle (Peter Woodward), hired by SDS' kindly chief executive (Jim Broadbent), decides to exploit Postman Pat-mania as part of his greedy takeover scheme to chop costs and mechanize the delivery business with soulless robots. (That's a conceit more prescient than the filmmakers may have realized.)
It all intersects at the "You're the One" finals in a clever, action-packed showdown involving Pat and Jess, an armada of Pat-bots, the Greendale townsfolk, the evil Carbunkle and others.
Sure, there are lapses in logic. But nice messaging, some zippy dance moves and a great use of the classic tune "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" end this charming, adult-friendly tale on a high note.
"Postman Pat: The Movie."
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes.