Internet pranksters have turned the first image from the coming Paddington Bear movie into a mock-horror meme.
The popular children’s cartoon has been made into an animated film, starring Nicole Kidman with Colin Firth as the voice of the famous bear.
Fans were given their first look at Paddington when a still from the film was released this week.
It shows the shaggy character dressed in his navy duffel coat and red hat, suitcase in hand, standing somewhat menacingly outside Buckingham Palace.
What apparently escaped the creators of the film was immediately evident to everyone else: this Paddington is creepy, not cuddly.
Within days, a “Creepy Paddington” hashtag cropped up on Twitter and a meme was born.
— E! Online (@eonline) June 12, 2014
People were soon digitally adding the beloved children’s character into frames from famous horror films. In one, Paddington hovers threateningly in a doorway from Paranormal Activity, while another puts him at the centre of the climatic showdown in Seven. He has also been transported into Hannibal Lecter’s prison cell, the bloodied halls from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and into the back seat of a car in a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
— Olly Gibbs (@ollyog) June 10, 2014
One particularly creative submission even snuck the furry character into Ellen DeGeneres’ star-studded Oscars selfie.
With the film due out in December, photoshoppers have six months to keep honing their skills.