‘Paddington 2’ Delights As ‘Bearfect’ Sequel
The follow-up to the 2015 hit comedy about the clumsy, lovable bear is a very family-friendly film that is extremely funny and entertaining
Everyone’s favorite, marmalade-loving bear is back for seconds literally in Paddington 2.
The sequel to the 2015 hit comedy about Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw), the clumsy, lovable and talking bear, is absolutely pure “bearfection,” especially in terms of a family-friendly film.
Based on characters from British author Michael Bond’s classic Paddington books, the movie is delightful, funny and very entertaining for all viewers. The clever and tasteful British adult- oriented humor will tickle the funny bone of adults, but it’s still appropriate for young viewers, featuring child-friendly themes throughout the film.
Paddington 2 picks up after the events of the first movie. Paddington is happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens in London, where he has become a popular member of the neighborhood–spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes.
While searching for the perfect present for the 100th birthday of his beloved Aunt Lucy (voiced by Imelda Staunto), Paddington spots a unique and very expensive pop-up book in the antique shop of Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent). He then embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it with hilarious results. But when the book is stolen, Paddington is framed as the culprit. So the Browns and their adopted animated bear must find a way to unmask the thief through some thrilling adventures.
The theme of good versus bad runs throughout the film, which also features important life lessons about kindness and understanding, and a strong moral stance.
“If you’re kind and polite, the world will be right,” Paddington tells his adopted family, repeating a saying he learned from Aunt Lucy.
Although not a faith-based film and its spiritual aspects are minimal, Paddington 2 extols the biblical adage that love never fails. Paddington is always polite and kind all the time, which sets a great role model for children.
“Paddington wouldn’t hesitate if any of us needed help!” Henry Brown (Hugh Bonneville) tells Mr. Curry (Peter Capaldi), Windsor Gardens’ curmudgeon who doesn’t like Paddington. “He looks for the good in all of us. And somehow he finds it.”
On the flip side of the good is the dastardly Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), a washed up actor reduced to doing dog food commercials who used to be really famous, but is now bitter, obsessed with himself and unpleasant. As the villain, Phoenix is the opposite of Paddington.
After Paddington lands in prison, he encounters the nasty Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson), an inmate cook who reluctantly warms to the bear.
“I don’t do nothing for no one for nothing,” Knuckles repeatedly tells Paddington, but he soon loses his angry nature when he falls for Paddington’s charms and talents in the kitchen.
Funny and witty, Paddington 2 is brilliantly and wonderfully animated like the first film. One scene features a nod to the 2D paper cutouts of the human characters in the 1970s children’s TV show. Directed by Paul King, the live-action/CGI animated comedy features small and cute details, including the newspaper headlines and the To Do list in the Browns’ kitchen. Additionally, there is an amusing “what happened after” montage after the credits.
Paddington 2 is an excellent sequel and a perfect memorial to Bond, who died in June 2017 at age 91 when the sequel was still being filmed. The movie features a deeply moving portrayal of family, community, sacrificing and loving your neighbor. With a running time of 100 minutes, Paddington 2 is the “bearfect” family-friendly film to warm moviegoers up for the winter.
What To What For: Paddington 2 is rated PG for some action and mild rude humor. There is only one really scary scene near the end, but it is clear that Paddington makes it out fine. Speaking of scary, the villain this time is less threatening than Nicole Kidman’s somewhat creepy character in the first film, although Phoenix lies and steals. There is one light profanity using God’s name in vain and Paddington washes windows with his behind, which is played for laughs. Also, there is no sexual content, although one unmarried couple come out of their home in pajamas. There is light violence and scenes of danger, including Paddington dropping from buildings and falling in a river on a train.