'Paddington 2': a warm and fuzzy sequel for kids

Don't be mistaken by Paddington's prim proper demeanor and soft friendly voice. He is as gangsta as they come

Don't be mistaken by Paddington's prim proper demeanor and soft friendly voice. He is as gangsta as they come

The film picks up not many days after the events of the first film. Equally convincing are Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon as Paddington's Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo.

If you haven't seen the trailers, filmmaker Paul King returns to direct the sequel, which picks up with Paddington Bear (voiced by Ben Whishaw) who has now settled into his life with the Brown family. The relationship between Hugh Bonneville and Paddington may not be the centre of the sequel but it doesn't make you root for them any less. Indeed, "Paddington 2's" visual effects team deserves a great deal of praise for the ease with which Paddington and his fellow computer-animated animals blend seamlessly into the vibrant London setting. While Paddington gets used to bedtime with no story, Mrs.

Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. In a wonderfully realized sequence, Paddington imagines his aunt arriving on a pop-up paper boat in the pages of the book itself, and him on the docks there to greet her. Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins ground the Brown family while fitting the whimsically comedic tone. Even in a sequel, Bond's furry metaphor survives its animation intact.

Most conversations involving Sally Hawkins these days will understandably revolve around her mesmerizing, almost wordless performance in the acclaimed drama "The Shape of Water", which in all likelihood will land the veteran British actress her first Best Actress Oscar nomination. Brown adds just the right hint of the fantastical to the action, while Grant's diabolical Phoenix Buchanan delights in a final, scene-stealing production number.

To this day you can still get Paddingtons in wellingtons, most notably from the kiosk in Paddington station, and it's all thanks to the Clarksons. He is sent to prison, where his gentle, polite nature seems out of place against such hardened criminals as the growling Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson).

In the meantime, the Browns are trying to clear Paddington's name, putting up sketches Mary made based on how Paddington described him. After all, Paddington could have become just another bumbling, idiotic CGI creation getting into noisy mishaps, in the mode of Stuart Little or (shudder) Alvin and the Chipmunks.

But the real draw of Paddington and his friends are the warm, cute characters straight out of a bed time story book.


"Paddington 2 opens in theaters Jan. 12

All in all, "Paddington 2" has a warmth and wit that's missing from many a children's movie.

All the situations that Paddington goes through in this movie teaches a lesson.

Obvious and subtly pointed metaphors for immigration aside, Paddington 2 also shows an exponential leap forward for King as a director.

Paddington 2 has been rated PG for action and some mild rude humor. It was an act of kindness that Paddington himself would be proud of, and something that I'm sure made us all feel a little bit better about ourselves and the world. From the recap of the family's lives a year since they took the bear in, to Hugh Grant's grandiose end-credit performance, there are scenes that make you giggle, roar and roll on the floor with laughter.

Grant does a remarkable thing here: He makes the over-the-top pompous and vain character nearly likable. His motto, "If we're kind and polite, the world will be right", is the film's entirely honest moral. If his previous feature was visually inventive, Paddington 2 is King and company delivering pure eye candy without forsaking any substance.

But Paddington is a bear with a lot of determination and a positive attitude, and his new movie - now safely in the hands of Warner Bros., which handled producer David Heyman's "Harry Potter" films - turns out to be completely delightful.

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