Paddington 2 poster
Living a happy life with the Brown family, Paddington Bear ( the voice of Ben Whishaw) has become a beloved member of the Windsor Gardens community. While seeking the perfect gift for his Aunt Lucy's (voiced by Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday, the determined bear comes across a rare pop-up book of London in Mr. Gruber's (Jim Broadbent) antique shop. A costly item, he sets out to earn the money in a series of jobs. When the book is stolen, Paddington is framed and sent to prison. Now it's up to the Brown family and friends to find the real thief and free the bear.

Overflowing with heart and humor, this delightful romp is a charmer for the whole family. There are so many sight gags, in-jokes and
brightly saturated, object-filled backgrounds that repeat viewing is required to catch it all. Even adults will find pleasure and a few surprise discoveries the second time around. Paul King, who directed and co-wrote 2014's "Paddington", returns with the same duties here. His script, co-written by Simon Farnaby, is a little more lighthearted than the original. While Nicole Kidman was rather dark and Cruella-ish in the first film, Hugh Grant is a bit more lovable in his evil antics as he hams it up in this bear flick. He's once-famous actor Phoenix Buchanan, now doing dog food commercials, who is desperately looking to upgrade his lifestyle. Also chewing scenery is Brendan Gleeson as feared prison cook Knuckles McGinty. Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin return as the Brown clan along with Julie Walters as their housekeeper Mrs. Bird. Jim Broadbent is back as antique shop owner Mr. Gruber as are Imelda Staunton and Michael Gambon,who lend their voices to Paddington's Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo. Based on Michael Bond's endearing books, there's much to love in this entertaining movie with a timely message. Hugh Grant even gets to sing and dance to Sondheim. Stick around through the credits for a "where are they now?" sequence on the various characters and a fabulous musical production number. "Paddington 2" happily brings this series out of hibernation. (4 CAMS)

Rated PG (some action and mild rude humor)
Running Time: 103 minutes

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