Paddington 2


Adorable and heartfelt. One to really cherish Discuss this article

© ITP Images

However cynical a pose you try to maintain, Paddington Bear will find the chinks in your armour. Voiced with perfect innocence by Ben Whishaw, this profoundly likeable bear consistently toes the line of maximum charm without slipping into schmaltz. Miraculously, that’s also as true of this sequel as it was of his first big-screen outing; this film goes bigger and darker without losing focus on the small acts of kindness that make its ursine hero great.

As we rejoin Paddington and his adoptive family, the Browns, our hero is searching for the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s (voiced by Imelda Staunton) 100th birthday. He finds just the ticket in Mr Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) antique shop: a unique pop-up book. But while Paddington is saving up for it, a nefarious rival (Hugh Grant) steals the book and frames Paddington for the crime.

The plot has a whodunnit element that’s a little more complex than last time, but director Paul King and co-writer Simon Farnaby once again show a perfect feel for the material. Paddington’s guileless politeness even enables him to win over Brendan Gleeson’s Knuckles McGinty, the bully ruling Portobello Prison with an iron ladle.

Equally intoxicating is the setting, a sort of fairytale London where everything and everyone is a little more eccentric, colourful and friendly than reality.

Paddington and his world makes you feel better about ours, and gives you hope for a generation growing up with this incarnation of the late, great Michael Bond’s loveable creation. It’s a family adventure that’s the right sort of heartwarming, delivering real human emotion through the medium of a small bear.

The bottom line
Adorable and heartfelt. One to really cherish.

By Helen O’Hara
Time Out Doha,

Paddington 2

  • Duration: 103
  • Released: Sun, 26 Nov
  • Language: English
  • Director: Paul King
  • Stars: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter



Explore by

Our favourite features