Wild bears from the jungles of Peru are not usually the stars of family-friendly movie entertainment, but of course, there’s nothing usual about a certain raincoat wearing ursine protagonist. Paddington Bear may seem like a menace but his heart of gold and his irresistible charm have never lost their luster; since his first literary appearance in 1958 this good natured, sweet and occasionally mischievous little bear has consistently warmed our hearts and minds. And he doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, as his latest outing on the big screen, Paddington 2, reveals. This isn’t only a fun and amusing film for all ages, but truly a work of heartwarming, crowd-pleasing, and beautiful light entertainment.
Based on the series of books by Michael Bond, this sequel to 2015’s Paddington, like its predecessor carries the audience into the adventures (or misadventures) of one Mr. Paddington Bear, recently arriving in London from the wilds of South America. Adopted by the Brown family, this young bear slowly begins to adapt to life in the city all while charming and endearing himself to all those that he meets. For Paddington is truly the perennial optimist, always looking for the best in others and bringing a sweet and loving outlook on life that we all so desperately need in a world filled with darkness.
As with the 2015 film, Paddington 2 like its title hero is simply a pure delight to behold. Its ability to truly entertain both young children and adults alike make it an undoubted success, while its pleasing visuals, animation and acting round off the oozing charm of its story. Though plot points and situations may be far fetched, the beauty of the Paddington stories and this film is that it never loses sight of its message and heart. Like the best works of fantasy or fairy tales this movie inspires, makes us laugh, cry and feel good because of its ‘stubborn’ insistence on believing in the beauty of kindness.
Wherever he goes Paddington Bear sees the goodness (even when he becomes a prisoner) and his innocent, perhaps naive, personality cannot help but rub off on all the supporting characters (except of course the villains). Like the characters, audiences will be hard pressed to not fall in love with Paddington, unless one truly has a heart of stone. But for the cute little bear, even the ones with hearts of stone are worthy of kindness and attention. Alas the core theme of the film and series has always been that goodness and love can be found anywhere, we just have to search. Paddington Bear certainly always does.
Ben Whishaw (known as Q in the recent James Bond films) provides the voice of Paddington with great warmth and sincerity, giving our hero spunk, determination, and vulnerability. Among the standouts in the cast also include Hugh Grant as the antagonist Phoenix Buchanan and Brendan Gleeson as hardened prison chef Knuckles McGinty. Both actors seem to be having a good deal of fun showing off their comedic sensibilities in memorably comic roles; a mid-credits dance sequence involving Grant is amusingly terrific while Gleeson’s tough guy (but really a softie) is a great foil to Paddington’s cheerfulness.
"Paddington has become a form of entertainment truly suitable for everyone from all ages."
Since its release Paddington 2 has become one of the best-reviewed films of all time, setting records and capturing hearts. And it is honestly not a wonder why; the charm and elegance of childhood innocence can’t ever go out of style and Paddington Bear is indeed the perfect encapsulation of altruism and benevolence. This film (and its predecessor) has reminded us of the importance of simple everyday goodness and with its funny and eccentric characters has become a form of entertainment truly suitable for everyone of all ages.
With great charm, heart, humor, and morality Paddington Bear has rightfully made a friend of us all and his cinematic adventures are veritable treats. The soul of Paddington 2 is centered around one special Peruvian bear, but its beautiful messages and delightful colors ensure that everyone will leave with a little more optimism and a spirit of goodwill to all.