In just under six weeks time, on November 10th, everyone’s favourite marmalade munching Bear, Paddington, returns to the big screen. Paddington 2 is the follow-up live-action sequel replete with the bear’s innocent charm and knack of stumbling into trouble but miraculously coming out the other end with nothing but love from all those with whom he has crossed paths. The question is: can Paddington endear himself still to audiences, young and old after the first film saw the Peruvian Bear travel to London to find a home?
Earlier in the week, HeyUGuys had the honour of attending a special Footage Presentation of the sequel introduced by Mr Brown himself, Hugh Bonneville. Sadly returning director Paul King was still in the editing suite putting the final touches on the film so couldn’t attend. Although the presentation only consisted of four clips totalling 10 minutes there is no question the film is as delightfully warm and oozing charisma as its predecessor.
The sequel sees Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw), now settled with the Brown family, he has integrated himself with the community becoming quite the local celebrity. Paddington’s Peruvian home and family are never far from his mind even more so now with Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday looming around the corner. The confident young bear takes on a number of odd jobs to save up enough cash to buy Aunt Lucy an antique pop-up book from an antique bookstore and this is where we come in for the first clip in the presentation.
Paddington ventures to Mr Gruber’s shop, played with a Dickensian twang by the ever faithful Jim Broadbent, for elevenses. As Paddington is presented with the special antique pop-up book the audience is transported into the world of nostalgic traditional animation, where the lines are of the pen are prominent and the storytelling tones quite magical.
Joining the Paddington Party this time around is Hugh Grant as the has-been actor Phoenix Buchanan. Egotistical, with a sense of attention seeking style, his introduction comes at the opening of the local fair where hilarity ensues as young Paddington, after being asked to declare the fair open alongside him upstages him with a few innocent put downs he has heard from Julia Walters Mrs Bird.
Also joining the cast on its second outing is a menacing Brendan Gleeson as ‘Knuckles’ McGinty, a prison cook who would rather grind your bones than hear any criticism of his food. At this point we have to say that Paddington’s misdemeanours have finally caught up with him and he lands up in prison, going hilariously head to head with the grumpy cook over the slope he serves.
Finally, the return of Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as Mr and Mrs Brown is nothing short of your typically British and ‘proper’ couple. Even breaking and entering into someone else’s house is laced with a middle-class panache of wit and warmth.
Just like Paddington’s beloved marmalade sandwiches, Paddington 2 is set to be just as tangy and delightfully delicious served up with all those home comforts of a top-notch British affair. Your kids are going to love it and let’s face it us adults will be surprisingly charmed too.