Gentle lessons, humor return in ‘Paddington 2’

May 10, 2018 GMT

Movies & More columnist John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “Paddington 2,” which is rated PG and is available on DVD. Family films such as “Paddington 2″ offer parents the chance to talk to their children about real-life dangers as characters such as Paddington face troubles during the movie.

The lovable talking bear is back for more adventures in London in “Paddington 2.” Young Paddington enjoys living with Henry (Hugh Bonneville) and Mary Brown (Sally Hawkins) and their children Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) and Judy (Madeleine Harris). Julie Walters returns as Mrs. Bird, who keeps things tidy.

Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw), who loves marmalade sandwiches, just wants to buy a pop-up book to send to his Aunt Lucy, who has always wanted to travel to London. The one-of-a-kind book features London landmarks, and Paddington decides to get a job to earn the money to purchase the book.

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After a brief and unsuccessful stint in a barbershop, Paddington takes up window washing and is about a day away from being able to purchase the book when it is stolen and he is accused of being the culprit. He is sentenced to years behind bars while the real criminal is an over-the-top villain named Phoenix Buchanan (played by Hugh Grant, who seems to be having a wonderful time in the role).

While Paddington tries to make friends with his fellow inmates, his loving family tries to determine who really stole the book.

This cute and charming movie emphasizes the importance of family and friends and of being kind and helpful. It also looks at embracing individuality and not trying to pretend to be something that one is not.

Meanwhile, it turns out the stolen book offers pointers on where to collect clues around London to discover a real hidden treasure, which is why Phoenix wanted the book in the first place.

Behind bars, Paddington is able to win over grumpy “Nuckles” McGinty (Brendan Gleeson) and start his fellow inmates on their way to creating culinary delights.

As this film draws to a close, there is a prison break and capers on a couple of trains and a very close call before everything is set right with a very satisfying ending for Paddington and his family and friends.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.