Paddington 2 is a 2017 live-action animated comedy film, directed by Paul King and written by King and Simon Farnaby. Based on the stories of the character Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond, it is the sequel to Paddington (2014), and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal UK. The film, a British-French co-production, stars Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington, with Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Hugh Grant in live-action roles. In the film, Paddington tries to get a present for his aunt's birthday, but ends up being framed for a crime he did not commit.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Paul King|
|Produced by||David Heyman|
|Music by||Dario Marianelli|
|Box office||$227.3 million|
Principal photography began in October 2016 and ended in June 2017. The film was theatrically released on 10 November 2017 in the United Kingdom and 6 December 2017 in France, and grossed $227 million worldwide. It received widespread critical acclaim, and has an approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (and is, with 236 positive reviews, the highest-rated film on the site). It received three nominations at the 71st British Academy Film Awards: Outstanding British Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for Grant.
Paddington, having settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, has become popular in his community, offering people emotional support in various ways. To purchase a unique pop-up book of London in Samuel Gruber's antique shop for his aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, Paddington performs several odd jobs (including a hairdresser and a window cleaner) and saves his wages, but the book is stolen. Paddington gives chase, but the thief escapes, and Paddington is framed and arrested. Although Mr. Gruber and the Browns do not believe that Paddington stole the book, with no evidence that the thief even existed, Paddington is wrongfully convicted and jailed. The thief returns home and is revealed to be Phoenix Buchanan, an egotistical ex-actor who lives opposite the Browns.
While in prison, Paddington befriends many of the inmates, including the short-tempered chef Knuckles, who hires Paddington, impressed by his marmalade sandwich recipe. The Browns work to clear Paddington's name, putting up sketches of the thief. Buchanan begins using the pop-up book to locate a series of clues within London's famous landmarks, which he believes will unveil the location of a secret treasure. During their efforts to prove Paddington's innocence, the Browns encounter a fortune teller who informs them that the stolen book leads to the hidden fortune of the original author.
With Paddington inside, the prison is a much livelier place, but Paddington struggles to remain positive when the Browns are unable to prove his innocence, but keep hunting. Becoming convinced that Buchanan is the culprit, the Browns look for the stolen book inside his house. They find a secret attic where Buchanan's various costumes are stashed, including the costume of the thief. Before they can act further, Buchanan returns home and they are forced to leave. Meanwhile, they miss a prison visit with Paddington, causing him to believe that they have forgotten about him.
Paddington soon joins Knuckles, Phibs, and Spoon in a prison break who promise to aid in proving his innocence but promptly abandon the idea in order to leave the country as a free man, inviting Paddington to come with him. Paddington refuses and, while avoiding the police, uses a public telephone to contact the Browns, who assert that Buchanan is the real culprit. To catch him, they arrange to meet at Paddington Station, where a carnival train carrying the supposed location of the hidden fortune is due to leave shortly.
Paddington reaches the station and boards the train just as it leaves. The Browns pursue on another steam train at the opposite platform. When caught up, Henry Brown, Judy Brown, and Mrs. Bird board the other train and confront Buchanan, who overwhelms them and makes good his initial escape. Paddington is left stranded in the train's rear carriage, the coupling of which Buchanan severs, leaving it to crash into a nearby river. Mary Brown tries to rescue Paddington but struggles to open the locked carriage; she is soon assisted by Knuckles and the other inmates, who have had a change of heart and decide to help Paddington as promised. Eventually, Henry knocks out Buchanan just as he tries to access the so-called treasure, and he is promptly taken into custody.
Paddington, now declared innocent, becomes very ill after the events, slipping into a short three-day coma and waking up on Lucy's birthday. With the book taken in as evidence by the police, Paddington is left disappointed that he was unable to buy Lucy a present as promised, but soon discovers the Browns, with the help of various other people in the neighbourhood, made sure Lucy could come to London and see it for herself. When answering the door to her, Paddington rushes up and hugs her, wishing her a happy birthday.
During the credits, Knuckles, Phibs, and Spoon are pardoned. Buchanan is found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Six months later, he is shown to be putting his experience as a performer to further use, hosting shows for the inmates and providing entertainment throughout the building.
- Hugh Bonneville as Henry Brown, Mary's husband and Judy and Jonathan's father
- Sally Hawkins as Mary Brown, Henry's wife and Judy and Jonathan's mother
- Hugh Grant as Phoenix Buchanan, a narcissistic actor and former star of the West End theatre, reduced to making adverts for dog food.
- Brendan Gleeson as Knuckles McGinty, a short-tempered safe cracker and prison cook
- Madeleine Harris as Judy Brown, Mary and Henry's daughter and Jonathan's sister
- Samuel Joslin as Jonathan Brown, Mary and Henry's son and Judy's brother
- Julie Walters as Mrs. Bird, the Browns' housekeeper
- Jim Broadbent as Samuel Gruber, an antique shop owner and a friend of the Browns
- Peter Capaldi as Mr. Curry, the Browns' neighbour who despises Paddington
- Simon Farnaby as Barry, the security guard
- Joanna Lumley as Felicity Fanshaw, Phoenix's agent
- Ben Miller as Colonel Lancaster
- Jessica Hynes as Miss Kitts
- Noah Taylor as Phibs, an inmate who is a former restaurant critic
- Aaron Neil as Spoon, an inmate
- Eileen Atkins as Madame Kozlova
- Tom Conti as Judge Gerald Biggleswade, a judge who presides over Paddington's trial, having previously been a victim of a botched haircut by Paddington.
- Sanjeev Bhaskar as Dr. Jafri
- Marie-France Alvarez as Mademoiselle Dubois
- Maggie Steed as Mrs. Gertrude Biggleswade, the wife of Gerald Biggleswade
- Richard Ayoade as a Forensic Investigator
- Meera Syal as a Prosecutor
In April 2015, David Heyman, the producer of Paddington (2014), confirmed that a sequel was in development. It was also announced that Paul King would return to direct, and co-write the screenplay with Simon Farnaby. Heyman's Heyday Films, and StudioCanal, produced the film, making it a British-French co-production. By October 2016, most of the cast of Paddington — Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin, Ben Whishaw and Imelda Staunton — were confirmed to be returning for the sequel, joined by Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson.
Principal photography began on 18 October 2016. Many of the domestic interiors were filmed on stages at Pinewood Studios and Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, but producers also shot at key central London locations like Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral. Jonah Coombes, supervising location on both Paddington and the sequel, stated, “We were looking for locations that celebrated London and delivered the kind of cinematic scale we were looking for.” Framestore provided the visual effects for the film, including the elaborate pop-up book sequence. On 7 February 2017, filming featured in the CBBC documentary series All Over the Workplace. Filming took place in London’s Little Venice for three days, and also at Shepton Mallet Prison and Knebworth Park. Principal photography ended on 27 June 2017. Michael Bond, the creator of Paddington Bear, died the same day, and the film was dedicated to him.
The music of the film was composed by Dario Marianelli.
Additional music in the film, not included on the soundtrack recording:
Paddington 2 had its world premiere in London on 5 November 2017, and was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 10 November. It was released on 6 December in France, 7 December in Germany, 21 December in Australia and New Zealand, and 12 January 2018 in the United States. StudioCanal distributed the film in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
The film was originally set to be distributed by The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films in the United States through their sub-label, TWC-Dimension, as the last film was. Following the sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein Company founder Harvey Weinstein, Heyday Films and StudioCanal looked for another American distributor for Paddington 2, because they believed that a film for children should not be associated with the Weinstein scandal. In mid-November 2017, Warner Bros. Pictures, which distributed Heyman's Harry Potter films and was already distributing the Paddington films in Spain, acquired the film's North American distribution rights for $32 million (£24 million), making it the first film in the series to do so.
From 9 October 2017, five pop-up installations of Paddington's pop-up book, featured in the film, were placed around London, at Peter's Hill, Tower Bridge, Paddington Station, Peninsula Square and Bankside. The event was promoted by Visit London. The launch was attended by Hugh Bonneville and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
On 16 October 2017, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attended a Paddington 2 charity event at Paddington Station, along with some of the cast and crew of the film. A video game based on the film, Paddington Run, was released on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices on 25 October 2017.
On 26 October 2017, it was announced that Paddington would appear in the 2017 Marks & Spencer Christmas advertisement. A teaser was released on 4 November 2017. The advertisement itself was released on 7 November 2017 and had its television premiere on the Pride of Britain Awards 2017. Whishaw returned to voice Paddington, and the advertisement also featured Mark Benton and Angela Rippon.
Paddington 2 was released on streaming platform Amazon Video on 5 March 2018. The film was released in the United Kingdom on Blu-ray, DVD & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on 12 March 2018. The film was released on Blu-ray and DVD in the United States on 24 April 2018 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
In its first weekend in the United Kingdom, the film grossed $10.9 million (£8.3 million), more than the first film ($8/£6 million), becoming StudioCanal's highest grossing film opening weekend in the United Kingdom to date. In its second weekend, the film dropped 20% and grossed another $8.8 million (£6.6 million).
In the United States and Canada, Paddington 2 was released alongside the openings of The Commuter and Proud Mary, as well as the wide expansion of The Post, and was projected to gross $15–17 million from 3,702 theatres in opening weekend. It made $2.4 million on its first day and $11 million over the weekend (including $15 million over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend), finishing 7th at the box office, and marking a near-50% decline from the opening of the first film. It made $8 million in its second weekend, dropping 27% and finishing 6th.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, Paddington 2 has an approval rating of 100% based on 236 reviews, with an average rating of 8.77/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Paddington 2 honours its star's rich legacy with a sweet-natured sequel whose adorable visuals are matched by a story perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure." On 18 January 2018, it became the most-reviewed film ever to remain at 100% on the site, with 164 positive reviews, beating Toy Story 2, which had 163 positive reviews at the time. Lady Bird had previously beaten the record the past November, but registered a negative review at 196. On Metacritic, another review aggregator, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100 based on 38 critics, indicating "universal acclaim". On French entertainment information publisher AlloCiné, the film has an average grade of 4.0/5 based on 22 critics. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, the same score earned by its predecessor.
Leslie Felperin of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Paddington 2 won't save the world, sadly, but its existence makes everything just that tiny bit better and more, well, bearable." Guy Lodge of Variety wrote, "Another near pawfect family entertainment, honouring the cosy, can-do spirit of Michael Bond's stories while bringing them smoothly into a bustling, diverse 21st century London — with space for some light anti-Brexit subtext to boot." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian wrote, "The film is pitched with insouciant ease and a lightness of touch at both children and adults without any self-conscious shifts in irony or tone: it's humour with the citrus tang of top quality thick-cut marmalade." In 2019, The Guardian ranked Paddington 2 in 69th place in its 100 Best Films of the 21st Century list.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|Heartland Film Festival||31 December 2017||Truly Moving Picture Award||Paul King||Won|
|London Film Critics' Circle Awards||28 January 2018||Best British or Irish Film||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Grant||Won|
|Best British or Irish Actress||Sally Hawkins (also for The Shape of Water and Maudie)||Won|
|Best Breakthrough British or Irish Filmmaker||Simon Farnaby||Nominated|
|Technical Achievement||Pablo Grillo||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Awards||8 February 2018||Everyman Award for Best Film||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Peter Sellers Award for Comedy||Won|
|Technical Achievement||Gary Williamson||Won|
|British Academy Film Awards||18 February 2018||Best British Film||Paul King, David Heyman and Simon Farnaby||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Hugh Grant||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Simon Farnaby and Paul King||Nominated|
|International Film Music Critics Association||22 February 2018||Best Original Score for a Comedy Film||Dario Marianelli||Nominated|
|Empire Awards||18 March 2018||Best British Film||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||27 June 2018||Best Fantasy Film||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society Mid-Season Awards||3 July 2018||Best Picture||David Heyman||Runner-Up|
|Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Grant||Nominated|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Paul King and Simon Farnaby||Won|
|People's Choice Awards||11 November 2018||The Family Movie of 2018||Paddington 2||Shortlisted|
|British Academy Children's Awards||25 November 2018||Feature Film||Paul King, Simon Farnaby and David Heyman||Won|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2018||3 December 2018||Best Voice Performance||Ben Whishaw||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association Awards||7 December 2018||Best Art Direction/Production Design||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Best Use of Visual Effects||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||December 9, 2018||Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Grant||Runner-up|
|San Diego Film Critics Society||10 December 2018||Best Visual Effects||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Runner-up|
|Best Comedic Performance||Hugh Grant||Won|
|St. Louis Film Critics Association||16 December 2018||Best Comedy||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Seattle Film Critics Society||17 December 2018||Best Picture||Nominated|
|Villain of the year||Hugh Grant||Nominated|
|Indiana Film Journalists Association Awards||December 17, 2018||Best Picture||Paddington 2||Runner-Up|
|Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance||Ben Whishaw||Runner-Up|
|Florida Film Critics Circle Awards||21 December 2018||Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Grant||Nominated|
|Best Art Direction/Production Design||Paddington 2||Runner-Up|
|Austin Film Critics Association||7 January 2019||Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Grant||Nominated|
|Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance||Ben Whishaw||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society||9 January 2019||Best Visual Effects or Animated Performance||Ben Whishaw||Nominated|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||January 10, 2019||Best Supporting Actor||Hugh Grant||Nominated|
|Golden Tomato Awards||January 11, 2019||Best-Reviewed Wide Release||Paddington 2||7th Place|
|Best Movie 2018: UK||Won|
|Best Kids and Family Movie||Won|
|Annie Awards||2 February 2019||Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Live Action Production||Pablo Grillo, Laurent Laban, Kyle Dunlevy, Stuart Ellis and Liam Russell||Nominated|
|Movieguide Awards||February 8, 2019||Best Movie for Families||Paddington 2||Nominated|
|Faith & Freedom Award for Movies||Nominated|
In June 2016, StudioCanal CEO Didier Lupfer stated that the studio was committed to making a third Paddington film. In November 2017, David Heyman told Digital Spy that though the script for a third film had not been developed, discussions about locations, ideas and scenes had already begun. In November 2018, Heyman noted that a third film was likely to happen, but that Paul King would not be back to direct, though he would still be involved in a prominent creative capacity.
- List of films with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a film review aggregator website
- List of films considered the best
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