As the nights start to draw in we begin to turn our thoughts to the cosy, the comforting, the downright huggable and few things give us the warm glow of 18 bowls-worth of Ready Brek quite like everyone’s favourite bear, Paddington.
So it was with approximately zero seconds’ worth of hesitation that DIY accepted the invitation to check out the first footage from the upcoming Paddington 2 and we’re happy to report that, on this evidence at least, it’s every bit as charming, funny and anarchic as its predecessor.
Before we’re shown the footage there are some delicious marmalade sandwiches on offer (we can neither confirm nor deny that some made their way underneath our hats) as well as some superior entertainment from an excellent calypso band. It’s then up to Mr Brown himself - actor Hugh Bonneville - to introduce the footage and brief us on the plot of the sequel which sees the lovable Peruvian bear now fully a part of the Brown family and searching for a gift for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. Throw in a new neighbour in the form of Hugh Grant who could be responsible for Paddington ending up in jail and it’s looking like the adorable bear has quite the adventure in the follow-up to the 2014 hit.
The first clip we see has Paddington (voiced once again by Ben Whishaw) visiting Mr Gruber’s (a returning Jim Broadbent) wondrous antique shop with the hopes of finding Aunt Lucy’s gift. After rejecting the idea of a pair of roller boots he discovers a beautiful pop book of London inside one of the crates of memorabilia from Madam Koslova, whose steam fair has arrived in town. This scene showcases director Paul King’s sublime sense of the surreal as Paddington imagines himself and Aunt Lucy wandering about the book. Full of imagination and delicate humour, it’s a beautifully realised scene that’s pure King and co-writer Simon Farnaby.
The second clip sees the Brown’s (Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Samuel Joslin and Madeleine Harris), Paddington and housekeeper Mrs Bird (Julie Walters) attending the opening of Madam Koslova’s aforementioned steam fair. It’s here that we’re introduced to Hugh Grant’s has-been of an actor, the pompous Phoenix Buchanan, a neighbour of the Brown’s and one of Mr Brown’s clients. After inviting Paddington on stage to open the fair, the bear unknowingly insults him and he becomes visibly interested when Paddington mentions the pop-up book he wishes to buy for Aunt Lucy.
Next we see Paddington banged up in prison and trying to settle in. Assigned to the laundry, the hapless Paddington accidentally dyes his fellow inmates’ – including Noah Taylor - stripy uniforms pink thanks to an errant red sock. This is the only unfinished scene we’re shown with temp CGI in place of the furry bear. Yep, believe it or not. Paddington isn’t actually real folks. The clip ends in the mess hall with the inmates, resplendent in pink, labouring over some unappetising slop leading to Paddington unwisely requesting some more suitable fare of the prison cook. Unfortunately, the cook happens to be the feared Knuckles McGinty (Brendan Gleeson).
The final clip is an amusingly farcical moment showcasing Mrs Brown’s determination to find clues in Phoenix’s home. Spotted from the window by Mr Brown in his pyjamas, he confronts his wife only for the pair of them to be caught by Phoenix who unexpectedly returns home early to collect a much needed cravat.
After the enormous success of the delightful Paddington, Paddington 2 really does look set to equal if not surpass it. Roll on November!
Paddington 2 hits UK cinemas on 10th November courtesy of Studiocanal.