10 Reasons Paddington 2 Really Is The Greatest Movie Of All Time

Summary

  • Paddington 2′s Rotten Tomatoes score rivaling that of Citizen Kane shows it may be one of the greatest movies of all time.
  • The film’s CGI is visually stunning and still holds up compared to contemporary releases.
  • Hugh Grant’s performance as the villain is career-best and adds to the overall quality of the film.


2017’s Paddington 2 marked the lovable bear’s return to the big screen, and its overwhelmingly positive reception left some people genuinely considering it the greatest movie of all time — and there are several ways this bold claim can be backed by the bear in the blue coat. The film follows Paddington as he decides to get a pop-up book of London for his Aunt Lucy’s birthday. Before Paddington can earn enough money through odd jobs to buy the book, a washed-up actor named Phoenix Buchanan steals it and frames Paddington, resulting in Paddington Bear going to prison.

Paddington 2 earned its spot as one of the greatest movies of all time when it ended up with a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than Citizen Kane (both movies are now at 99%). Though the two movies couldn’t be more different, it brings up an interesting discussion about how almost everyone who’s seen Paddington 2 seems to have enjoyed it. Though Paddington 2 lost its top-rated spot on Rotten Tomatoes, there are still many reasons Paddington 2 may be one of the greatest movies of all time.

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10 Paddington 2 Is A Montage Of Movie Genres

The Sequel To Paddington Is A Genre-Defying Story

Paddington in the winter

Paddington 2 is enjoyed by a variety of audiences, perhaps because of its genre-defying story. It is a classic movie mystery with the Brown family’s investigation into Buchanan, slowly unraveling why one little pop-up book is so important. It is also a comedy, where Paddington washes windows with his fur and accidentally turns the prisoners’ uniforms pink with a single red sock in the laundry.

Some viewers have even gone as far as to describe Paddington 2 as a contemporary fable, especially since it is aimed at the youngest movie-goers. Paddington’s lessons about being polite, exercising kindness, and remembering manners are the values society would like to instill in kids.

9 Paddington 2 Demonstrates The Power Of Great CGI

Framestore Animated Paddington 2 And It Still Holds Up

The special effects in Paddington 2 are a visual treat. Framestore is the animation studio responsible for creating the bear himself, and they crafted over 523 shots in the film. They capture Paddington warmly and charmingly — a smile on his fuzzy face is never lost to the audience, and tears welling in his eyes cause viewers to react likewise. There are no movie-ruining CGI moments at all in the Paddington sequel, and despite 2017 being over 5 years ago, the visuals still hold when compared to contemporary releases.

8 Hugh Grant Gives A Career-Best Villain Performance

Hugh Grant Gives His All As The Paddington 2 Bad Guy

Huge Grant as the villain in Paddington 2

Grant portrays Pheonix Buchanan, a formerly famous actor who now stars in dog food commercials. He serves as the perfect foil to Paddington. Where Paddington is always earnest and honest. Buchanan hides his true nature behind the many disguises he wears throughout the movie. Grant’s performance is over-the-top and genuinely sinister, especially in the final sequence when he is willing to put Paddington in harm’s way to get what he wants. Grant himself believes Paddington 2 might even be the best film of his career — yet another testament to its quality.

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7 Paddington 2 Has Beautiful Cinematography

Aesthetic Matches Perfectly Mirrors The Storytelling

Paddington walking into the sunset

Paddington 2 proves that children’s movies can be for everyone when the creators take such careful care with the sequel. The film has a colorful set design and mesmerizing long takes, such as the scene that reveals how Paddington transforms the prison. When Paddington arrives at the prison, the lighting is cold and gray, reflecting the dreary atmosphere. But after the kind bear’s stay, the prison is warm and full of light.

It’s one of many examples of rich visual storytelling throughout Paddington 2 that elevate it beyond a typical movie aimed at young viewers. A film like Paddington 2 develops kids’ understanding of cinematic language and even plants the seeds for the filmmakers of tomorrow to learn how to craft a visual story.

6 Paddington 2 Is The Perfect Movie For A Good Cry

Paddington Delivers Genuine, Deserved Emotions

Paddington 2 provides the type of cry audiences turn to Pixar classics for. At the movie’s end, when the Browns reveal that the neighborhood helped bring Aunt Lucy to London for her birthday, it’s hard for viewers not to feel the emotion of the scene. What makes the film especially nice for a good cry is the lack of true, lasting sadness.

Rather than lacing its wholesome story with unnecessary tragedy, Paddington 2 leans on the simple things instead. Director Paul King doesn’t have to do anything big or terrible to provide an emotional catharsis. It’s enough to see Paddington wash the windows for his grumpy neighbor so that the sunlight can come into his apartment. Such compassion, rarely seen in modern life, is more than enough to get the tears flowing in many viewers.

5 Paddington 2 Is Genuinely Funny

The Paddington Sequel Is Genuinely Hilarious

Paddington in the prison kitchen

The movie can make the audience cry, but it can also make them laugh. Like the first film, it takes influence from slapstick comedy, like the sequence where Paddington accidentally shaves the back of a client’s head or Mr. Brown nails Buchanan with a ball at the end of the film. There are also many funny lines, though, delivered in a deadpan style.

One such hilarious moment in Paddington 2 is when Paddington’s friend, Mr. Gruber, suggests birthday presents for his Aunt Lucy and holds up a pair of roller skates. Paddington, who had been rummaging through a trunk of potential gift ideas, turns around wearing a fruit hat and says, “Please, Mr. Gruber, be serious.”

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4 Paddington 2 Pays Homage To Recent And Classic Films

The Paddington Sequel Is Jam-Packed With Easter Eggs

The prison dance number in Paddington 2

Movie lovers can find references hidden throughout Paddington 2, some more obvious than others. One scene during the prison breakout shows a miniature version of the building that opens up to reveal the characters’ escape. This is a technique Wes Anderson has used in several movies like The Royal Tenenbaums. During the breakout, Paddington slides between several gears and emerges with a mustache just like Charlie Chaplin. Lastly, in the Browns’ investigation of the real thief, one newspaper headline says, “The Un-Unusual Suspects,” which could be a reference to the famous line in Casablanca, “round up the usual suspects.

3 The Entire Cast Shines

Paddington 2 Is Anchored By A Strong Ensemble

Paddiington with his family

While Hugh Grant was a new addition to the cast, the Brown family all returned for the sequel. Sally Hawkins, who plays Mary Brown, displays her care for Paddington in every scene she shares with him. Hugh Bonneville as Henry Brown is just as funny as he was in the original. Lastly, the movie would be nowhere near complete without Paddington’s voice actor, Ben Wishaw.

Whishaw’s voice is warm and soothing, especially notable in voiceovers when Paddington writes a letter to his Aunt Lucy. Ben Whishaw truly makes the titular bear come to life, and many are likely looking forward to his return in the upcoming Paddington 3.

2 Paddington 2’s Themes Are Universal

Paddington 2 Is About Embracing Everyone

Paddington with his prized book

While the script focuses most strongly on the theme of kindness, Paddington 2 also has themes about embracing newcomers, like immigrants, in the community. Peter Capaldi’s Mr. Curry calls Paddington undesirable and tries to convince others there is something dangerous about the bear. Paddington’s neighbors know this is untrue due to the kindness he’s always shown them, and they all rally to help him and the Browns in the finale. Paddington 2 is a direct response to increasing polarization in society. It asks the audience to extend kindness to friends and strangers alike.

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1 Paddington 2 Emphasizes The True Value Of Its Main Theme

The Movie Justifies Its Core Message

Paddington 2’s final sequence, where every member of the Brown family comes together to use their unique skills to save Paddington, is a pure joy to watch. When Paddington’s friends turn their plane around after hearing he’s in trouble and help save him too, it is a reminder of why Paddington’s dedication to kindness is essential. It’s about the domino effect. Aunt Lucy saved Paddington from the river in the first scene of the movie. Because of that one act, Paddington goes on to live in London and touches the lives of so many people. In the process, he touched the audience, too, with all the sweetness of his favorite marmalade.

Paddington 2 Movie Poster

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 brings back the adventurous bear, who gets caught up in a heist and is wrongfully accused of stealing a valuable book. Starring Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, and Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington Bear, the 2017 sequel earned overwhelmingly positive reviews.

Release Date
January 12, 2018

Director
Paul King

Cast
Hugh Grant , Ben Whishaw , Hugh Bonneville , Jim Broadbent , Imelda Staunton , Julie Walters , Brendan Gleeson , Peter Capaldi , Sally Hawkins

Rating
PG

Runtime
104minutes

Writers
Paul King , Simon Farnaby

Budget
$40 million

Studio(s)
StudioCanal