Time’s up Buzz and Woody, here’s one bear who’s 2 legit deux quit. Paddington 2 has become the latest movie to top Toy Story 2‘s Rotten Tomatoes record, notching the most consecutive Fresh reviews without a single Rotten write-up. As of this writing, Paddington 2 has 164 Fresh reviews, versus Toy Story 2‘s 163.
Series director Paul King reacts: “The Paddington films are a real labour of love. So many people pour their hearts and souls into them for months or even years, hand-crafting every last frame, and we are all incredibly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had so far. We hope it inspires people to go to the cinema to see for themselves if a talking animal film really can be any good, and whether Hugh Grant really can look devilishly handsome even while dressed as a nun. (Clue: yes.)”
For those keeping track at home (and what else would you be doing there?), yes, Lady Bird was queen of this game last year. And, yes, Lady Bird did eventually get a Rotten review, a cruel fate we predict will befall Paddington 2 in time.
Or maybe not! This bearly beloved sequel has much more in common withToy Story 2 than an intimate, Sacramento-set teen comedy. The Paddington and Toy Story movies are family works that are bright, funny, and target broad audiences without cynicism — catnip to critics who love movies that appeal to kids and adults alike.
Here’s what the critics are saying about Paddington 2:
There are slapstick hijinks and silly scenarios aplenty, but at its heart Paddington 2 has something serious to say about making the world a better place through daily acts of kindness.
– Barbara VanDeburgh, Arizona Republic
This is a film of such open-hearted joy and grace, which feels rare in an industry that often embraces cynicism and sarcasm, including in its children’s stories.
– David Sims, The Atlantic
Paddington 2 is The Godfather Part II of Peruvian bear movies, a sequel that surpasses the superb original.
– Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Could it be that Hugh Grant was born to play a villainous dandy in a kid’s movie?
– Stephanie Merry, Washington Post
The sequel has the same tone as the original but is livelier and funnier, mostly due to Hugh Grant, who gleams as the bad guy.
– Jody Mitori, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The greatest achievement of Paddington 2, however, isn’t dramatic—it’s purely technical. Paddington himself, created entirely by C.G.I., is woven into recognizable settings amid live action and beside live actors with a wizardry of an astounding ordinariness.
– Richard Brody, The New Yorker
The pop-up book sequence is THE highlight in a film filled with dazzling special effects. Paddington’s fur is vividly tactile, and his immersion in this live-action world is absolutely seamless.
– Christy Lemire, rogerebert.com
Paddington 2 is playing in theaters everywhere now.