It must have been a strange prospect for Paul King when he was handed the task of bringing Paddington Bear to the big screen. Whilst the furry Peruvian and his marmalade sandwiches have bewitched generations of eager young cubs, he never seemed a subject who would make for a good cinematic experience. King struggled a bit with this on the first film, which was perfectly charming but lacked real substance. In Paddington 2 he manages to create a magical and wonderful film which all the family will love.

Paddington (Ben Whishaw) has settled into life with the Browns at Windsor Gardens, becoming a popular member of the local community. He wants to give his Aunt Lucy something special for her 100th birthday. When he spies a unique pop-up book of London in Herr Gruber’s (Jim Broadbent) antiques shop, it seems like the perfect present. There’s just one problem. Paddington needs to get a job so he can afford it, and when the book is stolen Paddington must take action.

Paddington 2 builds on the groundwork or the first film to produce an utterly lovely, clever, funny and beguiling sequel. It’s beautifully shot with a palette rivalling Wes Anderson at his most Kaleidoscopic. King re-assembles the brilliant British cast from the original (including Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters & Peter Capaldi) but also introduces more familiar faces; the highlights being Brendan Gleeson and a show-steeling performance from Hugh Grant. Paddington 2 was one of the highlights of 2017. It’s a film for everyone and one we really need right now.

Paddington 2 is available on digital download now and released by StudioCanal on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD + Blu-ray on 12 March.