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 Paddington Bear, created by Michael Bond (to whom the film is also dedicated, he having died that year), it is the sequel to Paddington (2014), and is produced by Heyday Films and StudioCanal UK. The film, a British-French-Luxembourgish 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 when the gift is stolen he is wrongly arrested and imprisoned for the theft, he and his family have to find the real culprit and prove Paddington's innocence.
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 on Metacritic, and had an approval rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (and was, with 245 positive reviews, the highest-rated film on the site until a negative review was registered at 246). It has been considered one of the best films of the 2010s, for children and adults. 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. A third film is in development.
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 and saves his wages, but the book is stolen. Paddington gives chase, but the thief escapes, and Paddington is framed. The thief returns home and is revealed to be Phoenix Buchanan, an egotistical actor who lives near the Browns. Paddington appears in court, and although Gruber states that he does not believe that Paddington stole the book, with no evidence of the thief's existence, Paddington is convicted and sent to prison.
While in prison, Paddington befriends many of the inmates, including the short-tempered chef Knuckles, who recruits Paddington, impressed by his marmalade sandwich recipe. The Browns work to clear Paddington's name, putting up sketches of the thief. Buchanan uses the book to locate a series of clues within London's 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 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. Knuckles, Phibs and Spoon later tell Paddington that although the Browns mean well, they will eventually forget about him.
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. Buchanan returns home and they are forced to leave. Meanwhile, the Browns' investigation causes them to miss visiting Paddington in prison.
Paddington, thinking that the Browns have in fact forgotten him, joins Knuckles, Phibs and Spoon in a prison break. They promise to aid in proving his innocence, but after escaping, they promptly abandon the idea in order to leave the country, inviting Paddington to join them. 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.
Paddington reaches the station, disguising himself as a litter bin to avoid the police, and boards the train just as it leaves. The Browns pursue on a LNER Peppercorn Class A1, at the opposite platform. Buchanan finds the hidden fortune but is thwarted by Paddington who takes back the book. Henry, Judy and Mrs. Bird catch up and board the other train to confront Buchanan, who overwhelms them and escapes. He severs the coupling of the train's rear carriage (with Paddington locked inside), but is photographed by Judy while holding the book, before Henry knocks him out.
Paddington is left stranded in the rear carriage, which crashes into a nearby river. Mary tries to rescue Paddington but struggles to open the locked carriage; she is soon assisted by Knuckles and the other inmates, who had a change of heart and decide to help Paddington as promised.
Paddington becomes very ill and falls into a coma, but wakes up on Lucy's birthday. He learns that he has been exonerated, and that Buchanan has been arrested and the book with the hidden fortune on the train are being kept by authorities. He is disappointed that he cannot give Lucy the book, which was taken in as evidence, 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, and Knuckles opens a sandwich business. Buchanan is sentenced to 10 years in prison; six months later, he is shown to be putting his experience as a performer to further use by hosting shows for the inmates and providing entertainment throughout the building.