Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) wants to buy his Aunt Lucy (Imelda Staunton) a birthday present. He works hard and does odd jobs for neighbours to save enough money to buy a special pop-up book of London. But when the birthday present is stolen by a mysterious thief, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant), Paddington is framed for the crime. Paddington and the Brown family must find the mystery thief and the missing present to save Paddington before Aunt Lucy’s birthday.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Separation from family; crime/prison
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Paddington 2 has some violence. For example:
- There is some slapstick comedy violence. For example, Paddington shaves off a man’s hair with an electric razor.
- A prisoner threatens Paddington, saying ‘How would you like to be buried in a deep hole?’
- A flashback scene shows a magician cutting a rope, which makes a woman fall from a roof and die. The dead body is shown, but there’s no blood.
- Henry Brown almost runs over Phoenix with his car.
- Phoenix and the Browns have a sword fight, and Phoenix handcuffs the Browns to a pole. Phoenix also shoots a plastic dart gun.
- Henry Brown throws a ball at Phoenix’s head and knocks him out.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Paddington 2 has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:
- As a baby bear, Paddington is caught in a river and almost falls off a waterfall. Aunt Lucy saves him at the last minute.
- There is a robbery at the antique store, and Paddington has a chase scene with the robber. Paddington almost falls in the river.
- Paddington is arrested for a robbery he didn’t commit and sent to gaol. He’s shown sad and alone in a cell. Some of the other prisoners initially look a bit scary, but they turn out to be friendly.
- Paddington and his friends escape prison, and Paddington goes on the run from the police.
- The Brown family chase after Paddington and Phoenix in a steam train. Some scenes are a bit scary, including when Paddington tries to climb between two trains and almost hits a wall.
- Paddington gets stuck in a train carriage in the water and begins to drown. Mary Brown tries to save him but she can’t. There is a moment where the audience thinks that Paddington might die, but then at the last minute he’s saved.
Children in this age group might be disturbed or scared by the scenes mentioned above.
Nothing of concern
Nothing of concern
Paddington 2 has some sexual references. For example:
- Paddington asks one of his neighbours how her date went.
- Two neighbours look at each other fondly and then move in together.
- Judy is upset because her boyfriend dumped her.
- A security guard says that a nun (Phoenix dressed as a woman) is the most attractive and beautiful women he has ever seen.
- A female character says ‘nice buns’. She’s talking about bread rolls, but Phoenix thinks she means his bottom.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nothing of concern
Nudity and sexual activity
Paddington 2 has some suggested nudity. For example, Paddington cleans windows with his bottom.
There’s no product placement of concern in this movie, but it’s part of the Paddington Bear franchise. There’s plenty of merchandise associated with this franchise marketed to children.
Paddington 2 has some insults and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Paddington 2 is a comic mystery adventure that’s sure to delight adults and children. This humorous movie reminds us to be kind and try to see the best in people.
Because the movie has some scary and violent scenes, it isn’t recommended for children under 5 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-8 years.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include kindness, bravery, optimism and teamwork.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about what happens when you use violence to solve problems.