If Paddington 2 has the slight edge over its thoroughly delightful predecessor, that’s mostly due to an ingenious, animated montage near the start of the film. The plot centers on an antique pop-up book about London that Paddington (once again delicately voiced by Ben Whishaw) wants to give to his Aunt Lucy for her birthday. The camera zooms in on the open book, where we see the small figures of Paddington and his aunt walking along the three-dimensional pages. Before we know it, we’re immersed in the book ourselves, as the pages turn and London’s landmarks unfold with magical surprise. It’s unexpected, lovingly crafted, and was likely more of a bother for director Paul King and his team of animators than was “necessary.” But that’s the hallmark of this series: creativity for the sheer joy of it. If Paddington 2 does go on to include a bit more CGI action than I like in my gentle bear movies, it also has another devilishly amusing villain in Hugh Grant, playing a washed-up stage actor looking to reclaim his former glory. His scheme lands Paddington, undeservedly, in prison, where we meet the movie’s true, non-ursine MVP: Brendan Gleeson. As Knuckles McGinty, the prison’s fearsome chef who is won over by Paddinton’s patience and marmalade, Gleeson suggests that underneath his walrus beard and booming bluster, there’s a cuddly teddy bear just waiting for a hug.