Submitted by Tornado Dragon
Millicent is after Paddington because she is the daughter of Montgomery Clyde, the explorer who met and befriended Paddington’s Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy all those years ago. Montgomery was sent to Darkest Peru by the Geographers’ Guild in order to find and collect a Peruvian bear specimen for them, but Montgomery lost his desire to kill and stuff one after becoming charmed with Pastuzo’s and Lucy’s civility and intelligence. When he returned to the Guild empty-handed, his superiors ordered him to give up the bears’ location so they could send someone else to get the specimen, but he flatly refused. The Guild responded by revoking his membership and striking his expedition from their records, and he would subsequently spend the rest of his days running a petting zoo. Millicent resented him for his moral decision, blaming it on costing her and her family a chance at fame and fortune, so she vowed to one day get a Peruvian bear for the Guild and get that fame and fortune herself.
Paddington finds Montgomery’s home after going through every other “M. Clyde” listed in the phone book, but Millicent answers the door when he comes knocking. Not knowing that she has been after him this whole time, he tells her that he is hoping she could give him a home based on how Montgomery told Pastuzo and Lucy that he would welcome them if they ever came to London, and she says she can do that for him. She tricks him into entering a van so she can take him to the Natural History Museum and kill and stuff him there, but Mr. Curry – whom she manipulated into helping her try to catch Paddington earlier on without letting him know that she planned to stuff him – shows up to try to romance her since he is attracted to her. He soon finds out what she intends to do with Paddington, and after she callously tells him to get lost, he telephones the Brown family and Mrs. Bird and lets them know of the danger Paddington is in. Once at the museum, Paddington learns of Millicent’s true intentions and tries to flee, but she tranquilizes him. The Browns and Mrs. Bird sneak into the museum to rescue Paddington, and when all is said and done, they save his life, and Millicent is arrested.
Millicent gets sentenced to community service working in her father’s old petting zoo, which she considered the worst punishment imaginable. Mrs. Bird feels more alive than she has been in years because she feels things have been finally set fair in the Brown household, Judy lets Mary meet her crush Tony (though the meeting is rather awkward), and Henry starts to take more risks in life and helps Jonathan build a big rocket in his room, though the launch does not go smoothly. Paddington contentedly settles into his new life in London with the Browns.
Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) and Henry (Hugh Bonneville) visit the Geographers’ Guild and wind up sneaking into the archives to find information on the explorer that visited Paddington’s Uncle Pastuzo (voiced by Michael Gambon) and Aunt Lucy (voiced by Imelda Staunton) all those years ago, and they find some microfilm the explorer made before fleeing. When Paddington and the Browns watch the microfilm that night with Mr. Gruber (Jim Broadbent) in his antiques shop, they find out that the footage was shot by Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downie). In the next letter Paddington writes to Lucy, he says that he has found the explorer’s name and will begin searching for him, but he admits that he has already come to feel at home living with the Browns. Meanwhile, Millicent (Nicole Kidman) gets herself acquainted with the Browns’ neighbor Mr. Curry (Peter Capaldi) after noticing that he is attracted to her and he speaks of how he dislikes Paddington’s presence. Taking advantage of both of these things, she convinces him that Paddington will only invite more bears to come live in Windsor Gardens and create a lot of disturbances to the peace. When he asks her what they can do to prevent that, she replies that she has certain connections, and if she can get a hold of the bear, she can see that he will be sent to where he belongs, and she tells Curry that she will need his help for this. She thus asks him to keep an eye on him, and once he is alone, he must contact her, and together they will pounce.
Some days later, the Browns and Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters) leave Paddington alone in their house with some phone books so he can look up Montgomery Clyde’s address while they tend to various matters. After seeing the family departing, Curry telephones Millicent and lets her know that their time has arrived. She comes over and asks him to direct her to the roof, where she attaches a rope and winch device that she brought in a bag to the chimney so she can lower herself by the waist into the Browns’ house through the skylight. She tries to shoot a tranquilizer dart at Paddington while he is trying to free himself after accidentally getting all wrapped up in some scotch tape, but Paddington yanks the empty roll off the dispenser and sends it ricocheting all around until it hits a button on Millicent’s utility belt that makes the winch wind the rope back up, sending her right up into the skylight’s frame. The impact knocks loose a can of gas from her waist, which activates when it hits the floor. She lowers herself down again with her gas mask on, but Paddington spots her and freaks out, believing her to be an elephant based on the mask’s design. He hides in the refrigerator but accidentally turns on the oven before he does, and as Millicent is looking for him, Curry shows up on the roof – having heard all the noise – and a petal from the flower in his lapel sets off a chain reaction of objects hitting objects that results in the oven emitting a burst of flame at Millicent, and the force of it knocks her out and also starts a fire. She awakens shortly afterward when she hears fire truck sirens approaching the house, so she cleans up all evidence of her presence and retreats back up to the roof.
When the Browns return home, Paddington tries to explain to them what happened, but despite professing his innocence, his story of being shot at by “someone with the head of an elephant and the body of a snake” is not believed due to the absurdity of it. That night, Paddington overhears Henry and Mary (Sally Hawkins) through the chimney arguing about what took place today, and Henry remarks that this home is no place for a bear, to which Mary reluctantly agrees and says that maybe they should take Paddington to the authorities. Downhearted, Paddington packs up his stuff, pens a goodbye letter to the family, and leaves the house. After Mary reads out the letter to the family in the kitchen the next morning, Judy (Madeleine Harris) asks if they are going to go and look for him, but Henry remarks that it is better this way. Disappointed with their father, Judy and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin) leave the room, and Mary leaves next, saying that she needs to know that Paddington is okay. Mrs. Bird tells Henry that this family needed the bear as much as he needed them before she, too, leaves him be.
Paddington spends the next few days homeless, and he visits every address with an M. Clyde that he got from the phone books, but only the last one checks out. Unfortunately, the person who answers the door is Millicent. She tells him that Montgomery was her father, but he has since passed away, and he brings up how her father met his aunt and uncle years ago and told them that, if they ever came to London, he would welcome them, and he came here hoping that, through that invitation, he might be given a home. Millicent replies that she can do that, and she knows just the place for him. After she ushers him into her van, Mr. Curry comes by with flowers, but after noticing that she has just put Paddington in a van with the word “Taxidermist” written on it, he asks her why it says that when she had told him that she was going to send Paddington to where he belongs, which he assumed was Peru. She replies that she IS sending him to where he belongs: The Natural History Museum. She then essentially but callously admits that she used him to get to Paddington and orders him to go away. Curry runs to a phone booth and calls Henry, telling him about how Paddington has been kidnapped and where he has been taken to, along with explaining the incident that caused the house fire.
After Millicent brings Paddington into the museum, she explains that Montgomery had been assigned to find his species and bring a specimen back to the Geographers’ Guild, but he returned empty-handed, having lost his desire to kill and stuff one after having become charmed by Pastuzo’s and Lucy’s civility and intelligence. The head of the Guild ordered Montgomery to give up the bears’ location so they could send another one of their members to collect the specimen, but Montgomery firmly refused. This resulted in him being stripped of his membership and his expedition getting struck from the Guild’s records, and he would spend the rest of his days owning and operating a petting zoo. Millicent resented her father for his moral decision, feeling that it cost her family a chance to become rich and famous, so she vowed to do what her father wouldn’t and get a Peruvian bear specimen for the Guild so she could get the fame and fortune herself. She then unveils the display case that she plans to put Paddington in and tells him that she is going to stuff him. Frightened, Paddington tries to run away, but she shoots him with a tranquilizer dart.
The Browns and Mrs. Bird arrive outside the museum, and Mrs. Bird spots Millicent on one of the upper floors laying Paddington down on a table to start the taxidermy process. The family bypasses the main entrance by entering the museum through the sewers, and Mrs. Bird finds the security room and gets herself invited inside by the lone guard under false pretenses, where she keeps him distracted from watching the surveillance cameras by having him participate in a drinking session with her until he passes out. Once the family is inside, Jonathan throws the switch on the main power box to shut off all the lights, and after Millicent tries without success to contact the guard, she leaves her room to take care of the problem herself. After the Browns head upstairs and find the doors to the administration area locked (where Paddington is being kept), Henry climbs out a window and shuffles along the ledge over to one of the windows of the room Paddington is in, and he gets Paddington’s attention just as he regains consciousness. Henry informs him that Mr. Curry explained everything to him and he is sorry he didn’t believe him. At this moment, Millicent turns the power back on and finds the family’s dirty footprints on the floor, and realizing that this was an act of sabotage, she puts the museum on lockdown.
Paddington escapes the room by heading out the door while Henry gets back to his family, but as Paddington is running for the exit, he crosses paths with Millicent, so he runs from her until he enters the furnace room. After looking inside an inactive furnace and seeing an exit to the roof at the top of the shaft, he takes a nearby pair of dustbusters, sets them to maximum power, and uses them to start climbing up the shaft, and Millicent turns on the furnace during his ascent. As he continues to climb, he hears the Browns through the wall, so he communicates to Judy through bear growls (since he taught her how to speak bear) that he is heading for the roof, and the Browns thus rush up there to meet him. Paddington’s dustbusters run out of power just as he gets near the top, so he tries to jump the rest of the way, but he misses the edge. Thankfully, the family arrives and the children grab him by his ankles to stop his fall, then pull him out onto the walkway they’re on.
Unfortunately, Millicent appears on the other end of the walkway with her tranquilizer gun pointed right at Paddington. She orders the Browns to hand him over, but Mary refuses to do so, stating that Paddington is family. Millicent derisively reminds her that they aren’t the same species, but Henry steps forth and says it is true; at first, he wanted nothing to do with Paddington, but his wonderful family opened their hearts to him, and now he has, too. They love Paddington, no matter what he is or where he comes from, and that makes him family, and if she wants Paddington, she will have to go through him and his family first. Millicent basically replies that she is more than willing to do that, but Paddington steps forth and tells Henry that they don’t need to make that kind of sacrifice, then he starts walking towards Millicent. However, he notices that there are pigeons perched around the roof, and remembering how the pigeons like his marmalade sandwiches, he asks Millicent for one last request in the form of the marmalade sandwich he always keeps in his hat for emergencies. Millicent allows it, so he takes out the sandwich and holds it out long enough for the birds to see it, then throws it towards Millicent. This causes the pigeons to fly in her direction to get it, and they all swarm up in her face and cause her to take steps backward until she is at the roof’s edge. She manages to regain her footing after the last of the pigeons go away and aims her gun at Paddington again, but luckily for him, the drunken Mrs. Bird suddenly emerges from an access hatch in front of Millicent, and the door hits her and sends her over the edge. She grabs hold of a flagpole to stop her fall, but she loses her gun in the process and therefore loses the fight. Paddington, the Browns, and Mrs. Bird all have a celebratory group hug.
After some days pass, Paddington narrates another letter that he writes to Lucy. He tells her that he met the explorer’s daughter and she tried to stuff him but failed, and when she was arrested and taken to court, the judge – thinking prison wouldn’t do her any good – sentenced her to perform community service working in her father’s old petting zoo, which she viewed as the worst punishment imaginable. Paddington also says that Mrs. Bird has been feeling more alive than she has been in years because things have been finally set fair in the Brown household, Judy finally brought her crush Tony (Jude Wright) over to meet her mother (though the meeting is rather awkward), and Henry helps Jonathan construct a big rocket in his room, though the launch doesn’t go smoothly. Also, Henry’s overall attitude towards safety has eased up. Paddington says that he knows he doesn’t look like other people or behave like other people, but he is fine with that, proudly stating that “I am a bear…. a bear called Paddington.” The movie ends with him going outside to have a snowball fight with the Browns and Mrs. Bird.