BEAR with me as I heap praises on the 'feel good' film of the year.

It is always risky making a sequel with the inevitable doubts such as will it be as good?

Or could it be even better?

The happy news is that Paddington 2, three years on from the wonderful first film, can boast even more magical moments from the writer and director Paul king and his team of animatronic wizards.

An opening intro provides a flashback on how the bear from darkest Peru came to be adopted.

And then to the present day with the wonderfully-warm Brown family in London.

Indeed his full name is Paddington Brown.

Paddington 1 was full of clever humour, visual gags, a flowing screenplay, lovely incidental music and some top-notch performances from A-lister stars.

Nicole Kidman was a comedy revelation with her character sexy taxidermist who knocks the stuffing out of anyone who gets in her way.

The sequel provides more celebs such as Joanna Lumley, Tom Conti and Ben Miller.

The stand-out star is Hugh Grant who excels as the vain Phoenix Buchannan - a washed-up actor and master of disguises desperate to make a comeback.

He has his sights set on a rare collector's literary item.

It is a pop-book that Paddington wants to buy for his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday.

Grant shines in every scene and shows his gift for self-effacing comic capers throughout.

Along the way Paddington gets into some funny mishaps that Laurel and Hardy would have been proud of.

To earn some extra money he takes on the jobs of hairdresser and window cleaner.

Paws for thought ... Paddington and water.

Oh dear, the duffle-coated, well-mannered marmalade muncher was never cut out for this type of hard labour.

Talking of which, he ends upon in jail wrongly accused of stealing the pop-up book.

In prison he meets Knuckles McGinty played by the versatile Irishman Brendan Gleeson.

The Browns are perfectly cast.

Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as Henry and Mary while their two children are equally likeable and crucial to the adventures.

The eccentric housekeeper Mrs Bird is played by the ever-reliable Dame Julie Walters while Peter Capaldi returns as nerdy neighbour watcher Mr Curry.

Paddington, voiced by Ben Whishaw, is even more life-like (in a bear sort of way) than ever.

He is simply adorable and a dream sequence pulls at the heart strings, making you want to reach into the screen to hug him.

A train sequence adds some laugh out loud moments.

In fact there is not a single scene where something happens for a reason in the 95 minutes of sparkling storytelling.

There is a poignant message, as the film ends, to creator Michael Bond who died in June.

He loved the film version of his books.

It is a movie that works on every count for children and adults alike.

I will certainly go and watch Paddington 2 again as it triggered my festive spirit.

A bear necessity if you are feeling the winter blues.

Fur-st class family fun - five stars

In cinemas now.