Paddington author Michael Bond died on the last day of filming Paddington 2 (2017) and six months before the release of this film, at the age of 91. His last book about the titular character was released in April 2017. Books on Paddington have sold more than 35 million copies throughout his career.
The best-reviewed film ever on Rotten Tomatoes. As of the 3rd of August 2018, the movie has 199 Fresh reviews and no naysayers, overtaking 163 Fresh and zero negative critiques from previous record-holder Toy Story 2 (1999).
After months of speculations, on October 2015 it was confirmed that Paul King would return to helm this second installment. By the time the sequel was announced, Paddington (2014) had become the highest grossing independent family film of all time, the highest grossing film in the UK among all 2014 releases, and the first family film in 10 years to be nominated for "Best British Film" at the BAFTAs.
One day after completing her demanding underwater scenes for The Shape of Water (2017), Sally Hawkins flew from Toronto, Canada to London, England in order to begin production on this film, only to find out she would have to shoot underwater scenes for this film as well.
Director Paul King wrote the screen story of Paddington 2 (2017) with Simon Farnaby, who had a small role in the first Paddington (2014) as Geographers' Guild security guard Barry. In this film, Barry is now a security guard at St Paul's Cathedral.
The animation in the book sequence when Paddington and Aunt Lucy travel around London is very similar to that of Paddington Bear (1976), in which all characters and backgrounds other than Paddington were paper cut-outs.
'Barkridges', the name of the department store on the hamper in which Mrs Brown hides to be delivered to Phoenix Buchanan's house, was originally mentioned in the very first Paddington book by Michael Bond (and a clear homage to Selfridges, where Michael Bond first got his idea for Paddington).
In the end credits a newspaper clipping reveals that Knuckles has opened a tea room which also displays the headline 'KNUCKLES' SANDWICHES'. A knuckle sandwich is slang for a punch in the mouth, a reference to Knuckles's (presumably) former violent nature.
In the scene where Paddington is making marmalade, the inside of Knuckles's newspaper has a funny story about "Spider Murphy". The entire article contains references to the Elvis Presley song "Jailhouse Rock" as if the song occurred in a real prison.
Dario Marianelli replaced Nick Urata as composer for this sequel and decided to create his own score instead of reusing any of Urata's work. Marianelli's favorite scene to compose was the "London pop-up-book" scene.
Paddington's first attempt at window-washing is highly reminiscent of a well known story that originated some time in the 1930s, two versions of which are Gerard Hoffnung's comedy monologue, 'The Bricklayer's Lament' (1958), and 'The Bricklayers' Song' by The Corries.
Ian Hunt of UK Gallopers supplied the fairground horses and other props, and some of the vintage fairground artwork for the movie. Ian Hunt also made the fairground horse seen in the first Paddington Bear movie.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
During the big chase on top of the train, Phoenix Buchanan says, "Exit bear, pursued by an actor." This is an amusing reversal of one of Shakespeare's most famous stage directions: "Exit: Pursued by a Bear" from A Winter's Tale, which was the subject of Judy's literature lesson in a scene from the first Paddington (2014).
When faced with a sword wielding Phoenix, Julie Walters, who plays a Scot, tells him where she comes from they say you shouldn't bring a knife to a gunfight. This is a tongue in cheek reference to a scene in The Untouchables (1987) where Sean Connery (who plays an Irish-American Chicago cop but delivers all his lines in his natural Scottish accent) utters a similar line.
You might think that the only crime Phoenix Buchanan did was stealing, but no. He actually committed at least 5 more crimes. First, he broke into the shop, then he lied in a court case about how he didn't see a man with long white hair which got Paddington in trouble when he was really innocent. Next, he snuck into a restricted area at a London landmark and broke a special monument. Near the end of the movie, he threatened to kill Mr. Brown, Mrs. Bird, and Judy with a sword and lastly committed attempted murder by locking and separating the carriage containing Paddington before redirecting it down an embankment into a river.