Michael Bond, creator of Paddington Bear, passed away 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.
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.
The best-reviewed film ever on Rotten Tomatoes. As of April 11, 2018, the movie has 193 Fresh reviews and no naysayers, overtaking 163 Fresh and 0 negative critiques from previous record-holder Toy Story 2 (1999).
During one scene Paddington gets run through the cogs of a large clock. Once he gets out he turns to camera revealing a smudge similar to a toothbrush moustache. This is a clear nod to Charles Chaplin and his film Modern Times (1936).
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.
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.
During the big chase on top of the train, Phoenix Buchanan (Hugh Grant) 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).
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.
'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).
Paddington author Michael Bond died on the last day of filming Paddington 2 (2017). He actually died the day before but his death was announced on the final day of filming. There was one further day of pickups filmed in August.
Ian Hunt of UK Gallopers supplied the fairground horses + other props & 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.
When faced with a sword wielding Hugh Grant, 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.