Which of the unbelievable facts about the most loved grandma do you have?
Mary Poppins is one of the most memorable films about a Nanny who flies through sketches in chalk and throws tea parties hanging from the ceiling that has ever been made. It’s probably the only movie about that. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t fantastic!
From hand-crafted cherry blossoms to waiters dressed as penguins, 15 entertaining facts about Mary Poppins, its fantastic characters, and behind-the-scenes trivia. What do you think is the fact you love most?
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Mary Poppins Fun Facts
Mary is a little more terrifying in the novels.
The film was based on a series of books written by PL Travers. In contrast to Mary in the film Mary who is adamant yet fair and fair, the book Mary can be very frightening. The author even described her as “someone who doesn’t waste time trying to be pleasant. In the book, Mary suggests baking the pigeons of “Feed the Birds’ into a pie! Yikes! We’re so glad we were able to watch the Julie Andrews rendition!
The author wasn’t going to let Disney create the film.
PL Travers was pretty protective of her work and was worried that Disney would destroy them or, at the very least, alter a lot of things she believed were essential. It took decades before she was convinced to allow them to create films, but she was adamant about it when released! In fairness to Travers, the film did change quite a bit, adding songs and characters she was not a fan of, so she had a right not to trust Disney. But it’s not a secret that children incredibly loved the film, and it’s that model of Mary that is still popular.
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Dick Van Dyke plays two characters.
Dick Van Dyke is famous (or perhaps infamous) for his role as the chimney sweep, with the somewhat questionable Cockney accent (Which was partly blamed on the dialect coaches originally from Lancashire). He also plays the doddery and terrifying old bank boss, Mr. Dawes snr! Van Dyke loved the character so much that he requested to play both characters, and he did it so convincingly that the kids playing Jane and Michael did not recognize his character!
The children were never sure of the outcome.
The film’s makers were keen to keep the magic alive, to create real reactions from the children who played Jane and Michael and Michael. Therefore they weren’t always aware of exactly what was coming up. For instance, when Mary dispenses the medicine, and it appears in various colors, Jane’s astonishing look is real! They were also unaware that they were Dick Van Dyke in makeup portraying Old the character Mr. Dawes!
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Every cherry blossom is individually created.
The famous trees of Cherry Tree Lane all had stunning pink blossoms – but they were all fake! Since the entire film was shot on the Hollywood sound stage, not in London, the flowers were meticulously made by hand, from plastic. The entire effect is stunning. There isn’t a Cherry Tree Lane in real reality London. However, there are plenty of streets that are lined with Cherry trees. If you are lucky enough to visit when it is the right time, you will see them in bloom!
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“Feed the birds” was Walt Disney’s favorite song.
This was not only his most-loved track from the film, but it was also his most-loved song ever! Disney would phone up the Sherman Brothers in the years that followed, who composed the song and ask them to perform it for him. They said he didn’t even have to identify the song since they already knew what the song was about!
It took home 5 Oscars
The film performed very well. It was also nominated to 13 Oscars overall and won five awards – Best Actress, Best Film Editing, The Best Original Music Score Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song. The film remains one of Disney’s best films to date, and it was the only one considered to win the Best Picture while Walt Disney was alive.
Then Julie Andrews won her first Best Actress Oscar for her part in the film.
The film also is the one that launched Julie Andrews’ career, and her Best Actress win proved that she was a natural in the role. At first, Julie Andrews didn’t intend to play Mary Poppins. She was hoping for the part in Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady, the role that was her first in the West End. The role went to Audrey Hepburn in the end, and she was a huge movie star at the time; Andrews was able to accept the Mary-Poppy part and later beat Hepburn to the title of Best Actress. It all went in the best way!
David Tomlinson (Mr. Banks) also voiced certain cartoon animals.
David Tomlinson is best remembered for his character, the uptight and stuffy Mr. Banks, skeptical about Mary and her witty ways. However, he enjoyed himself in the movie, as he played various characters they meet in their journey, including an eagle and a penguin. He also played Mary’s parrot umbrella!
There is a documentary about the film.
The film’s making was so challenging that in 2013, a full film about it was released entitled The Saving of Mr. Banks. The film features Emma Thompson as PL Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and follows his attempts to convince her to allow him to make the film.
The two bond due to their shared relationships with their dads (Travers, the father of Travers, partially inspired Mr. Banks), and then she lets Travers direct the film. Some critics have argued that the film can make the story appear slightly more romantic than it was!
Matthew Garber earned extra money for a few scenes.
Matthew Garber, who played Michael, was terrified of heights and did not want to perform the scenes from the tea party from the air. To convince him to do the show, he was compensated an additional 10 cents per each of them takes. It’s a good method of making you confront your fears!
Bird Woman played a special role in the film. Bird Woman was a special part.
It is believed that the Bird Woman, who appears feeding the pigeons in St Pauls’s, was played by actress Jane Darwell, who was one of Walt Disney’s most beloved actors. Darwell was being housed in a retirement house at the time of filming; however, Disney was so keen to include him in his movie that he sought her to her home. Darwell was so elated that she accepted the role. This was her final film before her death.
This was also the very first Disney DVD.
The film was the first Disney film released on DVD in 1998. Disney may have decided to choose a well-known and popular film rather than taking a risk by releasing the latest film; that’s why Mary Poppins was chosen.
There would be more songs.
This film has become famous due to its songs. A lot are now timeless such as ‘Spoonful Of Sugar,” ‘Feed the Birds’ and ‘Let’s Fly A Kite.’ Fly A Kite’. Did you know there was a plan to be many more songs? The songs included an underwater adventure titled “The Beautiful Briny sea” (Which was later utilized for Bedknobs and Broomsticks ‘The Land of Sand’ to create the desert scene) and ‘Chimpanzoo’ for an excursion to the Zoo. 15.
“A Spoonful of Sugar’ has an interesting and surprising history.
It is perhaps one of the most recognizable parts of the movie; this tune was an instant hit. However, the background to the song is equally fascinating – the composer, Robert Sherman, was motivated to write the song after his son received the (then relatively modern) Polio Vaccine on a sugar cube rather than being given an injection. Sherman loved the idea of sweetening something to aid in the process, and so the song was developed.