For almost everyone, Julie Andrews is Mary Poppins, and vice versa; she is opulent, astute, unspoiled and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. That is not to say that Emily Blunt isn’t all of those things, however, she certainty has her work cut out when navigating Andrews’ magic umbrella – and a spoonful of sugar may not be enough.
Mary Poppins Returns is released on December 21 in UK cinemas and, while you wait, experience a stay in the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mary Poppins room at The Arthouse Hotel.
Emily Blunt is Supercalifragilistic
From the moment the magic hero soars into shot there has to be immediate buy-in, not a minute of doubt or suspicion – Blunt is Poppins in all her pomp. With her blue boater hat and famous umbrella, Blunt certainly looks like Andrews, however, she ensures through her wonderfully unique performance that Andrews is all but a distant memory.
“For me, there was no one else but Emily; she is warm and vulnerable” maintained Robert Marshall, the movies director. Blunt is tough, poised and cornily British in everything she does and, importantly, she can sing and dance. She caricatures her natural London-ish voice into the kind of accent copied by American actors pretending to be British: the sort of elocution that ends every sentence with the phrase “I say!”
Emily Blunt said that she was “daunted” by playing Poppins, and who could blame her. And yet, her spectacular performance will achieve a rare thing in 2018: it will placate the purists and entertain those who have never seen the original.
Mary Poppins Returns
With pastel colours of intoxicating beauty and new show tunes practiced to perfection, Mary Poppins Returns is an admirably accomplished sequel, primed and ready to mesmerise a new-found audience.
Mary Poppins Returns is not a modern remake nor is it ironic or pretentious. The only applauded hint of newness is some ethnic variety in the supporting cast; otherwise this movie is a simple remastered version of the 1964 original. The tunes aren’t bad, and the movie is certainly a technical triumph – as it was in the 1960s.
Unable to detach itself entirely from the original, Dick Van Dyke makes a cameo in the sequel while his 2018 counterpart is again acted by an American: Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Collin Firth, Julie Walters, Ben Whisham, Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep head up a star-studded cast and, while there is no Christmas blockbuster to turbo-charge the ticket-booth in 2018, movie aficionados expect Mary Poppins Returns to be a colossal success.
Mary Poppins Returns is a practically perfect Christmas movie in every way.
The Mary Poppins room is just one of many marvelous rooms within Liverpool’s movie-themed Arthouse Hotel. The unique hotel is ideal for celebrating special occasions in Liverpool.
We always have a wide range of special rooms to choose from, ensuring your stay is nothing short of Poppins-esc perfection.
So, come and join us! We’d love to hear from you today to organise a magical stay at Arthouse.
Here we have unearthed an astonishing 63 little-known facts about the filming, production and cast of the hit film. See how many you didn’t already know.
Mary Poppins was a book first published in 1934 written by P.L Travers.
Walt Disney struggled to gain film rights to the novel from author P.L Travers it took 20 years for him to convince her.
Travers had full script approval but not final script approval which resulted in her disappointment at the finished product.
P.L Travers spent 10 days at a time in story meetings that she insisted were recorded so that her ideas and suggestions were documented.
Mary Poppins was based on the Travers’ Aunt Helen but also subconsciously moulded around a fairy tale creature from Hindu Mythology called The Mother Goddess.
Travers hated the movie and loathed the dancing penguins. She was less than impressed with the home the Banks’ lived in and the change in time period. She despised the music and thought Mary Poppins was far too pretty.
There was a total of 30 songs written by the Sherman brothers, 20 of which were cut by Travers.
If Travers had her way Mary Poppins wouldn’t have been a musical at all.
It is recorded that Travers wept at the movie premier said to be distraught about what Disney had done to her novels. She vowed never to work with Disney again.
P.L Travers was not cordially invited to the premier of the movie in the US, Disney feeling it would be easier to include her in the London premiere. She, of course, informed Disney she would be in the states on the day of the premier and demanded a ticket.
Both Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews had doubts over their roles in Mary Poppins. Van Dyke felt undeserving of the honour event though he still today says it was his best role. Julie Andrews felt immense pressure to do the much-beloved character of Mary Poppins justice. A worry she proved was unnecessary.
Angela Lansbury was among Disney’s first choice for the role of Mary Poppins.
When approached to play Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews was also being considered for Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, she was hesitant to accept Disney’s offer until she was passed over for the other role by Audrey Hepburn.
Julie Andrews was cast as Maria in The Sound of Music based solely on her performance as Mary Poppins.
Julie Andrews was awarded a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. In her acceptance speech, Andrews made a point of thanking Jack Warner who had chosen not to cast her in My Fair Lady, leaving her free to be Poppins.
P.L Travers first contacted Julie Andrews the day after giving birth to her daughter. Travers told Andrews that she was too pretty to play Poppins but had the right nose.
Julie Andrews’ favourite song “Stay Awake” was almost cut from the film by Travers until she pleaded in a letter written to Travers asking for it to remain.
Dick Van Dyke’s cockney accent was coached by an Irish man and Van Dyke blames his shocking accent in the movie on this.
Van Dykes accent was voted one of the worst accents in movies, coming in second only to Sean Connery’s “Irish accent” in The Untouchables.
Dick Van Dyke was not a trained dancer despite his flawless moves in both the dancing penguin scene and step in time routines.
Those in charge of animating the dancing penguins were enraged when Van Dyke persistently stepped on the penguins during rehearsals.
Mr Dawes Sr.
It was Van Dyke’s idea to play two roles in the movie, both Bert and Mr Dawes’ Sr, the old bank manager. Disney refused at first but then Van Dyke auditioned after being given an elderly man makeover by the makeup department at Disney.
Van Dyke is referred to as Navckid Keyd in the credits for his part as Mr Dawes.
Other Cast Members
Katie Nanna the nanny who leaves the family at the start of the movie also played the Bride of Frankenstein, quite fitting really.
The actress who played Mrs Banks wanted to play Mary Poppins but instead agreed to play Mrs Banks with the condition that she had her own song.
Ed Wynn, who played Uncle Albert, was given freedom to adlib his part. In the script, Uncle Albert was also supposed to have a Viennese accent which Ed wynn omitted.
The young actor that played Michael, Matthew Garber, was terrified of heights, he was therefore given a 10 cents bonus for every take he was suspended in the “Love to Laugh” number.
Matthew Garber died at a tragically young age of just 21.
The talking parrot on Mary’s umbrella is voiced by the David Tomlinson aka. Mr Banks, he also voiced a jockey and a few of the animated animals in the farm yard.
Walt Disney’s daughters brought the idea of making Mary Poppins the film.
“Spoon full of Sugar” was inspired by the polio vaccination being given at schools in a cube of sugar.
There is a deeper meaning to the magical musical Mary Poppins. The mending of a broken family which is symbolised by the kite at the end of the film.
The Disney Way
Walt remained absent from many of the meetings Travers was present in and their relationship grew frostier throughout production.
Julie Andrews husband designed the costumes for Mary Poppins, a role that was awarded to entice Julie Andrews into the role.
Apparently, Van Dyke paid to play the character Dawes after agreeing to a stipulation from Disney that Van Dyke donate $4000 to a charity Disney was involved in.
After premier, Travers insisted that the dancing penguin’s scene was removed and suggested a number of other small edits. Disney refused them all.
Walt’s favourite song from the movie was “feed the birds” he would often ask the tune to be played by the Sherman brothers until he passed away in 1966.
Both the children actually believed Julie Andrews was magic thanks to some clever camera trickery including the bottomless bag scene in which the looks of wonder on the children’s faces were genuine.
The money from Mary Poppins paid for the Florida swamp land Disney World sits on today.
Set, Costume, Music and Script
Most of the nannies in the queue outside the Bank’s home were stunt men in drag.
Richard and Robert Sherman began writing songs for the movie even before Walt had the rights to the film.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious took two weeks to create and was said to be inspired by a game that the Sherman brothers played at summer camp when they were young.
This fact was disputed in 1949 by songwriters who claimed they created the word Supercalafajaistickespeealadojus. They sued Disney for $12 million and lost due to the nonsense word having been around for decades despite the Sherman brothers insisting they’d made it up.
Mary Poppins immaculate hair was actually a wig.
The entire movie was shot indoors in one of four Disney studio soundstages.
The cherry trees on Cherry Tree lane were real but their blossoms were created by artists who hand mounted thousands of twigs and paper blossoms.
The step-in time dance sequence took a huge six weeks to film.
The very first audio-animatronic was used in “Spoonful of Sugar” the singing robin that perches upon Mary Poppins finger. The bird was attached to a ring and then cables ran up the sleeve of Mary’s sleeve to the controls
The robins part was whistled by Julie Andrews, a woman of so many talents.
Mary Poppins cost a whopping $6 million to produce with Travers earning a measly $100,000.
Post and Pre Production
Mary Poppins first appeared on an early TV show in 1949 event thought the movie wasn’t to premier until 1964.
The novel, Mary Poppins, was deemed racist at one point by San Francisco’s libraries causing them to pull the book from the shelves because of racial slurs and stereotypes used when Mary travels around the globe.
The movie Mary Poppins was the highest grossing film of 1965 and continued to play all year in direct competition with The Sound of Music.
Mary Poppins was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won 5.
The Mary Poppins movie soundtrack was at number 1 for 14 weeks, beating popular acts of the time including The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley.
The snow globe from the “feed the birds” scene was missing for years. The founder of the Walt Disney archives finally found the trinket in a janitor’s office at Disney Studios who said he’d seen it in the bin but thought it too pretty to throw away.
Mary Poppins was the first Disney movie to be released on DVD.
There was nearly a Mary Poppins sequel until it was scrapped by new management and encountered casting issues.
The stage production of Mary Poppins was given to Cameron Macintosh in 1990 by Travers on the proviso that only British writers were used and the plays follow the books, not the movie.
Mary Poppins is the only live action Disney movie to be listed in the National Film Registry.
The movie was Walt Disney’s Highest grossing movie ever.
Travers once posed for a Mary Poppins statue that was due to reside in Central Park New York. The design was deemed as offensively bad art by the public and the plan was scrapped.
Mary Poppins Room at Arthouse Hotel
Our marvelous movie themed Liverpool hotel room is practically perfect in every way. Capturing the whimsical magic of Walt Disney’s greatest cinematic creation with its artistic ceiling mural, fun and quirky decor and up to luxury facilities.