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Mary Poppins (1964) Poster

(1964)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2)  | Spoilers (7)
When founder and (now former) chief archivist at the Walt Disney Archives Dave Smith went on a search for the snowglobe from this movie, which featured birds flying around Saint Paul's Cathedral, he finally found it on a shelf in a janitor's office. The janitor explained that he saw the snowglobe sitting in a trash can, but found it too pretty to throw away and kept it himself.
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The "Step in Time" sequence had to be filmed twice because of a scratch on the film from the first take. The entire sequence took a week to film.
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Many of the nannies in the large queue of applicants for the job at the start of this movie were actually men in drag.
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Walt Disney cast Julie Andrews for the lead after seeing her in "Camelot" on Broadway. When she mentioned she was pregnant, he offered to wait until she had her baby to start filming and offered her then-husband, Tony Walton, the job of designing costumes and some sets for this movie. Disney also gave the couple a personally escorted tour of Disneyland and the studio to help them make up their minds.
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In Walt Disney World, in the lost and found in Frontierland, there is a wooden leg with the word "Smith" on it. This is a reference to the joke about "a man with a wooden leg named Smith" told by several characters in the movie.
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The scene where Mr. Dawes, Sr. (Dick Van Dyke) has trouble negotiating the step in the bank's meeting room was not originally in the script. While viewing a make-up test for Van Dyke in the projection room, Walt Disney saw him entertaining crew members on the test film between takes with some comic routines, amongst them the "stepping-down" routine of an old man trying to step off a curb without hurting himself. The test film not only convinced Disney to cast Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes, Sr., but he specifically requested that crew members "build a six-inch riser on the board room set so Dick can do that stepping-down routine."
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Walt Disney regarded this movie to be one of the crowning achievements of his career.
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Walt Disney was so determined to cast Julie Andrews that he offered to delay filming until the summer of 1964 if Andrews was cast as Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady (1964). Since Audrey Hepburn was cast as Eliza, both movies began filming around August and September 1963.
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One of Julie Andrews' favorite songs was "Stay Awake." When she heard that there were plans to delete it, she wrote a letter of concern to P.L. Travers, who instantly insisted that the song remain in this movie.
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With five wins out of thirteen nominations in total, this movie marked Walt Disney's single most successful night at the Academy Awards. Never before or since, as of 2016, has a single Disney movie won as many Oscars in one evening.
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Lyricist Robert B. Sherman had searched for nearly two weeks for a catchy phrase that could be Mary Poppins' anthem. He came across the perfect title when his young son Jeff came home from school one day and announced that he had just received a polio vaccine. Thinking that the vaccine had been administered as a shot, Sherman asked, "Did it hurt?" He replied, "No. They just gave it to me on a cube of sugar and I swallowed it down." Sherman tried the idea on his brother the following morning, Richard M. Sherman put the phrase to music and "A Spoonful of Sugar" was born.
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Julie Andrews initially hesitated to take the part of Mary Poppins. She hoped Jack L. Warner would ask her to star as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1964).
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Julie Andrews provided the whistling for the animatronic robin during the song "A Spoonful of Sugar".
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The filmmakers didn't inform Karen Dotrice (Jane) or Matthew Garber (Michael) about some "surprises" that were going to show up in the movie. Karen's dumbfounded look when Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) takes out item after item from the carpet bag and her little scream when Mary Poppins gave them medicines of different colors were genuine. The children also weren't told who was acting as Mr. Dawes, Sr. (Dick Van Dyke), and were worried that the horrible old man was going to fall down and die at any moment.
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Author P.L. Travers was adamant that in this movie there should be no suggestions of any kind of romance between Mary Poppins and Bert. This is explicitly referenced in the song "Jolly Holiday".
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David Tomlinson was nervous about not being good enough for the part of Mr. George W. Banks, as he had never sung professionally before.
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At the time, this was the most expensive movie produced by Walt Disney Pictures, with an estimated budget of four million four hundred thousand dollars to six million dollars. It has since grossed over one hundred two million dollars, and is one of the most profitable movies of the 1960s.
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This Disney movie, as of 2006, holds the record of having the longest in-print status on video. This movie was released on video in 1981, and has been re-released several times, managing to stay in video stores since then. Not once has this movie been out-of-print on video.
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The character of Mr. George W. Banks was based on source author P.L. Travers' father, Travers Robert Goff.
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Although Dick Van Dyke considers this the best movie in which he has appeared, he nevertheless maintains to this day that he was somewhat miscast as Bert. He has suggested that either Jim Dale or Ron Moody would have played the part better.
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Julie Andrews' won the Best Actress Oscar on her first nomination for her first movie.
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Final theatrical movie of Jane Darwell. NOTE: She was living at the Motion Picture Country Home in Woodland Hills, California, when she was approached by Walt Disney Pictures to play the Bird Woman. She at first refused, but Walt Disney was so set on having her in this movie that he personally visited her at the home and eventually persuaded her to take the part. He even sent a limo to fetch and return her during her one day of shooting.
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Matthew Garber was paid ten cents for every time they filmed the tea party scene. He was afraid of heights, so somebody offered to pay him a "bonus" ten cents for every take.
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The Sherman Brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman) came up with the idea of Mrs. Winnifred Banks (Glynis Johns) being involved in the suffragette cause to explain why she should be so neglectful of her children.
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Selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2013, just a few days before the release of Saving Mr. Banks (2013), a movie about Walt Disney's efforts to acquire the movie rights to P.L. Travers' novels.
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On an episode of National Public Radio's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" (broadcast October 25, 2010) Dick Van Dyke was asked by host Peter Sagal about his notorious accent in this movie. Van Dyke stated that his vocal coach was Lancashire-born J. Pat O'Malley, who had an even worse Cockney accent.
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The tradition of good luck rubbing off when shaking hands with a chimney sweep is one with a bittersweet meaning. Because of the inhalation of coal dust, the life of a chimney sweep tended to be rather short and to end up unable to work, and spending his final days in poverty. As chimney sweeps had poor luck combined with short lives, the notion was that the luck that they couldn't have for themselves could be transferred to others.
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"Feeding the birds" at St. Paul's Cathedral, seen as a charitable act of kindness in this movie, became forbidden by law in the twenty-first century, having resulted in excessive defecation from the expanding avian population.
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P.L. Travers wanted the animated chalk-drawing sequence removed from this movie, but Walt Disney refused.
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Prior to the 1964 premiere, Walt Disney had not personally attended a studio premiere since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).
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Robert Wise and Ernest Lehman visited the set to view rushes of Julie Andrews' performance. She was cast immediately in the lead for The Sound of Music (1965) on the strength of that visit.
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P.L. Travers never forgave Walt Disney for what she saw as a vulgar and disrespectful adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" novels. In 1993, twenty-nine years after the release of this movie, Stage Producer Cameron Mackintosh approached Travers about a musical theatre version of her work. She initially refused, citing this movie as a reason why she would never again allow an adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" series. After several meetings, however, she relented, though when Mackintosh suggested using the songs from the Disney movie in the production, Travers again balked. After much more pleading, Mackintosh convinced her to allow a stage production with the songs from this movie on the strict proviso that no Americans participate in the development, and further that no one involved with the movie version - including original movie Composers Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, both of whom were still alive and working at the time - could participate. Mackintosh proceeded with development of the stage adaptation for several years without any involvement from Disney, per Travers' wishes, though after the author's death in 1996, the Walt Disney Company was allowed some degree of creative involvement and went on to co-produce the musical with Mackintosh. The musical debuted in London's West End in 2004 before opening on Broadway in 2006. It received seven Tony Award Nominations, including Best Musical.
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David Tomlinson (Mr. George W. Banks) also voiced several of the animated characters that Bert and Mary Poppins encounter in the chalk drawing, including a penguin waiter and the jockey who allows Mary Poppins to pass on her carousel horse. He also voices the Parrot Umbrella Handle at the end of the movie. Original choices for Mr. George W. Banks included Richard Harris, Terry-Thomas, George Sanders, James Mason, and Donald Sutherland.
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Not only was "Feed the Birds" Walt Disney's favorite song in this movie, but it is said that anytime he visited the Sherman brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman) during the rest of his life, all he would have to do was say, "Play it", and they knew he wanted to hear "Feed the Birds".
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The author of the "Mary Poppins" books, P.L. Travers, approved heartily of the casting of Julie Andrews after hearing her only on the telephone. Andrews granted the interview from her bed after the delivery of her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.
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Julie Andrews became available for this movie as a result of Jack L. Warner refusing to cast her in My Fair Lady (1964), opting instead for Audrey Hepburn. When Andrews won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role (beating Hepburn), she thanked Warner for being "the one man who made it all possible."
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Larri Thomas, the woman in the carriage who blows a kiss at Bert during "Chim Chim Cheree", was Dame Julie Andrews' stand-in.
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In the transition from page to screen, the Banks family manages to lose a set of twins, John and Barbara.
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P.L. Travers, in a rare 1977 interview, stated that she thought this movie was well made and had a lot of positive aspects to it. However, she felt it was so different from her books, that she wasn't happy with the final product.
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This was the only movie personally produced by Walt Disney that was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. (Beauty and the Beast (1991), Up (2009), and Toy Story 3 (2010) were also nominated for Best Picture, but they were all released after Disney's death in 1966.)
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The character of Bert is actually an amalgamation of several of Mary Poppins' friends from the books. Amongst them, the minor character of a chimney sweep. It was a drawing of that sweep by one of the animators that inspired the song "Chim Chim Cheree".
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The wires holding up the flying Mary Poppins were darkened with shoe polish to reduce the risk of reflection from the studio lights.
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When Dick Van Dyke read the script, he'd already been cast in the role of Bert, but found the part of the Mr. Dawes, Sr. so hysterical he lobbied Walt Disney for the role, even offering to play it for free. Disney not only made Van Dyke audition for the part, but forced him to make a substantial donation to CalArts, Disney's own pet-project film school.
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The word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" seems to pre-date this movie, but language experts have yet to pin down by how much, or what exactly, it originally meant. An urban myth is growing that it had something to do with Irish (or Scottish) prostitutes. Its use in this movie may have been inspired by a nonsense word the Sherman brothers (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman) learned at summer camp. They remembered having a word that the adults didn't know, and thought the Banks children should have one, too.
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Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn) was originally written as having a Viennese accent. Wynn, however, didn't attempt the accent - or even an English accent, for that matter. He was just himself, ad-libbing many of the lines he says while laughing on the ceiling in the "I Love to Laugh" scene.
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Ordinarily a stickler for keeping to the script, Director Robert Stevenson allowed Ed Wynn free rein to improvise.
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The planning and composing of the songs took about two-and-a-half years. This was a tremendous amount of work, and it was not until author P. L. Travers arrived that it became known that Disney only had an option on the rights and that Travers had not yet signed the contract. It was only after the excruciating effort with Travers was completed that she finally signed.
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P.L. Travers finally relented and sold the movie rights to Walt Disney in 1961, although she retained script approval rights. One of the reasons prompting her to do so was a decline in her book sales.
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When she was filming The Princess Diaries (2001), Julie Andrews discovered that Director Garry Marshall was living in the same house that she did when she was making this movie. Some of The Princess Diaries (2001) was shot on the same soundstage as this movie. Andrews knew this because there is a plaque on the soundstage saying that this movie was shot there.
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The cherry tree blossoms in Cherry Tree Lane were made of plastic, imported from France and Portugal. Each leaf and bloom was hand-mounted.
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Julie Andrews was left hanging in mid-air during one particularly long camera set-up. The stagehands unwittingly lowered her wire harness rather rapidly. "Is she down yet?" called a grip. "You bloody well better believe she is!" fumed Andrews.
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A sequence known as "The Magic Compass", consisting of four songs, was dropped from this movie in pre-production. One of those songs, "The Beautiful Briny", resurfaced in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). The melody for another song from this sequence, "The Land of Sand", was used for "Trust in Me (The Python's Song)" in The Jungle Book (1967), using completely different lyrics.
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For her interaction with the animatronic robin, Julie Andrews had several yards of control wires hidden under her costume and running up her sleeve.
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Over one hundred glass and matte paintings were used to re-create the London skyline of 1910.
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The women to whom Bert recites his comical poems are all characters from the Mary Poppins books, including the short woman with the very tall daughters.
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The horse that Julie Andrews rides while on the carousel, and later in the horse race, remains on display in Orlando, Florida. The carousel horse can be seen while waiting in line in the Chinese Theater for The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, which has since closed.
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Julie Andrews was determined to nail the lullaby "Stay Awake." She took nearly fifty takes in the Disney recording studio to create the perfect "soft" voice quality for the song. Dick Van Dyke, on the other hand, took only one take to record his verses as Mr. Dawes, Sr. on "Fidelity, Fiduciary Bank".
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The financial success of this movie brought Walt Disney the money needed to expand WED Enterprises (now Imagineering), and he titled the new branch MAPO (short for MAry POppins).
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There are twenty distinguishable names in "Jolly Holiday" when Bert and the penguins are discussing how no one is better than Mary Poppins. The names are as follows: Mavis and Sybil (have ways that are winning), Prudence and Gwendolyn (set your heart spinning), Phoebe (delightful), Maude (is disarming), Janis, Felicia, Lydia (charming), Cynthia (dashing), Vivian (sweet), Stephanie (smashing), Priscilla (a treat), Veronica, Millicent, Agnes, Jane (convivial company time and again), Dorcas, Phyllis, Glynis (of sorts, I'll agree are three jolly good sports. But, cream of the crop, tip of the top, it's Mary Poppins and there we stop.)
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P.L. Travers was a stickler about details in the script, driving many of the Disney writers to distraction about Mary Poppins minutiae. After seeing the final movie, she devised a list of changes she wanted. Her requests went unheeded after Walt Disney pointed out that although she had script approval, she did not have final draft approval. Amongst the things that she disliked was the score of songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. She wanted the only music in the movie to be period pieces, such as "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay" or "Greensleeves".
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The old woman in the park, to whom Bert talks, in the beginning of this movie (with the two tall daughters), is Mrs. Corry. In the book, she ran the sweet shop in the park, and in the Broadway show, this is where they buy the letters to make the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". The shop is mentioned once by Mary Poppins in this movie before she and the children make a detour to Uncle Albert's house.
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Mrs. Winnifred Banks and Mary Poppins never speak to each other in this movie. This is a direct contrast to the book, in which Mrs. Winnifred Banks is the first member of the family to meet Mary Poppins.
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Songwrters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman originally planned to use the song "Chim-Chim-Cheree" for all of the music in the rooftop finale. However, when Special Effects Supervisor Peter Ellenshaw brought the English pub song "Knees Up Mother Brown" to their attention, they decided to make their own variation, resulting in "Step In Time".
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The top-grossing movie of 1964, and the top-grossing Disney movie for twenty years.
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"Feed the Birds" from this movie was Walt Disney's all-time favorite song. Numerous times at the end of the workday on a Friday, at around 5:30 or so, Disney would pick up the phone and call Song Composer Robert B. Sherman and ask him to drop by his office. When he would arrive, Disney would gesture to the piano and say, "Play it". Sherman played and sang "Feed the Birds", after which, Disney expressed his love for the song and wish Sherman a nice weekend. Many years later, in 2001, there was a celebration of what would have been Walt Disney's one hundredth birthday, which included the dedication of the famous statue of Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse. With his piano placed in front of the statue, Sherman played several songs, concluding with what he told the crowd was Walt Disney's favorite, saying that he would be playing it just for Walt. As he completed the song, he blew a kiss to the statue. Just as he was finishing, a bird flew in out of nowhere and passed directly over Sherman. In the video that was made of this performance, the shadow of the bird can be seen as it passed overhead. Sherman said that the bird was a loving gesture from Walt.
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This movie was in slow development at Walt Disney Studios because the studio still had not obtained the rights to film the property from author P.L. Travers. This did not happen until sometime in 1961 or 1962.
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Mary Poppins quoted John Keats' "Endymion" when she commented, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever", as she pulled a potted plant out of her carpet bag. The same quote was used by Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971).
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The houses on Cherry Tree Lane were built on a diminishing scale, getting smaller as the lane progressed.
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Songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman wrote over thirty songs during the various stages of this movie's development.
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P.L. Travers refused to allow any of her books to be made into sequels, rebuking Walt Disney, who wanted to make more Mary Poppins movies due to the success of this movie. A sequel was eventually made, but fifty-four years after the release of this movie, and twenty-two years after Travers' death.
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Walt Disney Pictures' first DVD release.
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Julie Andrews wore a wig in this movie.
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P.L. Travers wanted the cast to be all English, in keeping with her books. Walt Disney and co-Creator Bill Walsh chose a blend of English and American actors and actresses to have wider appeal.
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In the beginning, Mr. George W. Banks sings "it's grand to be an Englishman in 1910, King Edward's on the throne..." King Edward VII died in May 1910, and his son, King George V, became King.
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Filmed entirely indoors in all four soundstages on the Walt Disney Studio lot in Burbank, California. Cherry Tree Lane, the park, and the exterior of St. Paul's Cathedral filled the entire Stage Four of Walt Disney Studio.
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Danny Kaye, Fred Astaire, Jim Dale, and even Cary Grant were briefly considered for the role of Bert. P.L. Travers suggested actors like Richard Burton, Alec Guinness, Richard Harris, Rex Harrison, Ron Moody, Laurence Olivier, Peter O'Toole, and Peter Sellers for the role, in keeping with the British nature of her books.
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Mrs. Banks' first name was originally Cynthia. It was changed to the "more British-sounding" Winnifred at P.L. Travers' request.
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The kazoo music heard during the penguins' routine was played by Richard M. Sherman.
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Originally, there was a scene in which all of the toys in the nursery come alive. Since it proved to be too scary for children, it was cut out. However, the idea was re-used in the Broadway musical of Mary Poppins.
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Walt Disney first attempted to purchase the movie rights from P.L. Travers as early as 1938. She rejected his offer, as she didn't believe a movie version would do justice to her creation. Another reason for her initial rejection would have been that, at that time, Walt Disney Studios had not yet produced a live-action movie.
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Bert's jobs in this movie are a one-man band, a chalk artist, a chimney sweep, and a kite salesman. Following the animated sequence, he hints that he might also sell hot chestnuts.
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The setting was changed from the 1930s to the Edwardian era at the suggestion of songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. The sequel, 'Mary Poppins Returns,' does take place in the 30's.
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In this and Julie Andrews' next movie, The Sound of Music (1965) (which, along with this one, are considered her most well-known movies), she played a nanny who helped the father of the children she's looking after have a better relationship with his children.
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In several interviews, Richard M. Sherman stated that his nephew, Jeff, came home reporting he had had a polio vaccine administered to him on a lump of sugar, and that this was the inspiration for the song "A Spoonful of Sugar." The vaccine was probably not the Salk vaccine, as he has stated - which was injected - but the Sabin vaccine, which was served to millions of schoolchildren in a spoon with a cube of sugar.
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Final theatrical movie of Arthur Veary Treacher (The Constable).
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The chorus performing as the animated Pearly Band during "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was comprised of Songwriter Richard M. Sherman, Vocal Coach J. Pat O'Malley, and Julie Andrews.
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First Walt Disney movie with live-action to be inducted into the National Film Registry.
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This movie takes place in April 1910.
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This movie premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California in 1964. It re-premiered at famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York in 1966.
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Though P.L. Travers conceded on most of the demands set by Disney, she was so adamantly against this movie being animated that she left the set immediately when she found out they were planning on adding animated scenes. It took a long phone call between her and Walt Disney, during which she came to understand that the main element in the scenes would be live-action. It was also during this discussion that they agreed that Mr. George W. Banks was the main focus of this movie. It was then that the project resumed.
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A song about Admiral Boom was written for this movie. Although the song does not appear in the movie, the music can be heard in the score.
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The word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was not wholly created for this movie. A close variation was first used in a 1949 song, "Supercalafajalistickespialadojus", by Gloria Parker and Barney Young. They sued Disney for plagiarism, but lost after Disney lawyers showed that a similar word had been used by Helen Herman in the "Syracuse Daily Orange", a college newspaper, on March 10, 1931. Herman wrote: "Several years ago, I concocted an expression which, to me, includes all words in the category of something wonderful...I believe that I am the sole originator of it, or at least, I have my own interpretation of its pronunciation - Supercaliflawjalisticexpialadoshus - implies all that is grand, great, glorious, splendid, superb, wonderful - well, all that is just supercaliflawjalisticexpialadoshus."
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Although Dick Van Dyke's English Cockney accent is rightly derided when playing Bert, when he is playing Mr. Dawes, Sr., his accent is perfectly acceptable.
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The Broadway version of "Mary Poppins" opened at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City, New York on November 16, 2006, has run for two thousand six hundred performances as of February 2013, and was nominated for the 2007 Tony Award (New York City) for Best Musical. This show is also the twenty-second-longest running show on Broadway as of February, 2013, and is planned to be closed in spring 2013.
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Originally, Walt Disney had considered Mary Martin, Bette Davis, and Dame Angela Lansbury for the part of Mary Poppins, based on the cold characterization portrayed in the P.L. Travers books. Walt Disney Pictures (with songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman and co-Writer Don DaGradi acting as the studio's sort-of "advance" team) first considered Julie Andrews after seeing her on Ed Sullivan's The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) in January 1961 do excerpts from "Camelot", the show in which she was appearing on Broadway. About a month later, Walt Disney went to New York City, caught the show (the show was of double interest to Disney because his The Sword in the Stone (1963) was based on the first book of T.H. White's "The Once and Future King", "Camelot" was based on the fourth book of the same novel) and met Andrews backstage. It was at that February 1961 backstage meeting that Disney first sounded Andrews out, essentially acting out the entire script for her. At the time, her then-husband, Tony Walton, was there with them and Disney asked him about his occupation. He said that he was a costume and set designer. Disney invited Andrews to come to California and asked Walton to bring along his portfolio, so he too found a job with the production. While this movie was offered to Andrews, she did not commit until the day after Warner Brothers announced that Audrey Hepburn would be doing My Fair Lady (1964) for them.
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After playing in New York City's prestigious Radio City Music Hall in its original 1964 release, this movie was brought back for a repeat engagement nine years later as part of a 50th Anniversary tribute to Producer Walt Disney.
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Upon David Tomlinson's death in 2000, British satirical magazine "Private Eye" published an uncharacteristically warm poem in tribute to him "So farewell David Tomlinson, noted British character actor...'Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height.'. Yes, that was your catchphrase. And where you are going now."
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Ub Iwerks modified the Technicolor camera that was used to mix live-action and animation, also known as the "Sodium Vapor Process". This camera had a prism installed to separate the sodium vapor lights from the rest of the color. Iwerks, Petro Vlahos and Wadsworth E. Pohl received an Academy Award for its use in this movie. Sir Alfred Hitchcock went to Walt Disney asking to borrow Iwerks to help make The Birds (1963). In 1964, Iwerks was nominated for an Academy Award for "Best Effects, Special Visual Effects", but lost to Cleopatra (1963).
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In addition to their credited roles, Julie Andrews and David Tomlinson provided voices in the animated sequences.
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Stanley Holloway was originally cast as Admiral Boom, but because he was working on My Fair Lady (1964), he turned it down.
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This film has a 100% rating based on 51 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Mary Poppins' line "Spit-spot" was later used by author Neil Gaiman for one of the characters in his novel "The Ocean at the End of the Lane". He's a big fan of the Mary Poppins books written by P.L. Travers.
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In her 2004 autobiography "'Tis Herself", Maureen O'Hara says she pitched the idea to Walt Disney of making a movie version of the book "Mary Poppins", which was rejected. Soon afterwards, Walt Disney purchased the rights to the book.
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In an interview for the anniversary of the film, Dick Van Dyke said that, while on breaks when filming with his old man makeup, he would regularly prank the tourists on the Disneyland back lot tour by flagging the bus and then running pass by them at full speed.
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Throughout 1964, Mary Poppins (1964) and My Fair Lady (1964) shared a friendly rivalry as to which film would end up grossing more. The rivalry was based in part on the fact that Julie Andrews had originated the role of Eliza Doolittle on Broadway, but was replaced in the movie by Audrey Hepburn (whose singing voice was largely dubbed). Andrews would go on to win the 1964 Best Actress Academy Award, while Hepburn was not even nominated. When all the dust settled, the two films ended up as the year's #1 and #2 hits, with Mary Poppins (1964) taking the top spot with $31 million in rentals, only $1 million more than Fair Lady (1964)'s $30 million.
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In the "I Love to Laugh" scene, when they all come down, the table stays in the air.
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Included amongst the American Film Institute's 2000 list of the five hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Funniest American Movies.
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The last feature in which Disney legend Ward Kimball worked as an animator. He designed and drew The Pearly Band for the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" sequence, and the big, evil-eyed woman beating a tambourine against her little husband's head was typical of his humor. Walt Disney had promoted Kimball to director for his TV shows in 1954 but demoted him back to animator after the two had a falling out in 1961. With the huge success of Mary Poppins (1964), Disney had a change of heart and restored Kimball to a director's position, which he kept until his retirement in 1973.
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In A Christmas Carol (1951) starring Alastair Sim, Mervyn Johns played Bob Cratchit to Hermione Baddeley's Mrs. Cratchit. In this movie, Baddeley played Ellen, the maid to Glynis Johns, playing Mrs. Winnifred Banks. Glynis Johns is Mervyn Johns' daughter.
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The name "Doris" does not appear in the song "Jolly Holiday". Rather, the wholly English name of "Dorcas" is used in the lyrics.
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The first adaptation of "Mary Poppins" was Studio One (1948) in 1949. Mary Wickes played Mary Poppins, E.G. Marshall played Mr. George W. Banks, and David Opatoshu played Bert.
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Julie Andrews' Best Actress Oscar winning performance was the only nominee in the category in a Best Picture nominee that year.
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Included amongst the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the four hundred movies nominated for the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Visual Effects.
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Included amongst the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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7-year old Matthew Garber (Michael Banks) had extreme acrophobia (Fear of heights) and he refused to do the ceiling scenes for the "I Love to Laugh" sequence. But the filmmakers said that he had to do the scenes nevertheless. So in order to overcome his fears, Garber was paid ten extra cents for every take he did hanging on the wires. The extra money he was given would eventually become part of his salary and fortune.
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Voted #3 in Channel 4's (U.K.) "Greatest Family Films".
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When Jane and Michael see Mary Poppins fly in with her umbrella, Michael says, "Perhaps it's a witch," and Jane replies, "No, of course not. Witches have brooms". This could be a foreshadowing to Disney's next live-action/animated musical Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which was very similar to this film and tried to recapture its feeling.
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Julie Andrews' Best Actress Oscar was presented to her by Sidney Poitier who had won the previous year for Lilies of the Field (1963).
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Elizabeth Taylor was considered for the role of Mary Poppins.
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Was the first film Mary Poppins Returns (2018) director Rob Marshall saw as a child.
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The final theatrical film of both Arthur Treacher and Jane Darwell. 29 years earlier they were both in Steen Kyllesbæk Andersen although, as in this film, they had no scenes together.
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Karen Dotrice recalled that Julie Andrews smoked cigarettes and swore frequently during filming.
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In a 1977 interview, P.L. Travers said of the film: "I've seen it once or twice, and I've learned to live with it. It's glamorous and it's a good film on its own level, but I don't think it is very like my books."
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Although Julie Andrews lost the part in My Fair Lady (1964) to Audrey Hepburn, she would later marry Blake Edwards, who had directed Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).
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American stage and radio comedian Ed Wynn was cast as Uncle Albert, who can't stop himself from laughing. Wynn originally gained fame playing a character called "the perfect fool" who giggled constantly, so his casting in this film is highly appropriate.
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Though there are other Americans in the cast, Ed Wynn (Uncle Albert) is the only one who makes no attempt affect an English accent. Interestingly, Wynn was the first American performer ever to play the legendary Hippodrome in London.
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When George Banks (David Tomlinson) sings "The Life I Lead," he mentions King Edward (VII) on the throne.

But King Edward VII of Great Britain unfortunately suffered from his ill health and soon passed away, and his son George V succeed the monarchy.

This partially explains that the story took place around the early Spring season before May 6, 1910.
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James Robertson Justice was originally cast as Mr. Dawes, Jr.
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Cameo 

Marni Nixon: Voice of the singing geese during the "barnyard singalong" segment of "Jolly Holiday".
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Betty Lou Gerson: The Old Crone who promises to hide the Banks children after they run from the Dawes, Tomes, Mousely, Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The song, "Let's Go Fly a Kite" was inspired by the Sherman brothers' (Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman) father, Al Sherman, who made kites for neighborhood kids as a weekend hobby. In this movie, the broken kite represents the broken family. When Mr. George W. Banks (David Tomlinson) mends the kite and the four pieces are taped back together, the four members of the family are also reunited. By transforming her "suffragette ribbon" into the kite's tail, Mrs. Winnifred Banks (Glynis Johns) also commits herself to being there more for her family.
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Reportedly, P.L. Travers approved the casting of Julie Andrews, but she hated this movie so much, she left the premiere in tears. Supposedly, she objected most to changing Mary Poppins from cold and intimidating in the novel to warm and cheery in this movie. She also took issue with the ending, in which Mrs. Winnifred Banks gives up campaigning for women's rights to stay at home as a housewife.
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At end the of chimney sweep sequence, in which the luck of the chimney sweeps is said to come off when one shakes hands with them, Mr. George W. Banks finds himself shaking hands with a large number of them as they leave his home. Considering that Mr. George W. Banks was about to lose his job at the bank, only to regain it and far more by the end of the story, he later benefited from an extraordinarily lucky sequence of events that could be attributed to that gesture.
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In this movie, the Banks children give the tuppence that was at the heart of an argument that inadvertently caused a bank run at their father's workplace to their father as a forlorn gesture to put everything right. As it turns out, those coins did put everything right by not only saving Mr. George W. Banks' job, but in Mary Poppins Returns (2018) it becomes an important plot device as well.
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Mr. George W. Banks is discharged on a Tuesday (it's Mary Poppins' day off, which is every second Tuesday).
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It was previously stated in another entry that that "She (PL Travers) also took issue with the ending, in which Mrs. Winnifred Banks gives up campaigning for women's rights to stay at home as a housewife" however in the books, Mrs Banks is a minor character and there is no mention of her suffrage leanings whatsoever. As well, in the novels, she is only "Mrs. Banks" (never named), while in the movie and musical she does have the name Winifred.
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In the opening scene during Burt's one man band song his final tribute to Miss Persimmon is this interrupted by a *sudden* wind change, foreshadowing Mary's arrival, etc. As a persimmon fruit grows into being edible, it becomes sweet and represents indication of wisdom that follows transformation.
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