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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Part Three in our Series - 31 Facts About Mary Poppins You Might Not Know!

Welcome to the March edition of our Mary Poppins facts list!  For March we are sharing 31 facts about the Mary Poppins movie, that you just might now be aware of. 

1.) Mary Poppins scarf and her daisy-and-cherry hat were directly inspired by the Mary Shepard book illustrations.

2.) Since Julie Andrews had not yet made any films, there were last minute concerns about how she would come across on screen.
3.) Producer Bill Walsh and Walt Disney shot makeup tests and knew instantly that Julie had amazing screen presence.
4.) "Best foot forward" is one of the many Mary "Poppins-isms" or short sayings that mean a lot.
5.) "Spit-Spot" is a typical phrase from the original book.
6.) During development, P.L. Travers spent a week at the Disney Studios offering comments and suggestions, plus a follow-up letter to Walt Disney.  P.L. Travers received consultant credit on the film.
7.) The nursery room sets were built on stage two at Disney Studios.

8.) In the book, the items Mary Poppins removes from her carpetbag include: a starched white apron, soap,a toothbrush, a packet of hair clips.
9.) Next comes a bottle of scent, a small folding armchair and a box of throat lozenges. 
10.) She also takes out a bottle of medicine, several flannel nightgowns, four cotton ones, a pair of boots, a set of dominoes, two bathing caps, and a postcard album.  Last of all comes a folding camp-bedstead complete with blankets and eiderdown.
11.) Mary Poppins in the book cannot pass a window or a mirror without admiring her reflection.
12.) In the book, Mary Poppins is quite vain about her appearance, so of course, the small mirror in her new room is totally unacceptable.
13.)  Note that the lamp Mary Poppins takes out of her carpetbag is not only impossibly tall, but is already lit.
14.) The purple shoes may seem fancy for the primly dressed Mary Poppins, but they're be perfect for a "Jolly Holiday."

15.) Karen Dotrice (Jane) recalls being astonished by what Andrews drew from the carpetbag. It seemed at the time true magic.
16.) Disney technicians used their new Autio-Animatronics technology to animate the robins at the nursery window.
17.) Julie Andrews had years of control wires running under her costume, and running down her sleeve.  Later she said she was carrying more circuitry than a computer.
18.) During the song "Spoonful of Sugar," Julie sings and whistles (as the Robin) in harmony with herself.
19.) The robin comes from the "John and Barbara Story" chapter in the book where the not-yet-year-old twins understand the language of birds, sunlight and wind.
20.) Veteran animators Bill Justice and Xavier Atencio made possible Mary Poppins' magic to tidy up the nursery.
21.) Most of the "magic" was accomplished by filming the nursery all tidy, and then knocking everything over on the floor, and then run the film backwards!
22.) Some of the action was accomplished with stop-motion animation, shooting each scene one frame at a time.
23.) Mary Poppins singing a duet with herself is right in character: the more Marys, the merrier.
24.) The toy soldiers were originally used in Disney's Babes on Toyland, also animated by Justice and Atencio.
25.) "Enough is as good as a feast" is another "Poppins-ism."
26.) The reprise of "A Spoonful of Sugar," called "Spit-Spot" was pre-recorded in three different lengths because the music team  did not know how long the banister ride would take.
27.) Ellen (the maid) was also filmed hopping on the banister and sliding down, but that scene was cut.
28.) Bert calls himself a "screever," which means pavement artist.

29.) P.L. Travers, in one of her letters to Walt Disney, pointed out that they don't use the term "sidewalk" in England.
30.) Matte artist Peter Ellenshaw's hand does the drawings for Bert.
31.) Originally the Studios considered top British actors to play Mary Poppins' friend, Bert.

Stop back again at the end of April to see our continuing list of fun Poppins facts!

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