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Saturday, May 31, 2014

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

Well, here we are again!  Another month passes by like a blurr.  I do not want the summer to go by too quickly, as we have waited so long for it to finally arrive.  We pick up where we ended last month with more Mary Poppins movie trivia facts.  Enjoy the read!

1.) Ham Luske directed the "Jolly Holiday" animation.  He was a supervising animator on Disney's "Snow    White and the Seven Dwarfs."

2.)  In the original book chapter, Mary Poppins and Bert often had raspberry jam cakes and tea on her day off. That became raspberry ice, cakes and tea Mary orders in the film.

3.)  Matte artist Peter Ellenshaw also voiced the penguin waiter who sings, "and Jane!"

4.)  Richard Sherman not only co-wrote the songs, he voices a penguin, and one of the Pearlies as well.

5.)  The Penguins are voiced by Daws Butler, Dallas McKennon, J. Pat O'Malley and David Tomlinson.

6.)  Originally, Bert's roll call of charming ladies included the name "Pamela."  Mrs. Travers begged Walt Disney to substitute something else and suggested Felicia, which was used instead.

7.)  Animator Frank Thomas discovered there are 26 varieties of penguins.  They drew the look most people  think of as a penguin.

8.)  Choreographer DeeDee Wood, with three assistants, created the dance for the penguins.

9.)  She was filmed performing the dance as a study guide for the animators.

10.)  DeeDee Wood had to devise a fun way for the penguins to dance since they don't have shoulders, a bendable waist or knees.

11.)  Walt had told the Director to shoot the live action any way he wanted.  The animators would put the penguins in later.

12.)  DeeDee Wood used life-sized cut outs of penguins to show Dick Van Dyke where to look during the dance.

13.)  Animator Ollie Johnston found "jolly Holiday" hard to animate.

14.)  Director Stevenson kept the framing very tight, which didn't leave Johnston and his colleagues much room to work.

15.)  The animators had to imagine how many penguins would fit in the scene at any given moment.

16.)  Animator Frank Thomas watched the filming very carefully as Van Dyke danced.

17.)  He would point his fingers at the actor to indicate how many penguins would be in the scene.

18.)  Disney sound-effects wizard James Macdonald heard some of the chimney sweep dancers patting their tummies one day.  He has then record that action to be the sound of the penguins feet tapping.  Later, Irwin Kostel replaced their sound since his tummy was a better size and shape.

19.)  Mary Poppins and Bert rode a Merry-Go-Round in the original Mary Poppins story from 1926.

20.)  The carousel horses were carefully designed by Disney artist Blaine Gibson to represent caricatures of their riders. 

21.)  Favorite Disney character actor and voice artist Dallas McKennon voices the Merry-Go-Round guard.

22.)  Musical Composer Irwin Kostel used two glockenspiels for the Merry-Go-Round sequence. and added nine French horns when the horses peel off and join the fox hunt.

23.)  Film Editor Cotton Warburton noted that the abundant use of "invisible wires" was so smoothly done, it completely fools the eye.

24.)  The carousel horses are moved up and down using a technique called "mechanical manual tube suspension."

25.)  Alan Napier, known as Alfred the Butler on the Batman TY series, voices the Huntsman Mary talks to, a Hound and a Reporter.

26.)  Dallas McKennon also voiced the Fox, the horse  ("Nevah!") a hound, and the Racetrack Guard.

27.)  One of Disney's top layout artists, McLaren Stewart, served as Animation Art Director.  He designed the "Jolly Holiday" set--the painted background on which the action (live and animated!) takes place.

28.)  The "Jolly Holiday" animators are some of Disney's legendary artists: Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, Eric Larson, Hal Ambro, Cliff Nordberg and Jack Boyd.
 (Some of which were in the elite group called Disney's Nine Old Men.)

29.) Actor Sean McClory also voices a hound and Reporter #4.  David Tomlinson voices the Jockey and the Racetrack Stewards.

30.)  Disney favorite J. Pat O'Malley plays the Master of Hounds, a Hound, a Horse, a Photographer, a Reporter and the Pearlie Drummer.

31.) Julie Andrews and her husband Tony Walton came up with the idea of saying "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" backwards.  Tony Walton figured out how to do it, by inverting the syllables rather than the letters (except for the end,) "Docious-ali-expi-istic-fragil-cali-rupus."

Well, there you have the new batch of fun Mary Poppins facts for this month.  Join us again at the end of June to find out some more fun information!

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