1.) The film tied with Ben-Hur for the most nominations in Academy history.
2.) There were more than 200 recordings of songs from Mary Poppins by other artists.
3.) Although it was his most expensive film yet, Walt Disney refused to raise ticket prices for Mary Poppins. He wanted ordinary working people-"my families," he called them- to be able to see the film.
4.) All of Disney Van Dyke's scenes were scheduled around his brief summer hiatus from The Disney Van Dyke Show.
5.) The scene in the library was with Mr. Banks and Bert only, yet Mary Poppins is present, via her musical theme, "A Spoonful of Sugar."
6.) The original version of "A Man Has Dreams" had a different twist from the version in the movie. In the original version, Mr. Banks party blames Bert for the chaos rather than solely blaming Mary Poppins.
7.) Mr. Banks also explained how hard he worked to support his family. Those ideas were given to Bert to show empathy.
8.) Bert used some of Mary Poppins' reverse psychology and this becomes the turning point for Mr. Banks.
9.) Musical Conductor Irwin Kostal used his underscoring for the "Feed the Birds" song in the scene with Mr. Banks and the children as temporary music. Everyone liked it so much, they kept it in. So, he had the full orchestra record the melody line on top of the existing orchestra track that carried Mr. Banks on his walk to the Bank at 9pm.
10.) The development team had trouble with the original Mary Poppins storyline. The books had been a series of whimsical, but unconnected, adventures. The filmmakers had to find an emotional thread that would weave through the story, drawing the audience in. Having the parents preoccupied with their own lives at the expense of their children was the solution.
11.) Bill Walsh frequently put something of Walt into his main characters. Walsh used the busy, yet loving and playful side of Walt with his two daughters.
12.) As mentioned previously, Tony Walton helped design Cherry Tree Lane. He also designed the Banks' home, and the bank interior. Art Director Carroll Clark and William H. Tuntke designed the rest of the sets.
13.) Set Decorators Emile Kuri and Hal Gausman brought the sets to life with colorful furnishings and meticulous detail.
14.) Tony Walton even did several paintings that decorate the sets.
15.) Art Direction was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as Costuming.
16.) As over all design consultant, Tony Walton made sure there was a controlled color palette for the film. He was amazed at how quickly the Disney craft people worked their magic. He would make a quick sketch of a park gate, or something, and before he knew it, his sketch was whisked away and a complete model was brought back for his approval.
17.) The bank lobby set was redressed to become the boardroom.
18.) Mr. Dawes, Sr.'s chair was designed extremely tall to help make him appear frail.
19.) Tuppence is the film's key symbol. The children wanted to spend it on bread crumbs for the birds. Their Father wanted them to put the money in the bank. When the children realized their father was in trouble, they offered to give him the tuppence. At his lowest moment, Mr. Banks gives the tuppence to Mr. Dawes, Sr. With the tuppence, George Banks also gives Mr. Dawes something he had very little of in his life: laughter.
20.) The Sherman Brothers specifically added "tuppence" to the first line of "Lets Go Fly a Kite."
21.) Author P. L. Travers suggested the Mary Poppins line, "And what would happen to me, may I ask, if I loved all the children I said goodbye to?"
22.) Mary Poppins premiered at the world-famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre on August 27, 1064, where it became their longest run, highest grossing film, ever.
23.) More than 3,000 people lined Hollywood Boulevard to see Walt Disney and the stars arrive for the premiere. It was the first big Hollywood premiere for a Disney film since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.
24.) Julie Andrews recalls Walt Disney was "absolutely beaming" at the premiere. "It was as if all of Walt's expectations were fulfilled." "That is my happiest memory of him," said Julie Andrews.
25.) Walt Disney once said, "I don't make films for children. I make films that children are not embarrassed to take their parents to."
26.) In its first release, Mary Poppins was seen by an estimated 200 million people worldwide.
27.) Mary Poppins was the top grossing film of 1965, beating The Sound of Music, Goldfinger, and My Fair Lady.
28.) Mary Poppins was Disney's first home video tape release in 1980, and also Disney's first DVD release.
29.) Kite flying is included in the chapter of the second book, "Mary Poppins Comes Back."
30.) Julie Andrews flying scene was filmed at the end of production. She had to wear a corset-like harness attached to piano wires. The harness was hard to unhook, so the grips would push a ladder under Julie to sit on between takes. The flying wires were darkened with show polish so they would not reflect light. The wires were linked to pulleys that moved on wheels on a track out of the camera's sight. A technician guided crane, steered Julie Andrews on her flight, ten feet off the ground. She was accidentally dropped but once, landing only inches from the ground. She flew eight different ways, all in the special harness. She was able to recreate the way Mary Poppins always seemed to fly at an angle from the book illustrations.
Those are your 30 facts for the month............and now, a few special extra facts!
*When the film's grosses are adjusted for the higher ticket prices of even 10 years ago, the earnings would be upwards of $500 million! This places Mary Poppins among the very highest box office champions of all-time, bigger than The Lion King and Finding Nemo.
**Mary Poppins went on to be Disney's highest grossing film of all-time, and held that title for more than 20 years. Remember, that was a time when movie ticket prices were around $1.50 for adults, and .75 for children.
***Critics heaped glowing praises upon the film. One reviewer wrote, "the question is not have you seen Mary Poppins, but how many times?"
****The film was promoted again in the summer of 1966, making it in release for two years. It was also formally reissued in 1973 and placed in the top 20 with Poseidon Adventure, and American Graffiti.
*****Mary Poppins was the most requested title at New York's prestigious Radio City Music Hall and was first reissued to play there.
******Mary Poppins was again released in 1980. In the era of Star Wars, Grease and Rocky it was still among the top 30 most popular films of all time.
*******Although P. L. Travers abhorred sentimentality, she recommended the ending hint that Mary Poppins might return--and who knows, one day the wind may change again!
Mary Poppins- Julie Andrews
Bert- Dick Van Dyke
Mr. Banks - David Tomlinson
Mrs. Banks - Glynis Johns
The Domestics: Hermione Baddeley
The Children: Karen Dotrice
Katie Nana: Elsa Lanchester
The Constable: Arthur Treacher
Admiral Boom: Reginald Owen
Uncle Albert: Ed Wynn
The Birdwoman: Jane Darwell
At the bank:
Mr. Dawes, Jr.- Arthur Malet
Mr. Dawes, Sr.- Navckid Keyd
(Dick Van Dyke)
Thank you for joining us here on the blog page for this super fun look back at this great, timeless film. It has been as absolute pleasure sharing these facts with you. They have given all of us an enlightenment of this wonderful film that will forever remain as a soft spot in this bloggers heart.
We will be back with some interesting facts about another Disney film in the months to come!
Please be so kind as to give your feedback in the comment section below, and let us know how you enjoyed this Mary Poppins segment! Thank you!