If you’re like me, you love ALL things Mary Poppins. When the sequel was announced, I was over the moon excited! In anticipation of the release, I’d like to share some interesting facts about the original film and books that was released in 1964 that you may not know!
- The author of the Mary Poppins books, P.L. Travers, hated the movie. She was not happy that it was turned into a musical and she despised the animation aspects of the film. In fact, her relationship with Walt Disney was so contentious she initially wasn’t invited to the premier.
- There were many book-to-movie changes. While many films adaptations eliminate scenes and make minor changes to the storyline, the movie made drastic changes, including the elimination of two Banks children (Jane & Micheal’s twin siblings), combining two characters into one for the part of Bert, and making a much softer, more palatable character out of Mary Poppins.
- The movie was very successful. With a small budget of $4-6 million, the film hit it big and made over $31 million, which today is the equivalent of $250 million. The profit made from the movie was used to fund the building of Walt Disney World!
- Dick Van Dyke, who played the chimney sweep Bert, wasn’t a trained dancer. It wasn’t until the Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie that Van Dyke learned the basics of dancing, which wrapped just before he was cast in Mary Poppins.
- Mr. Banks, played by David Tomlinson, voiced several other characters throughout the film. From a penguin waiter, to a racetrack spectator, to a jockey! Most notably, he voiced the parrot on Mary’s umbrella.
- There were TONS of songs written for the movie that ended up on the cutting room floor. The Sherman Brothers, known for their song writing skills, penned and composed over 30 songs for the film, but only a select few made it. Others were saved and used in other films, like the song Beautiful Briny in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, which also starred David Tomlinson.
- While I personally can’t imagine the film without her, Julie Andrews almost didn’t take the role. When she was approached by Walt Disney backstage after a production of Camelot, she told him she was 3 months pregnant and wouldn’t be able to accept the role. Walt and the producers agreed that she was perfect for the role and decided to hold off on filming until after her pregnancy.
There you have it! Some pretty interesting information that I never knew before. Are you looking forward to the new movie? Share your thoughts in the comments!