In just over a month, Disney fans everywhere will get to finally see the long-awaited Mary Poppins Returns! Emily Blunt will play the reprised role of Mary Poppins as Julie Andrews did in Mary Poppins. Even actors and actresses like Angela Lansbury, Meryl Streep and the incomparable Dick Van Dyke will play roles in the very anticipated new film in the Mary Poppins story, but what is perhaps the most interesting thing about the upcoming movie is what was done to bring it to life and make it real for the audience.
First, every part of the set that was used has touches of the city of London. London is a huge part of the Mary Poppins story. Director John Myrhe says that the new movie is “a bit of a love letter to London.” It’s evident in the curved roads in the film, as well as the beautiful recreation of Big Ben.
Second, the Cherry Tree Lane of Mary Poppins Returns is not like that of the original Mary Poppins. In the second installment of the Poppins story, the street on which the Banks family lives is quite humble, as opposed to being a place for the wealthy. The filmmakers wanted the movie to feel real and accessible to the audience, so they opted to keep the park that was near the Banks’ house from the original film, but keep the home itself at 17 Cherry Tree Lane a bit more humble. It makes it feel more real to the viewers.
Another thing filmmakers did to enhance the movie’s realness and draw was to create a talking parrot head for Mary Poppins’ umbrella. In the film, the children interact with the parrot-brella (our word), and the directors felt it would add to the magic to have the parrot head actually respond to the children. The umbrella is a very sophisticated audio-animatronic, and it might just be one of the best things to see in the film. We can’t wait!
Yet another thing that the directors did to enhance the experience of Mary Poppins Returns is to forgo the use of green screens. Instead, the filmmakers opted for giant green props that were built specifically for the animated scenes. The props were built and then painted green. Director Rob Marshall wanted the stage design to reflect the songs and covers, so they decided to build giant props like huge books and other items. Those props were painted green so that during animated scenes of the film, the characters could interact with the props, which gives the movie an even more believable, yet fantastical, feel.
One more thing that will make Disney fans of all ages very happy is the presence of a very special feature in the film. Keep your eyes open for six different Hidden Mickeys in the park when you go to see the film on December 19!