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Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of 'Mary Poppins' (2004)

Using archival, never-before-released footage and newly shot interviews, this is a definitive behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney's moviemaking magic and the creation of this classic film.
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Julie Andrews ... Herself
Marc Breaux Marc Breaux ... Himself
Bob Broughton Bob Broughton ... Himself / Cameraman - Interviewee
Andreas Deja ... Himself / Animator - Interviewee
Karen Dotrice ... Herself
Peter Ellenshaw Peter Ellenshaw ... Himself
Blaine Gibson Blaine Gibson ... Himself / Artist, sculptor - Interviwee
Glynis Johns ... Herself
Valerie Lawson Valerie Lawson ... Herself / Author - Interviewee
Richard M. Sherman ... Himself
Robert B. Sherman ... Himself
Brian Sibley ... Himself / Author, film historian - Interviewee
Frank Thomas ... Himself
Dick Van Dyke ... Himself - Host
Dee Dee Wood Dee Dee Wood ... Herself
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Storyline

Using archival, never-before-released footage and newly shot interviews, this is a definitive behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney's moviemaking magic and the creation of this classic film.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 December 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of 'Mary Poppins' See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Mary Poppins (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superb history and look at making a top musical fantasy
29 November 2017 | by SimonJackSee all my reviews

This 50-minute documentary goes further than most films about the making of movies. It gives viewers the history of the story based on books by P.K. Travers and Walt Disney's efforts over more than two decades to obtain the film rights. And, it has interviews with people from all the trades and levels of production.

The male co-star of "Mary Poppins," Dick Van Dyke hosts this special for the 40th anniversary edition DVD. Julie Andrews won an Oscar for her role as Mary Poppins, and she leads the long list of people who worked on the film and appear here. This film has archival footage from behind the scenes as well as snippets from the movie itself. This is one of the series the studio called Disney Backstage. The full title of this film is "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of 'Mary Poppins.' But that 34-letter word in front makes any title too long to put on lists.

The people interviewed for this special include the music and song writing team of Dick and Bob Sherman who won two Oscars – for best song ("Chim Chim Cher-ee") and best score. It has animators, other writers, and other artists. Also, those who worked on visual effects, color coordination, the cameras and the choreographers. One thing that shines through in all the interviews is a genuine respect for and love of Walt Disney. To a person, the many people in this film spoke glowingly of working at Disney Studios, and with Walt himself on "Mary Poppins." The long-time Disney folks painted a picture of the ideal work place at Disney.

Some interesting details about the movie are also included. For instance, Dick Van Dyke had never danced before, and had never done a musical. Dee Dee Wood and Marc Breaux were a married team of choreographers who handled the dance numbers. The chimney sweeps' "Step in Time" routine on the rooftops is one of the longest and most complex dance segments ever filmed, and longer than anything ever done on stage. It combines acrobatics with dance that dazzles the eye. Woods says of Van Dyke, "Dick never had any dance training. Can you believe that? I can't."

She said "Step in Time" was the only thing they rehearsed with Dick. They spent six weeks on it, because it was so complicated. But then Dick showed the dancers how to do it.

Van Dyke's part of Bert was only a small scene in just one of the Travers stories. But Walt Disney made him into a composite of several characters. The writers praised Disney for his knack and openness to talent. Dick Sherman says, "Walt took all of his little bag of tricks that he developed over 35 years and put them into this picture." The film's visual effects artist was Peter Ellenshaw. He says, "Walt Disney was the most marvelous man I ever worked for."

Others of the movie cast in this film are Glynis Johns who played Mrs. Winifred Banks and Karen Dotrice who played the young Jane Banks. Matthew Garber, who played young Michael Banks, died in 1977 at age 21 of a pancreas disease. Some other crew members are in this documentary. Blaine Gibson was an artist and sculptor. Bob Broughton was a cameraman. And Andreas Dejas and Frank Thomas were animators.

Two others in this special didn't work on the movie. They are Brian Sibley, author and film historian; and Valerie Lawson, author of "From Out of the Sky She Came."

The people in this special frequently mentioned the fun people had working on "Mary Poppins." They could be goofy and hilarious at times. Karen Dotrice says, "From a little kid's point of view, I thought they were all off their rockers. You know – they lost their marbles."

Walt Disney was indeed unusual as a Hollywood studio head, and the Disney studio was indeed a unique place to work. More of Hollywood should have been like that.


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