26 surprising things you didn't know about 'Mary Poppins'

Disney‘Mary Poppins’ will be released on December 25.
  • “Mary Poppins” came out over 50 years ago and the long-awaited sequel is now nominated for an Oscar.
  • Dick Van Dyke played two characters in the film.
  • “Mary Poppins” was Julie Andrews’s first feature-length movie.

Over 50 years after the original release of “Mary Poppins,” Disney will premiere the long-awaited sequel: “Mary Poppins Returns.” The film, which is set to release on December 25, will star Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, and Meryl Streep.

Read more:
‘Mary Poppins’ is getting a sequel 54 years after the original – here’s the first teaser trailer

Keep reading for an inside look into the secrets of the original film, and which of the original characters will make surprise appearances in the new movie.

Dick Van Dyke played two characters in the film.

DisneyHe’s listed twice in the credits.

In addition to his role as Bert, the jovial chimney sweep, Dick Van Dyke starred in the film as Mr. Dawes, Sr. under the acting credit “Navckid Keyd.” The letters unscramble to reveal the actor’s name.

Dick Van Dyke will appear in the sequel.

Nearly 50 years later, Van Dyke will appear in the “Mary Poppins” sequel as Mr. Dawes, Jr., which we can only assume is the son of his original character, Mr. Dawes, Sr.

Julie Andrews will not appear in the new film.

Buena Vista Distribution and Eugene Gologursky/Getty ImagesJulie Andrews is the original Mary Poppins.

The original Mary Poppins,Julie Andrews, will not appear in the upcoming sequel. The director of the film told Entertainment Weekly that Andrews wants people to focus on Emily Blunt and her performance.

Walt Disney offered Julie Andrews the role of Mary Poppins after seeing her in a musical.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Walt Disney himself offered Julie Andrews one of her most iconic roles after attending the musical “Camelot” on Broadway. At the time, Andrews was playing Guinevere in the musical.

Disney postponed production on the film for Julie Andrews.

DisneyWalt Disney wanted her for the role.

Andrews was pregnant when Disney offered her the role and was unable to accept his offer at the time. Walt Disney wanted Julie Andrews to play Mary Poppins, so he postponed the film for her, according to the LA Times.

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is a real word.

DisneyIt’s also a memorable song.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is a real word that means “extraordinarily good; wonderful.” In the film, the word is meant to be used when you have nothing to say.

Composers Richard and Robert Sherman might not have made up the famed nonsensical word.

DisneyIt could have existed in a variation in 1931.

Although often credited with the creation of the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” Richard and Robert Sherman might not have made it up at all, although they claim to have. There was a variant of the word that was first used in 1931 in a column by Helen Herman, and another variant used by other songwriters in 1949.

Julie Andrews had an accident while filming.

DisneyShe was OK.

In an interview with Stephen Colbert, Julie Andrews revealed she almost died while filming “Mary Poppins.” According to the actress, she was wearing a harness to film a flying sequence for the movie when she felt herself slip and “plummet” to the stage.

“Mary Poppins” was Julie Andrews’s first feature-length movie.

DisneyIt was the start of a long career for Andrews.

Although she had appeared in TV movies and shows, “Mary Poppins” was Julie Andrews’ first live-action film. You could argue that it was this Disney film that launched her illustrious acting career.

“Mary Poppins” was the highest grossing film of 1964.

DisneyIt was incredibly successful.

Beating out Audrey Hepburn’s “My Fair Lady,” “Mary Poppins” was the highest grossing film of 1964 with $US102.2 million. In contrast, “My Fair Lady” only grossed $US72 million.

Andrews was considered for the role of Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady.” If she had gotten it, she may never have played Mary Poppins.

Warner Bros. PicturesAudrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle in ‘My Fair Lady.’

Andrews was being considered for the lead role of Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” after starring in the Broadway play. Had she gotten the role, she may never have played Mary Poppins. The role eventually went to Audrey Hepburn instead, and Andrews would go on to win an Academy Award for best actress for “Mary Poppins.”

In her acceptance speech, she thanked Jack Warner, the president of Warner Brothers, who decided Andrews was not famous enough for the movie version of “My Fair Lady.”

“Mary Poppins” won five Academy Awards in total.

DisneyJulie Andrews won ‘Best Actress.’

In an impressive night at the Academy Awards, “Mary Poppins” walked away with five Oscars. Julie Andrews won for best actress while the Sherman brothers won for their hit songs.

Disney waited 20 years for P.L. Travers to approve his bid.

DisneyIt was worth the wait.

Walt Disney originally put in a bid for film rights to P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins” in 1938, but it wasn’t accepted until 20 years later, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The author of the “Mary Poppins” novels hated Disney’s adaptation.

DisneyShe wasn’t a fan of the films.

Despite her extensive meetings on certain aspects of the film, author P.L. Travers never approved of the “Mary Poppins” film and was said to have cried after seeing the film for the first time, according to the New Yorker.

Before her death, she allowed the creation of the “Mary Poppins” stage production, which was to be led by Sir Cameron Mackintosh.

P.L. Travers’ estate allowed the sequel to be made.

DisneyEmily Blunt will star in the new film.

After her death, Traver’s estate granted Disney the rights to produce a “Mary Poppins” sequel, but under the stipulation that they treat it “carefully,” according to Entertainment Weekly.

Dick Van Dyke was criticised for his accent.

DisneyHe’s since apologised for his accent.

Several decades after the release of the film, star Dick Van Dyke told the Guardian he was sorry for his “atrocious cockney accent.”

Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice starred on screen together multiple times.

DisneyThey play the children in ‘Mary Poppins.’

Starring as brother and sister in “Mary Poppins” was not the first or last time Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice worked together. They first starred alongside each other in “The Three Lives of Thomasina” and would work together for the last time in “The Gnome-Mobile” in 1967.

The “Supercalifragilistic” scene was shot so many times that the kids got sick of eating the toffee apples.

DisneyThe scene was shot multiple times.

In an interview with the Guardian, Karen Dotrice, who played Jane Banks, said, “There were so many retakes of the Supercalifragilistic scene that we got sick of the toffee apples we were supposed to be eating.”

The songs took two and a half years to write.

DisneyIt was quite the process to write the songs for the film.

“Bob and I spent two and a half years writing 34 songs, many for sequences that were never used, since we didn’t have a final script to work to – two writers had tried but failed to please Walt,” composer and songwriter Richard Sherman told The Guardian.

The song “Spoonful of Sugar” was inspired by Robert Sherman’s son.

DisneyThe song is iconic.

After receiving the polio vaccine, Sherman’s son told his father he was given a lump of sugar on a spoon, and the famed song quickly followed, according to Song Facts.

The stage where “Mary Poppins” was filmed was named after Julie Andrews.

IMDb/Walt Disney PicturesIt was the same stage used in ‘The Princess Diaries.’

“Mary Poppins” and “The Princess Diaries” were shot on the same stage, according to Mental Floss. This stage would later be renamed in honour of Julie Andrews as “Julie Andrews Stage 2.”

Composer and songwriter Richard Sherman cried when he heard “Spoonful of Sugar.”

DisneyHe was impressed with Andrews’ rendition.

Richard Sherman got emotional over Julie Andrews’ rendition of his song.

“The best moment came when I first heard Julie Andrews singing “A Spoonful of Sugar.” I was crying because she was articulating the whole essence of the movie – which was about the power of love,” he told The Guardian.

Richard Sherman’s favourite project was “Mary Poppins.”

DisneyIt seems even the composers enjoyed working on the film.

Despite creating the incredibly popular “It’s a Small World,” when asked what his favourite project was, Richard Sherman told BMI, “It has to be ‘Mary Poppins.’ ‘Mary Poppins’ was our magnum opus.”

Bert was not in the original books.

DisneyBert has become an iconic character.

The character of Bert, who was played by Dick Van Dyke, was not in the original “Mary Poppins” novels. Instead, this character was created for the movie as “an amalgamation of several of Mary Poppins’ friends from the books,” according to IMDB.

Dick Van Dyke was hired because Walt Disney agreed with his opinions on family entertainment.

DisneyWalt Disney also knew about the ‘Van Dyke Show.’

In an interview with CNN, Dick Van Dyke said, “Well, I thought he hired me because I was such a great singer and dancer. As it turns out, he had heard me in an interview talking about what was happening to family entertainment. I was decrying the fact that it seemed like no holds were barred anymore in entertainment. … He knew about the ‘Van Dyke Show,’ about our little sitcom, but that’s why he called me in, because I said something he agreed with. And I got the part.”

David Tomlinson voiced Mary Poppins’ parrot umbrella.

DisneyMary Poppins used an iconic magical umbrella.

David Tomlinson, who played Mr. Banks, was also the voice of Mary Poppins talking umbrella, according to Brothers’ Ink, although this is an uncredited part.

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