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Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Poster

Trivia

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Dick Van Dyke was offered four options for his dance scene, each with a varying degree of difficulty. He insisted on performing the hardest dance routine and refused any help from fellow cast members while filming the scene. The resulting dance scene was so well received that there were reports of audiences applauding during screenings to see the old actor dance so well for his age.
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When Mary Poppins (1964) was being written, the lead role was offered to Dame Julie Andrews by Walt Disney. Andrews told Disney that she was pregnant and couldn't do the movie. Disney wanted Andrews so much that he postponed the production in order to accommodate Andrews' pregnancy. When this movie was announced, history repeated itself as Emily Blunt was also pregnant and the movie was postponed to accommodate her pregnancy.
Dame Julie Andrews turned down a proposed cameo appearance as the balloon lady, fearing that it would be too distracting from Emily Blunt's performance. Julie said, "this is Emily's show, and I really want it to be Emily's show." Quite poetically, the balloon lady part went to Dame Angela Lansbury, who had been considered for the title role of Mary Poppins (1964) in the first movie before Dame Julie Andrews was cast.
Since Dick Van Dyke looks younger than his ninety-three years, Disney used old age make-up and hair to make him look slightly older.
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At the age of ninety-three at the time of the movie's release, Dame Angela Lansbury is the oldest actress ever to appear in a Disney movie. She is just two months older than the oldest actor in a Disney movie, Dick Van Dyke, who also set the record with this movie.
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When Karen Dotrice, who played Jane Banks in Mary Poppins (1964), makes her cameo, before leaving she says, "Many thanks, sincerely." In the first movie, this was the phrase Jane and Michael Banks used at the end of their letter requesting a new nanny.
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It was Writer, Producer, and Director Rob Marshall's intention, right from the beginning, to use hand-drawn animation for the animation sequences. This was due to his love for hand-drawn animation, and also to pay homage to the first movie. The Disney executives, on the other hand, initially wanted this movie to have computer animation for its animated sequences, which infuriated Marshall. He then fought hard to convince the Disney executives to let him use hand-drawn animation, and he also argued why it would be the right choice to use for this movie. Ultimately, the Disney executives gave in and allowed Marshall to use hand-drawn animation.
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If you listen carefully much of the background music contains melodies from Mary Poppins (1964), including The Perfect Nanny, Let's Go Fly A Kite, Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, The Life I Lead, and Spoonful of Sugar.
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Dame Julie Andrews, who portrayed the title character in Mary Poppins (1964), endorsed the casting of Emily Blunt as her successor, calling it a "wonderful" casting decision. Blunt said it was "lovely" to receive Andrews' stamp of approval, and actually cried tears of joy when she found out about Andrews' reaction.
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This was released fifty-four years after Mary Poppins (1964), setting a new record as the longest gap between a live-action movie and its sequel.
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Mr. Dawes, Jr. (Dick Van Dyke) begins to tell the Banks children the joke about a "man with a wooden leg named Smith." He stops himself before completing it, and with good reason: in Mary Poppins (1964), his father died from laughing too hard at the punchline.
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When Michael Banks is in the attic, there is a box of toy blocks with letters on them. This is a nod to Mary Poppins (1964) in which they featured, and the blocks also subtly spell out "Poppins".
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For the fantastic scenes where Mary Poppins takes the Banks children on extraordinary adventures, Writer, Producer, and Director Rob Marshall decided to use the traditional style of hand-drawn animation, as he wanted the audience to regain the nostalgia of Mary Poppins (1964). More than seventy animators, some of whom were even retired, were recruited to design and create the animated sequences for sixteen months.
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At the end of the movie, when Jack rides away on his bike - blink and you will miss it - the original chalk painting from Mary Poppins (1964), into which Mary Poppins, Michael, and Jane jumped, is on the ground behind Jack's bike.
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In order to execute the bathtub scene, a hole was carved under the tub to insert a water slide that leads to a basement.
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The final title card during the opening sequence is a chalk painting which shows the opening scene from Mary Poppins (1964).
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In the book "Mary Poppins Comes Back", Mary Poppins' cousin Topsy is male, and the reason for his world being upside down every second week is because his mother wanted a girl, which meant he was "backwards from the beginning".
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Author P.L. Travers was very critical of Mary Poppins (1964), especially the music and animation. However, towards the end of her life, she authorized the creation of a stage production by Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Walt Disney theatrically based on the movie and her novels, with the stipulation that no one involved in the creation of the movie (particularly the Sherman brothers) be involved, and even included these requirements in her will. Although she died in 1996, the play successfully debuted in 2004. Largely as a result of this reconciliation, Walt Disney Studios was able to restart negotiations with Travers' estate, which resulted in the authorization for this movie.
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Early in this movie, Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) draws a crude ten pound note saying "The day has barely begun and I've already made ten pounds." At the Royal Doulton Music Hall, the cartoon animals are seen paying admission in bills following this same design.
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The teddy bear that Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) hands to John (Nathanael Saleh) in "Where the Lost Things Go" is Saleh's real-life teddy bear, that was knitted by his Nan and Great Aunt, both of whom passed away before the release of this movie. Given the theme of the song, this was a significant moment in the production for Saleh.
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Emily Blunt dove into P.L. Travers' books, and found out that the character is remarkably different from Walt Disney's vision and Dame Julie Andrews' characterization in Mary Poppins (1964), so Blunt's interpretation is closer to the books.
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In the book, only Jane Banks is transported into the Royal Doulton Bowl, and the entire episode was much darker. Instead of a world of talking animals, she meets a nineteenth century family that tries to force her to become one of them, before Mary Poppins rescues her.
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In Mary Poppins (1964), Miss Lark had a dog named Andrew. In this movie, she apparently has a new dog named Willoughby. In the first Mary Poppins book, Willoughby was a stray dog that Andrew befriended and asked Miss Lark to adopt, with Mary Poppins translating for him.
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Joel Dawson's front baby teeth had fallen out just prior to filming and were growing back in at different rates. He had to wear fake teeth to hide this during a large portion of filming.
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Karen Dotrice, who played Jane Banks in Mary Poppins (1964), has a cameo in this movie (as "Elegant Woman"). Matthew Garber, who played Michael Banks in the first movie, died in 1977 at the age of twenty-one. Glynis Johns, who played the children's mother Mrs. Banks, is the only other surviving original cast member alongside Dame Julie Andrews not to make a cameo. Johns had long been retired (since 1999) and, at the time of this movie's making (2017), was ninety-three.
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This movie included some hand-drawn animation to be made by Walt Disney Animation Studios. This is the first time since Winnie the Pooh (2011) that the studio used hand-drawn animation.
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The construction of Topsy's (Meryl Streep's) shop lasted seven months, and it is the most complex decoration of this movie. Set Designer Gordon Sim and his team scoured antique shops and flea markets in England to find objects to incorporate into the decor. A total of five hundred thirty-eight were harvested, along with other items designed by the team or otherwise acquired. All of these elements were then bolted and fastened to the ceiling of a true reversed decor, which was then returned. It took twenty-six weeks to create the scenery of the abandoned park that houses the biggest number of this movie and eighteen weeks for the Alley Cherry. A total of eight sets from Shepperton Studios were used.
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Development on a sequel to Mary Poppins (1964) had long been gestating in development hell since the release of the first movie. Walt Disney attempted to produce a sequel a year subsequent to the movie's release, but was rejected by author P.L. Travers, who had openly dismissed Disney's movie adaptation. In the late 1980s, then-chairman of Walt Disney Studios Jeffrey Katzenberg and Vice President of Live-Action Production Martin Kaplan approached Travers with the idea of a sequel set several years after the first movie, with the Banks children now adults and an older Mary Poppins with Dame Julie Andrews reprising the role. Travers again rejected the proposed concept with the exception of Andrews' return. The studio shortly abandoned the effort.
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In the beginning sequence when Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) passes by St. Paul Cathedral, the Bird Woman from Mary Poppins (1964) is seen sleeping on the stairs and a flock of birds flies up. The original Bird Woman was played in Mary Poppins (1964) by Jane Darwell in her last movie role, dying at the age of eighty-seven in 1967.
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The biggest song and dance number, "Trip a Little Light Fantastic", took two weeks to film, sometimes with up to fifty dancers on-screen at the same time. The exteriors of this eight-minute sequence were filmed at Middle Temple in London to enjoy its cobbled streets, arcades, and famous passages. The stage set consisted of five different levels, including a three-story fountain, a bridge, a greenhouse, and twenty-five hybrid electric and gas streetlights. Five cameras were used to capture the scale of the scene including a fixed camera, two cranes, an aerial camera, and a camera mounted on a travelling dolly. Twenty-eight street lamps equipped with a rotating base and sections adapted to the dance movements were specially created for the number, as well as eighteen ladders made of metal, rubber, and balsa. The team also bought one hundred BMX bikes that were later aged.
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In the song "A Cover is Not the Book", the verses about Nellie Rubina and the King and the Dirty Rascal reference characters from "Mary Poppins Comes Back" that were not featured in this movie.
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Mary Poppins (1964) took place four years before World War I. This movie takes place a few years (possibly four) before World War II.
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In homage to Dick Van Dyke's notoriously bad cockney accent from Mary Poppins (1964), Lin-Manuel Miranda speaks in a ridiculously bad Cockney accent.
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The orchestral tracks and vocals were recorded with a full eighty-two-piece symphony orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani (a regular at musicals, as he worked on Into the Woods (2014) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)) at AIR Lyndhurst Studio in Hampstead. Rob Marshall wanted to make sure that the sung passages were seamlessly integrated into this movie, so the actors' and actresses' voices were captured live on the set during playback of the orchestral tracks to preserve the energy of their on-camera performances.
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For the song "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" Lin-Manuel Miranda got Jack's hat throw on the first take, which he did during rehearsal, which ended up in the movie.
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In the Banks children's nursery, there are pictures of people and dandelions just above the fireplace. This is likely an homage to the fourth book in the Mary Poppins series called "Mary Poppins in the Park", where the flying nanny and the Banks children have a tea party with people who live beneath the dandelions.
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In Mary Poppins (1964), Mr. Dawes, Jr. was played by thirty-seven-year-old Arthur Malet. In this movie, set twenty-five years later, the character was played by ninety-three-year-old Dick Van Dyke.
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Emily Mortimer (Jane Banks) was able to meet Karen Dotrice, who played the young version of her character in Mary Poppins (1964). The latter also has a cameo in this movie.
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Like Mary Poppins (1964), this movie includes a sequence combining live-action and traditional hand-drawn animation. The animation sequence was supervised by Jim Capobianco and Ken Duncan. Over seventy animation artists specializing in hand-drawn 2-D animation from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, and other animation studios were recruited for the sequence. The animated drawings were created using pencil and paper and scanned onto the computer to be digitally inked and painted. Character Designer James Woods and Animator James Baxter also helped redesign the penguins from the first movie. All of the hand-drawn animation was created by Duncan's animation studio, Duncan Studio, in Pasadena, California.
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Mary Poppins' talking Parrot Umbrella was a practical animatronic puppet. Its performance was created by two special effects technicians, one controlling the mouth and another controlling the eye and head movements.
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Although the original setting of the first three Mary Poppins novels was the 1930s, Walt Disney and his team set Mary Poppins (1964) in 1910. This movie, set roughly twenty-five years after that, restored the 1930s setting.
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Dame Julie Walters (Ellen) has admittedly been confused for original Mary Poppins performer Dame Julie Andrews throughout her entire career. She has even gone on to sign her autograph and quoted "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious " to strangers, in fear of embarrassing people excited to meet Andrews.
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At age ninety-three, Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes, Sr. in Mary Poppins (1964), returns to portray Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired President of the bank, which is now run by his nephew, played by Colin Firth.
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Dame Angela Lansbury, who was a possible candidate for the title role of the first movie, previously starred in Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) (adapted from the popular children's book by Mary Norton), which was an earlier attempt by Disney to replicate the successful formula of Mary Poppins (1964). David Tomlinson appeared in both movies; in Mary Poppins (1964), he played George Banks, the father of Michael and Jane and voiced Mr. Binnacle and the parrot handle on Mary Poppins' umbrella.
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The title of this movie is similar to the title of P.L. Travers' second Mary Poppins book, "Mary Poppins Comes Back", released in 1935. Elements from that book were already adapted in Mary Poppins (1964), including the scene with the measurement of Jane and Michael, flying kites in the park, the scene with the merry-go-round, et cetera.
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Colin Firth and Dame Angela Lansbury previously appeared in Nanny McPhee (2005), which was also about a nanny with magical powers. McPhee was played by Dame Emma Thompson, who played Mary Poppins Creator P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks (2013). Lansbury also played Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (1991), the same role that Thompson also portrayed in Beauty and the Beast (2017).
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Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep appeared in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Into the Woods (2014).
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A fan petition was made to get Michael Rooker to cameo in the movie, after his role as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) had him imitating Mary Poppins.
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This is Disney's first live-action/traditional animated hybrid movie since Enchanted (2007).
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In the Royal Doulton Music Hall after the flamingos' performance, there is a large family of rabbits shown in the audience. While the drawing design is different, they bear a striking resemblance (especially the old woman rabbit) to the rabbit family in Robin Hood (1973), also a Disney movie.
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The songwriters have created for the Luminomagifantastic (VO) vocal and litany number a jargon specific to street lamp lighters nicknamed the "leery speak" ("leery" is an old Scottish word for this craft ), sort of cockney slang.
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Mary Poppins originated in P.L. Travers' eponymous book published in 1934. Over the next fifty years, she wrote seven other books, including The Return of Mary Poppins, The Good Ideas by Mary Poppins, and Mary Poppins on a Walk.
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The majority of the cockney rhyming slang used was entirely invented for the movie and not real slang.
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Unlike Mary Poppins (1964), this movie (or all of its live-action footage) was shot in the story's indigenous English setting with natural outdoors; the first movie was an entirely indoors movie (even outdoor scenes were shot on the Disney Studio soundstages in Burbank. Similarly, at the same time the first movie was being filmed in Burbank, the other 1912-English set musical My Fair Lady (1964) was being filmed on the soundstages of rival Warner Brothers Studio in nearby Glendale. So the close-knit band of "English-type" Hollywood bit players (who played "English" extras) was doubly busy during that summer-fall season of 1963). Some of the post-production work for this new movie, however, was done in Hollywood.
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This movie was chosen by the National Board of Review and American Film Institute as one of the top ten movies of 2018 and received numerous award nominations, including four at the 76th Golden Globe Awards (including for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy), nine at the 24th Critics' Choice Awards, and a SAG Award nomination for Emily Blunt at the 25th Screen Actors Guild Awards.
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Of the four hundred forty-eight original costumes made for this movie, Topsy (Meryl Streep), Mary Poppins' (Emily Blunt's) capricious cousin, took the most time out of the Costume Department: eight people spent five weeks printing and hand painting the design on the front fabric to make six identical versions.
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The stone bridge in the park when Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) first descends on the end of Georgie's (Joel Dawson's) kite string is the same bridge which Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes) walks over singing "Lovely, Lonely Man" in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). It is on the backlot of Pinewood Studios, where interiors (and some exteriors) of both movies were shot. Dick Van Dyke appeared in both movies as well.
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Colin Firth had a dual role in this movie as William "Weatherall" Wilkins and the villainous wolf in the Royal Doulton music hall scene.
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For this movie, Writer, Producer, and Director Rob Marshall imagined an original story by combining elements from different works. With David Magee and John DeLuca, he designed a story in London during the Great Depression of the mid 1930s (the era of P.L. Travers' books), twenty-five years after the events of the first movie. Whereas the characters of Jane and Michael Banks remain children throughout the books, Marshall made the choice to present them as adults.
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This was the final Disney movie to be released on Netflix, due to the launching of Disney+.
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Emily Blunt doesn't appear on-screen until twenty minutes into the movie.
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Bette Midler sang "Where the Lost Things Go" at the 2019 Academy Awards, after Dame Julie Andrews turned down the invitation from the Oscars producers.
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Topsy is a combination of two characters from the book. Mary Poppins' cousin, Mr. Turvy was the fix-it man, whose world turned upside down once a month. His maid was named Topsy, and he eventually married her, making her Topsy Turvy.
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The cast includes two Oscar winners: Colin Firth and Meryl Streep; and three Oscar nominees: Dame Angela Lansbury, Dame Julie Walters, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
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This movie united Dame Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep who played the villainous role of the candidate's dominating mother in Richard Condon's adaptations of The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and The Manchurian Candidate (2004), respectively. In addition, Lansbury played Aunt March in Little Women (2017), the same role that Streep played in Little Women (2019).
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Cate Blanchett was rumored to play Mary Poppins before Emily Blunt was cast.
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Emily Blunt previously worked with Writer, Producer, and Director Rob Marshall on Into the Woods (2014).
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The team created a new character: the street lamp lighter Jack, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
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This is Costume Designer Sandy Powell's second Disney movie. The first being Cinderella (2015).
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When Mary Poppins knocks on Topsy's door with her parrot-headed umbrella, the affronted parrot sarcastically suggests that maybe his beak would be good for opening cans. This is a reference to the book, in which her parrot-headed umbrella opens a cake tin with its beak.
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Writer, Producer, and Director Rob Marshall, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep worked on Into the Woods (2014).
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Dame Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw worked together on Paddington (2014). In each movie, the first scene they shared has a room of a multi-story London townhouse getting flooded.
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Ben Whishaw and Dame Julie Walters worked together on Paddington (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017).
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Based on the books by P.L. Travers.
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This movie was a box-office hit and it was hailed by critics as a classic. This belies the notion that musical sequels never work.
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Only the second movie directed by Rob Marshall in which the costumes weren't designed by Colleen Atwood. The costumes in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) were designed by Penny Rose, and this movie by Sandy Powell.
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This is the first Mary Poppins movie to be rated PG by the M.P.A.A. Mary Poppins (1964) was rated G.
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Emily Blunt and Colin Firth previously worked together in Arthur Newman (2012).
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Blake Lively was considered for Mary Poppins.
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Emily Blunt and Julie Andrews have both made mib with their respective husbands. Andrews' first husband, Tony Walton, was a design consultant on the original Mary Poppins (1964). Blunt's husband, John Krasinski directed her in A Quiet Place (2018). Andrews's second husband, Blake Edwards, directed her in Victor Victoria (1982), in which her character's male name is Victor Grazinski.
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This is the first Mary Poppins movie to be filmed in Panavision (anamorphic) for the widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio.
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Dame Angela Lansbury, who played the Balloon Lady, starred with Glynis Johns in The Court Jester (1955). Glynis Johns played Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (1964).
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The decorations on Mary Poppins' hat include a robin. This is a nod to the scene featuring robins during the song "A Spoonful of Sugar" in Mary Poppins (1964).
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Emily Blunt's husband, John Krasinski, has been friends since childhood with B.J. Novak, who appeared in Saving Mr. Banks (2013).
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Emily Blunt's brother-in-law, Stanley Tucci, appeared in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004). Dame Julie Andrews' late husband, Blake Edwards, was featured as a character as well.
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Chris O'Dowd's second voice-over role after Epic (2013).
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David Warner (Admiral Boom) and Jim Norton (Binnacle) appeared in Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs (1971).
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The film is based on P.L. Travers's books "Mary Poppins Comes Back" and "Mary Poppins Opens the Door". Elements from the former include Mary Poppins arriving on top of a kite, the Turveys' upside-down house, and the world inside the antique bowl. From the latter comes the adventure under the ocean.
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Cameo 

Karen Dotrice: The actress who portrayed Jane Banks in Mary Poppins (1964), appeared as the Elegant Woman, who asks the Banks family for directions to 19 Cherry Tree Lane. She even repeats a line she sang as Jane in the first movie.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

After his children accuse Mr. Wilkins of bank fraud, without proof, Michael Banks says that they have disgraced him so that he may never be able to show his face in the office again. This is very similar to what George Darling says at the beginning of Peter Pan, another English children's fantasy book, adapted by Disney as Peter Pan (1953).
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The song "A Cover is Not the Book" contains lyrics about a King who may be a crook. This movie's "crook" was played by Colin Firth, who played King George VI in The King's Speech (2010).
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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