Practically perfect in every way. That, in a nutshell, is this movie, and it’s why we got to celebrate it at the Mary Poppins Blu-ray release party at Disney Studios last week.
The event centered on a 22-minute “the making of Mary Poppins returns” movie, sharing insight and never before seen footage of the cast and crew. The movie contained highlights of various scenes, including Emily Blunt’s foray into dancing and her initial concern about making it happen.
If you’ve seen the movie, there’s one major scene where she dances with Lin-Manuel Miranda and it’s a show-stopper. She was nervous but she nailed it!
Another scene she nailed was her arrival and departure. Did you know those scenes were not CGI? They are real, with Emily really attached to cables and equipment to fly her through the sky. It was Emily’s job to look as though she was entirely comfortable and to land without a care in the world. She was over the tops of the trees, and she did it perfectly in one shot, but they filmed it three times.
One secret to making it work was that they played the music to help take her mind off how high up in the air she was. I’m not so sure I could do that, could you? Back when Julie Andrews filmed the first Mary Poppins, they wouldn’t let her fly in due to safety concerns. How times have changed!
Rob shared that he knew the bar was going to be very high for this movie, so they wanted to do as much real as possible. All of the flying scenes were on location, but a big surprise for all of us is that Cherry Tree lane was filmed entirely indoors, on a sound stage where the neighborhood and homes were built from scratch. When you watch the movie, you see the blue skies and have no clue it’s not real.
Halfway through our time with Rob, he announced a special guest star. The way he described the guest, we initially had no clue, and then when he said her name, the entire audience gasped. Including me. The movie had several amazing cast members, but Angela Lansbury is an icon….an icon who happens to be 93 years old! She sat in a chair next to Rob and jumped into the interview with all the grace and spunk I’d have expected from the star of one of my favorite TV shows ever, Murder She Wrote.
She’s also the iconic Mrs. Potts, and she mentioned that children still recognize her voice and ask her about it. If we closed our eyes, we could envision her sitting there in front of us! Here’s a short clip of a portion of our time with Angela.
Rob told us that only one scene was cut from the entire movie, and that he’s not sure if a 4k version will be out of the original Mary Poppins. Wouldn’t that be a great addition to our Disney collection? I still have the VHS tape from many years ago. Don’t tell anyone, that will date me. It is in a pristine box for safekeeping and passing down to the grandkids some day.
After the Q&A, we got a chance for a photo opportunity, which turned out to be a green screen video of us flying. I don’t have the final version yet, but when I do, I will come back and add it! On the way out of the studio, I snapped this photo of this fun balloon we were given, in front of the main theater on the lot, which happens to be ready for the premiere of Captain Marvel this week.
The Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray release is March 19, as well as DVD and 4k. Digital versions can be purchased on March 12.