Disney’s ‘The Art of Mary Poppins Returns’

Disney’s ‘The Art of Mary Poppins Returns’
presented by The Disney Gallery is now open at Disneyland Park.

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By: Natalie Atkins

If you are a fan of Mary Poppins old or new and happen to be in The Disneyland Resort in the near future, stop by Mr. Lincoln’s theatre and see the newest Mary Poppins exhibit on display. If you are not an annual passholder or can’t make it to Anaheim, let me be your guide to every little detail from the perspective of a Mary Poppins Super Fan GIrl!

Monday night I had the extreme joy of seeing an advanced press screening of Mary Poppins Returns (check out my review here) and Tuesday I found myself at Disneyland. Up until a few hours before leaving the park, I didn’t even know this exhibit was open so I had no idea what to expect.  As I stood at the the entrance to the Mr. Lincoln’s theatre at 5pm waiting for the cast members to re-open the attraction, I felt like a 5 year old again. I couldn’t stand still and I couldn’t stop smiling. Just a few minutes after the flag lowering ceremony ended a cast member came up and opened the attraction. It took everything in me to remain looking calm… or like your average adult park guest. You see I have loved the original Mary Poppins movie since I can remember. I have pictures as a child with the movie on in the background. And could recite any part of the movie to you in verbatim. I know this movie better than I know the back of my own hand!  I couldn’t wait to see what they were showing especially after just seeing the new movie. As you enter Mr. Lincoln’s Theatre you are greeted with signs reminding you the movie opens December 19th and here at Disneyland “Magic is in the Air” featuring original art, costumes and props from the new movie.

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Walking in the first things you see are the mended kite and Mary Poppins’ signature red coat and skirt ensemble. Taking a closer look you see that this kite indeed looks like the kite Michel Banks mended in the original Mary Poppins movie but with a few added pieces. The kite still has the original ‘Votes for Women” tail Mrs. Banks tied onto it from the original movie. Both kite and tail look like they have been sitting around a few years gathering dust.

Behind the kite you find Mary Poppins’ new iconic two-piece red wool jacket and matching skirt set on a manikin with a white polka dot blouse, blue polka dot bow tie and blue suede shoes with red ribbon laces. This beautiful recreation of Mary Poppins original wool suite was designed by Sandy Powell and has a sign saying worn by Emily Blunt. The manikin is also wearing Mary Poppins’ new hat. Instead of the former black hat with flowers and cherries. Her new blue hat  features a blue ribbon, robin hat pin and a plume. I can only guess that this robin is a nod to the original movie where Mary catches a robin on her finger when she first arrives at the Banks house so many years ago. According to Costume Designer Sandy Powell, seven copies of the hat and seven robin-tipped hat pins were made for the filming of the new movie. I couldn’t help but stand next to the screen worn costume and see how I ‘measured up’? Was I rather inclined to giggle or just tall enough to be be practically perfect?

Just to the left of these items it appears as if Mary has just walked through leaving her carpet bag behind. Carefully placed on it are her talking umbrella Polly and her new blue leather gloves with white polka dots. (I never saw Mary Poppins as a woman who was inclined to wear polka dots but that is just me) It was easy to tell what these 3 items were, however designers have definitely given these classic items an updated look. Mary’s new carpet bag seems to be a little smaller in size from the original carpet bag Julie Andrews carried. The new carpet bag is decorated in much brighter colors with different bolder designs on the front and back side of the magical bag.  This is the famous bag Mary can pull almost anything out of. I like to refer to it as Mary’s Carpet Bag Of Holding or explain it to others much like a Tardis, it’s bigger on the inside. But Mary taught us the lesson to never judge things by their appearance in the first movie. Production designer John Myhre told D23, multiple carpet bags were created for the new Mary Poppins Returns movie. Including a carpet bag that the crew could pass large objects through.

But the piece that really drew my attention to it was Mary’s “talking” parrot umbrella Polly. The new umbrella head seems to have an updated and modern feel to it.  Not only looking bronze in color but with more sculpted detailing and less bright colors than the original. I could not tell if this parrot head could in fact move and talk but I am certain if Mary Poppins was nearby he would have something cheeky to say.

Lining the wall closest to the props and costume was original artwork depicting the different scenes from the movie with explanations to what part of the movie to musical number it depicted.

Of course any true fan is always on the lookout for merchandise and the shops on Main Street USA in Disneyland had quite a few things to choose from, with more on the way one cast member told me. Practically Perfect baseball caps, ladies purses designed after Mary’s carpet bag, a Mary Poppins Barbie doll and “Magic Fills the air” adult womens shirts.

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Did you get a chance to see the Mary Poppins Returns exhibit at Disneyland what did you think of the costume, props, artwork and merchandise?

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