Sing-Along Mary Poppins (1964)
Walt Disney, on the advice of his daughters, tried for more than two decades to turn Mary Poppins into a movie. But P.L. Travers, author of the popular kids’ books series that originated our favorite magical nanny, stonewalled him — Disney had mostly made animated movies and lower-profile live-action pictures when negotiations began in the ‘30s, and she didn’t think they’d do her beloved character justice.
Finally, in 1961, she agreed. They got Julie Andrews, an acclaimed stage actress, to make her motion picture debut; they got Dick Van Dyke, a huge TV star, to do the world’s worst Cockney accent. And with its innovative mix of animation and live actors, its timeless songs – these are sing-along screenings after all! – and its uplifting and optimistic message, the film was such a smash success (Walt’s only movie to get a Best Picture nomination in his lifetime) that the fortune it made at the box office funded the purchase of huge swaths of Central Florida land that would eventually become Walt Disney World. And so: you have Mary Poppins to thank for the contemporary Orlando metropolitan area. Who knew?!
Guests are invited to come dressed as their favorite character – or in a Mary Poppins-inspired costume – for these very special sing-along screenings!
The Summer Classics Movie Series is presented by Bank of America. Before the Sunday screening, Bank of America is giving away FREE 4×6″ commemorative photos in the lobby, starting at 2:00pm.
Media support is provided by WEDU-PBS. Additional support is provided by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners.