Mary Poppins Tour of London

To celebrate the release of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns on Digital 4K Ultra HDTM, HD and SD, and on Blu-rayTM and DVD tomorrow, London Mums and the Kids Club were invited to a Mary Poppins’ themed Afternoon Tea on a London Double-decker bus going on a Mary Poppins Tour of the Capital.  Check this out!

London is the backdrop of both Mary Poppins movies but did you know that very little was filmed on location and a lot was recreated in studios? Unsurprisingly so. Movie studios provide for a much safer environment with less hassle. But lots of places inspired the books and movies so during our Mary Poppins Tour of London we found out a couple of curiosities about filming Mary Poppins Returns

Tower Bridge

In the opening scene of Mary Poppins Returns you can see the gorgeous Tower Bridge. My son and I visited the interactive Tower Bridge Exhibition at the top and walked across on the glass floor. Check it out here.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is Jack in Disney™’s MARY POPPINS RETURNS

Bank of England

For the Bank of England scenes only the exterior was used.

The filming took place in the very early hours of a Sunday morning when the City of London is least busy. Despite having cleared the streets surrounding the Bank, a car managed to get through and had to be escorted out of the area. Similarly, a hen night party who was still walking around merrily and drunkenly, was asked to leave. The inside of the Bank was re-created in the studios. 

Cherry Tree Lane

The Banks’ family home is supposedly on Cherry Tree Lane, but unfortunately, there’s no Cherry Tree Lane in London. There are plenty of streets in the Kensington and Chelsea area near Sloane Square that look just like the fictional Cherry Tree Lane. During the spring the cherry trees blossom and look just like the backdrop of “A Spoon Full of Sugar” in the Julie Andrews’ movie.

Jane (Emily Mortimer), John (Nathanael Saleh), Annabel (Pixie Davies, Ellen (Julie Walters), Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Georgie (Joel Dawson) and Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) in MARY POPPINS RETURNS

The one location which is real although not used in the movies is the house in Chelsea at 50 Smith Street off Kings Road where PL Travers lived and worked between 1946 and 1962.

You can find an English Heritage Blue Plaque outside to easily identify it. Travers’ Chelsea home influenced the Banks’ Cherry Tree Lane address.

The 1964 Mary Poppins was filmed entirely in the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, while the 2018 Mary Poppins Returns was mainly filmed at Shepperton Studios in Surrey, England. 

Regent’s Park

Lin-Manuel Miranda stars as Jack who jumps in to help Georgie Banks (Joel Dawson) in MARY POPPINS RETURNS

Regent’s Park was said to be the main inspiration for author PL Travers when, in her imagination, she designed the park across the road from the Banks family home where the children go to have adventures with Mary Poppins.

Emily Blunt is Mary Poppins 

St. Paul’s Cathedral

The backdrop for the song Feed the Birds in Mary Poppins was inspired by the St. Paul’s Cathedral’s. The song is about the importance of kindness. The cathedral also features in Mary Poppins Returns

Buckingham Palace

Mary Poppins Returns includes a night scene in front of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth II’s London residence. In the film, Mary Poppins shares a bike with Jack, and they ride past the Palace on a foggy night.

The Palace inside is stunning. My son and I recently visited the State Rooms and were surprised by its magnificence. Check out why we liked it here.  

Big Ben

Big Ben, the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, whose official name is the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben is in fact the name of the bell inside the tower) plays an important role at the end of Mary Poppins Returns. A fake tower was built for filming’s purposes, but footage of the real Big Ben appears in the film. Currently Big Ben is being refurbished. Visits will resume in 2021. 

Admiral Boom’s House

The Admiral is the Banks’ neighbour and his house has a ship’s deck on the roof, complete with cannons. His eccentric and noisy house appears in both films. There’s a similarly looking house with a ship’s deck on the roof called Admiral’s House in Hampstead at Admiral’s Walk. That supposedly inspired P L Travers.

London Transport Museum

In Mary PoppinsReturns there’s a vintage London buses. The London Transport Museum has a vast and fascinating collection of original London buses.  

Royal Doulton

Mary Poppins Returns features a vintage Royal Doulton bowl kept in the children’s bedroom. You can actually see similar Royal Doulton china vases at the V&A Museum (free of charge), which houses one of the most comprehensive collections of ceramics in the world. 

 

Read London Mums review of Disney’s here.

 

Mary Poppins-inspired afternoon tea on a London Bus 

We boarded the B Bakery bus that provided the Mary Poppins-themed afternoon tea

Mary Poppins Returns DVD release 

Mary Poppins Returns has already received Academy Award® nominations for best original song, best original score, best costume design and best production design. The film is now available on Digital 4K Ultra HDTM/HD/ SD, and on Blu-rayTM and DVD 15th April 2019 — with a sing-along version and never-before-seen bonus features.

Bonus material explores the making of Mary Poppins Returns, going behind the scenes with the star-studded cast and crew who collaborated to make even the impossible possible. Extensive extras include a trip down Cherry Tree Lane with original cast member Dick Van Dyke, a sing-along version including the heartfelt Academy Award®- nominated “The Place Where Lost Things Go,” bloopers, deleted scenes and a deleted song. Features also reveal the magic and moxie that went into creating large-scale musical production numbers, such as “Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” a rousing song-and-dance number led by Jack and his fellow lamplighters; “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” and “A Cover Is Not the Book,” showcasing the tremendous talents of Blunt and Miranda; “Turning Turtle,” an upside-down sequence featuring Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric Cousin Topsy; and “Can You Imagine That?” an underwater adventure with Mary Poppins and the Banks children.

Bonus features include

  • Deleted Song—“The Anthropomorphic Zoo” – In this early song sequence, Mary Poppins and the children visit a very special zoo where the humans and animals trade places.
  • The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns – Join filmmakers and cast on an amazing journey to embrace the legacy of the original film while making a fresh modern sequel.
  • Introduction – Filmmakers and cast remember the first Mary Poppins movie and share the thrill of working on Mary Poppins Returns.
  • “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” – Discover how the team mined PL Travers’ books for a fresh perspective on a much-loved character. Plus, meet the Banks children!
  • “Can You Imagine That?” – Be on location for Mary’s iconic entrance from the sky, and explore the movie’s original songs, inspired by the Sherman Brothers.
  • “Nowhere to Go but Up” – Experience being on set with the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, and celebrate the joy of choosing the right balloon!
  • Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns – Go behind the scenes and experience the film’s production numbers from a new angle.
  • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – Led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast performs the film’s biggest production number, with dancing lamplighters, bicyclists and more!
  • “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book” – Find out what it takes to create two musical extravaganzas inside an animated world, highlighted by dancing animated penguins
  • “Turning Turtle” – Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, played by Meryl Streep, has an unusual house that turns this musical number upside-down.
  • “Can You Imagine That?” – Dive under the bubbles with the cast and crew to see how this exuberant number was created.
  • Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns – Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the first film, returns after 54 years to Cherry Tree Lane as Mr. Dawes Jr
  • Practically Perfect Bloopers – There’s nowhere to go but up with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of flubs, goofs and prop fails!
  • Deleted Scenes: Leaving Topsy’s – After their visit to Cousin Topsy, Mary, Jack and the children pause to take a look back. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – The leeries light up the screen in this extended clip from the movie’s biggest musical production.
  • Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode – Sing along with all your favourite songs as you watch the movie.

Related features

Film Review: Mary Poppins Returns

Tower Bridge exhibition reviewed by Kids Club reporter Diego (9)

 

 

About Monica Costa

Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums

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