tv 2020 ABC December 23, 2018 2:00pm-3:01pm PST
as i live and breathe. mary... poppins. you came back. "audacious" is the only word for it. really? you never think there will be another "mary poppins." here we are, launching into a sequel after 54 years. blunt: someone said to me the other day, "i didn't realize how much i needed her to come back until you came out of the clouds." ♪ trip a little light fantastic ♪ connelly: today, we're tripping a little light fantastic... come on. ♪ trip a little light fantastic ♪ ...with the all-new "mary poppins returns." hi. i'm chris connelly on the lot at disney studios, stage 2, where the first "mary poppins" was filmed. ♪ oh, supercalifragilistic- expialidocious ♪ so, this sign -- "no visitors" -- yeah, about that... today, we're going in. and celebrating the enduring magic of mary...
we're ready. she's completely eccentric and batty and funny and so rude -- you know, deliciously rude. you could grow a garden in that much soil. [ laughs ] i can't believe i'm here with mary poppins. ...today behind the scenes with sequel stars emily blunt and lin-manuel miranda... i remember doing the arrival scene. i was sort of 50 feet in the air, dangling from a crane. "oh, my god. i'm mary poppins." ♪ ya-da-da-da connelly: ...the pressure of continuing a classic. we are the inheritors of this incredible legacy. don't screw it up. [ laughter ] connelly: ...animating it old-school... "and bump!" yeah. [ laughter ] ...and, oh, yeah, working with one of the original stars. you'd leap onto this desk and you tap-dance and, i mean, surprised all of us. including me. [ laughter ] today, from the house that walt built... don't you think it's sort of, uh, unfair to talk about "mary poppins" like this and not let the folks out there see some of what we're talking about?
...all the way to the new cherry tree lane. it's a good thing you come along when you did, mary poppins. "you're gonna make me cry!" [ laughs ] connelly: "mary poppins returns: behind the magic." man: testing. 1, 2, 3, 4. testing. this is the premiere of "mary poppins," walt disney's "mary poppins." and action. man #2: right now, looking around hollywood boulevard. ladies and gentlemen, i've never seen so many stars. connelly: august 1964. grauman's chinese theatre in hollywood... man #2: you've never seen such a crowd. here comes walt disney. connelly: ...the world premiere of a one-of-a-kind pull-out-all-the-stops motion picture... they tell me this could be one of your biggest pictures, mr. disney. ...walt disney's "mary poppins." man #2: julie andrews, mary poppins. dick van dyke! to me, this is the greatest family classic of all time. supercalifragilistic- expialidocious! connelly: for the first time, the curtain was raised on the music... ♪ supercalifragilistic- expialidocious ♪ ...the magic...
[ fingers snap ] ...the legendary movie with a now iconic character that touched the world... "mary poppins, practically perfect in every way." connelly: ...mary poppins, long considered to be walt disney's crowning motion-picture masterpiece. oh, how nice. [ applause ] it's just, a-across the board, wonderful. he brought together everything that he knew how to do and how to do well -- art, music, story, technological innovation. this is the plan for a super cartoon camera. connelly: it's now the stuff of legend. walt's daughter diane loved the books, and he made "mary poppins" his passion project, persistent in his quest to get the film rights from the notoriously particular author, p.l. travers. she shied away from offers for film adaptations for decades. connelly: two decades to be exact. but walt disney finally earned the prize
while still butting heads with p.l. travers throughout the development process. they did not share the same creative vision at all. travers was difficult. now then, the qualifications. connelly: it was not so difficult to choose who should play the title role. "item one -- a cheery disposition." walt disney wanted 26-year-old julie andrews after seeing her perform this song from "camelot" on "the ed sullivan show." ♪ oh, what do simple folk do? ♪ when she was offered the part, julie andrews had never been in a movie, and, as she told the american academy of achievement, she was expecting. oh, and i was just a teeny bit pregnant, like about two to three months pregnant. and i said, "but i'm gonna have a baby, mr. disney." he said, "it's okay. we'll wait." [ cockney accent ] all right, i'll do it myself. connelly: cast as mary's cockney-accented buddy bert, jack-of-all-trades, and master of fun... [ horn honks ] ...was funnyman dick van dyke, on hiatus from his hit sitcom when filming began.
♪ oh, it's a jolly holiday with mary ♪ they'd be together on those unforgettably fantastical adventures with the banks children -- michael... ya-hoo! ...and jane... mary poppins! is that your name? it's lovely. being in the original "mary poppins," um, was just a kick in the pants. it was so fun. connelly: ...all the while singing those irresistible songs. ♪ that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down ♪ ♪ the medicine go down connelly: "mary poppins" went on to earn 13 oscar nominations and won five, including best actress, announced by sidney poitier. the winner is... julie andrews in "mary poppins." connelly: the film's behemoth box-office returns helped expand walt's burgeoning entertainment dreams, including the development of disney world in florida. "mary poppins" was nothing short of a blockbuster.
it opened in late 1964 and went on to run for years in theaters all around the country. connelly: and in one of those theaters, in pittsburgh, was a little boy completely mesmerized by what he was seeing on screen. i mean, it was the first film i saw as a child. -the first film? -first film. i was four years old. i remember experiencing something joyous, magical, i think, ignited my sense of music in film, dance in film. it was a sort of a miracle in a way. goodbye, mary poppins. don't stay away too long. ♪ connelly: rob marshall started his illustrious career as a dancer. he was in "cats" on broadway, then became a choreographer and then a filmmaker, directing the blockbuster "pirates of the caribbean: on stranger tides" and oscars' best picture for 2002,
the musical "chicago." ♪ with that kind of skip in his step, no wonder disney studios tapped him to finally bring "mary poppins" back to the big screen. what gave you the idea that you could do a new film with mary poppins? p.l. travers wrote eight books. there's all this beautiful material, all these wonderful adventures. connelly: so, going back to those books, marshall and his team came up with the idea for a sequel... you did what? ...an original story, original music... ♪ trip a little light fantastic ♪ jack: won't you? ♪ trip a little light fantastic ♪ connelly: ...and a combination of brand-new and old, familiar characters. "mary poppins returns" takes place 25 years after the first film, during the depression. and we came up with this idea that, uh, michael and jane would be grown up. connelly: emily mortimer is jane, and ben whishaw plays michael banks, who has three young children
and is mourning the death of his wife. everything's falling to pieces since your mother... money is tight, and he's about to lose the family home. the bank is now demanding that you pay back the entire loan in full. ♪ the entire loan? so, to have sort of that central problem for mary poppins to come and help -- you know, after 54 years, it needed to be a big deal. connelly: and it was a big deal to have lin-manuel miranda, the award-winning creator and star of the broadway phenomenon "hamilton," seen here performing at the 2016 tony awards. ♪ if this is the end of me, at least i have a friend with me ♪ ♪ weapon in my hand, a command, and my men with me ♪ and i loved that walt disney went to the theater and found, uh, julie andrews to play mary poppins. dick van dyke came from the theater. that's where musical theater is really shaped. ♪ mend your broken cup connelly: in his first major film role, lin-manuel plays jack, a lamplighter in london. ♪ just look up man: oy! i like to picture he apprenticed under bert,
he knows how magical mary poppins is. most kids grow up and forget. jack's never forgotten. nice to see you, jack. good to see you, too, mary poppins. how big a dream would it have had to have been to imagine being in a "mary poppins" movie? i mean, "audacious" -- it's -- is the only word for it. you can't -- you never think there will be another "mary poppins" film. ♪ connelly: but when we come back, the critical casting move -- who could possibly play mary poppins? honestly, that was the easiest choice of all. connelly: meet the new mary poppins when we return. ♪ you'll find your first impression was mistook ♪ ♪ for a cover is nice, but a cover is not the book ♪
connelly: now we continue with "mary poppins returns: behind the magic." ♪ [ wind howling ] ♪ you have one of the great entrances in recent cinema and you're part of it, as well. ♪ both: as i live and breathe. i had the best part of it because i got to stay on the ground. [ laughter ] i got to just reel her in and, you know -- yeah, and just watch me pretend not to be terrified. yeah. i was sort of 50 feet in the air, dangling from a crane. ♪ connelly: did you ever have one of those moments where you're saying, "how did i get here?" blunt: oh, yeah. that was a huge moment where i was like,
"oh, my god. i'm mary poppins." close your mouth, please, michael. we are still not a codfish. connelly: as we mentioned, "mary poppins returns" is a sequel, set some 2 1/2 decades after the first film. it's 1935, so everyone's gotten older... michael: good heavens. it really is you. ...except mary. you seem hardly to have aged at all. really! how incredibly rude. one never discusses a woman's age, michael. i could only think of one person who could do all the things that w-- that i felt we needed mary poppins to be. well, i suppose we have no choice. and that was emily blunt. she has an incredible range as an actress. connelly: it's true. emily blunt burst onto the scene as a no-nonsense fashion-mag assistant in "the devil wears prada." i know. i'm just one stomach flu away from my goal weight. later, she played a lonely alcoholic in "the girl on the train." her name was anna boyd, and he was in love with her. connelly: and marshall already knew she was a songstress, having directed her in the musical fantasy
"into the woods." ♪ it takes trust ♪ it takes just a bit more and we're done ♪ marshall: the fact that she sings and dances, you know, it sort of completed this full circle of everything that she needed to be. you need to be a great actor who has warmth underneath... ♪ nothing's gone forever, only out of place ♪ ...and have a magical quality. how'd you do that? do what? what happens when you're sitting at your home and you get a call saying, "i want you to play mary poppins"? which happens daily. rob marshall was beautifully ceremonious about it when he called me. it felt like he was sort of proposing to me. and it was a little bit of a drum roll, and i said, "i'd love you to play the role of...mary poppins." blunt: he said, you know, "disney's most prized possession is 'mary poppins'." and there was sort of silence for a moment, and then i heard [gasps] like a big sort of intake. i just felt my hair sort of blow back with probably a combination of panic and joy and thrill, really.
and we started talking about the character, and she goes, "oh, and by the way, it's a yes." connelly: but despite her enthusiasm, blunt had to deal with the intimidation factor. blunt: it is an iconic character played by somebody as iconic as julie andrews, and so how do i do my version of her, you know? [ laughs ] mary: jane banks. still rather inclined to giggle, i see. now, did you go back and look at that first film when you got cast? i actually did the opposite. instead, i dove into the book, and she's quite different in the books. she's completely eccentric and so rude. my goodness, annabel. what have you done to your clothes? you could grow a garden in that much soil. deliciously rude and vain. it is wonderful to see you. yes, it is, isn't it? ♪ and i remember rob, when we did the first scene, he goes, "and there she is." and i was like, "thank god!" [ laughing ] you know? the one... the only... mary poppins!
oh. [ chuckles ] [ cheers and applause ] well, thank you. thank you very much. yes, thank you. who is she there to save? michael, really. what brings you here after all this time? same thing that brought me the first time. i've come to look after the banks children. us? oh, yes. you too. blunt: i think that she comes to look after the banks children, but ultimately, i think it'sbout him. he -- he's a banks child, as well, you see. connelly: but while she might be there to save grown-up michael, it's the children that get to go on those magical and fantastical adventures. ♪ ♪ some people like to dive right in ♪ ♪ can you imagine that? she very much wants people to rediscover the joy and the hope that children have. there's a moment right before she goes into this big, underwater adventure, and she says... both: off we go. ♪ she's more excited than the kids. one of my favorite lines she says is... both: everything is possible... even the impossible.
♪ man: c mark. connelly: both blunt and costar lin-manuel miranda give rob marshall credit for being a calming, creative presence on their shepperton studios set outside london. play back. he would give you these incredible compliments... [ laughs ] ...very publicly, which, for british people, is like the depths of hell. [ laughs ] and he'd be like, "em, honey, you look -- you look incredible. you're incredible. w-we all --" and i was just like, "please, rob, don't do that!" "the light in your eyes. you are a movie star through and through." yeah. [ laughs ] "all right, let's do it again." marshall: and cut. great, guys. beautiful, lin. but that helps, right? it helps. hey, you need it. need to look the part, too. costume designer sandy powell, a three-time academy award winner, was charged with updating mary's wardrobe. i think the thing that you remember most is the silhouette, and that's sort of what i aimed to repeat in a sort of updated version. i a-added a sort of, like, double cape 'cause it would actually also give it a little bit of movement in the wind.
you've got a double cape. i do. it's all the rage. and that hat. i love the chicness of the hat. powell: i came up with the idea of the robin, really, as a little homage to the robin in "spoonful of sugar." ♪ ya-da-da-da ♪ for a cover is nice, but a cover is not the book ♪ someone said to me the other day, "i didn't realize how much i needed her to come back until you came out of the clouds." it's just so hopeful and so joyful. ♪ connelly: next, making new music for mary. you get the job, and what happens next? [ low notes play ] i feel like that's a cue. ♪ as you trip a little light fantastic ♪ connell: your exclusive look at filming the fantastic new numbers. ♪ with me
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shall we begin? ♪ a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down ♪ connelly: from "a spoonful of sugar"... ♪ go down ♪ the medicine go down connelly: ...and "supercalifragilistic- expialidocious"... ♪ oh, supercalifragilistic- expialidocious ♪ ♪ even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious ♪ connelly: ...to the minor key of "chim chim cher-ee," a best song oscar winner. ♪ chim chiminey, chim chiminey ♪ chim, chim, cher-ee ♪ a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be ♪ connelly: the only thing more memorable than mary poppins' magic is that music, a soundtrack seared into all of our memories since childhood. ♪ what do you think it is about the music that has endured for so long? well, you just know those songs. those songs are immortal. connelly: these songs, the product of two legendary disney songwriters -- richard m. sherman and the late robert b. sherman --
brothers whom walt disney always referred to as "the boys." well, it sounds pretty good. in fact, that's just the right spirit. with tunes that catchy and well-crafted in our heads, it's only fitting that the two songwriters handpicked by director rob marshall for "mary poppins returns" are two of the biggest "poppins" fans in town and up for the challenge. i honestly didn't know what i was gonna do if we didn't get it. am i gonna move to a hut on a desert island? what's that moment like when they tell you you're the person? fantastic. [ laughs ] but then you have to write it. [ laughs ] they are tony and grammy award-winning songwriters marc shaiman and scott wittman, their clever and exuberant songs powering the hit musical "hairspray." ♪ 'cause you can't stop the beat ♪ ♪ ever since we first saw the light ♪ ♪ a man and woman liked to shake it ♪ ♪ on a saturday night so, you get the job, and what happens next? [ low notes play ]
[ laughter ] once you're past the -- the panic and the fear -- we are? [ laughter ] so, imagine for us, sitting down to write a new "mary poppins" movie and -- and thinking like, "how do we possibly try to compare to those guys?" and eventually you have to stop thinking about that or -- or the -- the fear will incapacitate you. the duo started on the right note, spending months working out musical ideas with the performers, custom-fitting their songs to the actors' strengths. it was like getting the best musical tailored suit possible. you know, we'd go to this music room every day and start going through the songs together. together: and she was still filming "girl on the train," so she would come to us with ragged hair... [ laughs ] ...having played a depressed alcoholic all day. i'm afraid of myself. and then she'd be like, "all right, now i got to be mary poppins." [ laughter ] connelly: in "mary poppins returns," it's lin-manuel who gets the honor of singing the movie's opening number. this is my close-up.
[ cheers and applause ] lin's character welcomes us into the movie. he sings a very, you know... [ "underneath the lovely london sky" plays ] ...a sweet, gentle melody to welcome you into london -- "underneath the lovely london sky." ♪ have a pot of tea ♪ mend your broken cup ♪ there's a different point of view awaiting you ♪ ♪ if you would just look up man: oy! i think we had maybe about 10 different numbers that we tried, because here we are launching into a sequel after 54 years, so we really wanted to make sure we started on the right foot. ♪ so hold on tight to the one you love ♪ ♪ and maybe soon from up above ♪ ♪ you'll be blessed, so keep on looking high ♪ ♪ for you're underneath the lovely london sky ♪ ♪
and then mary will come back in. connelly: mary's much-anticipated first number is a very splashy one... [ water splashes ] ...entitled "can you imagine that." ♪ in something like "can you imagine that," she's right in there, right? she is having a great time, and that's an exhilarating kind of number, right? i feel like that's a cue. ♪ some people like to splash and play ♪ ♪ can you imagine that? ♪ and take a seaside holiday ♪ ♪ can you imagine that? ♪ doggies paddling 20 leagues below ♪ [ barks ] ♪ might seem real, but we know it's not so ♪ yeah, man. preparing the whole street for this. now let's get you all back home! ♪ now if your life is getting foggy ♪ ♪ that's no reason to complain ♪ there's so much in store connelly: but "mary poppins" wouldn't be "mary poppins" without an all-out song-and-dance spectacular. [ vocalizes ] "mary poppins returns" offers us
"trip a little light fantastic." ♪ if you trip a little light fantastic with me ♪ mounting this pivotal production number -- the film's biggest and boldest -- required a set that took 26 weeks to build. connelly: that whole sequence is really a metaphor for the whole movie in a way, isn't it? in its exhilaration, it's leading you out of the darkness. the kids are lost in a fog. they feel like they've ruined everything. and so they need to be inspired and find their way home. ♪ so if life is getting dreary? ♪ dreary ♪ just pretend that you're a leerie ♪ ♪ as you trip a little light fantastic ♪ ♪ went to the bank, rattle and clank ♪ ♪ with me-e-e-e-e-e-e ♪ met with the boss, pitch and toss ♪ ♪ got lost in the fog, lump on a log ♪ ♪ with me ♪ trip a little light fantastic ♪ [ laughs ] it goes on and on. how long did you have to rehearse those numbers before you were comfortable with them, before you're just kind of doing them? just after we wrapped. [ laughs ] i would say, uh, yeah. [ both laugh ] as the movie gears up for its premiere, there's already one review in, and for these two men,
it's the most important one of all. richard sherman, after he saw the movie, wrote us a beautiful message about how proud he was of it and... and how he felt like they -- they started a relay race and we've picked up the baton and kept going. the baton. it meant the world to us. and that, to me, is the best review you could ever possibly get. next, the penguins are back... [ all talking ] what's kind of cool about our penguins is they actually have a little more personality. connelly: ...and combat pay. ♪ oh, a cover is nice how did they do that? connelly: plus later, lin-manuel miranda with dick van dyke... i said, "do you know you're making up a 91-year-old man to look like a 91-year-old man?" [ laughs ] ...when we return.
♪ connelly: animation -- the foundation on which the walt disney company was built. [ whistling ] marrying it with live-action, flesh-and-blood characters, is a technique that goes all the way back to the 1920s. here's walt disney himself working on "alice in cartoonland." by 1945, mgm had gene kelly dance a blue streak across the stage with jerry the mouse in "anchors aweigh." 1, 2... but the first "mary poppins" took it to a whole new level for that now-famous "jolly holiday."
♪ oh, it's a jolly holiday with mary ♪ ♪ mary makes your heart so light ♪ connelly: mary and the troops stop for tea... ♪ it's complimentary you're very kind. connelly: ...ride a merry-go-round, and win a horse race, all while accompanied by a cavalcade of cartoon characters. hold still, now. watch for the dickeybird. [ poof! ] in this dazzling dance sequence, it's the penguins that arguably steal the show. [ slapping ] it was the late frank thomas, one of the legendary disney animators, who painstakingly drew the penguins frame by frame. the 50th anniversary blu-ray edition contains a documentary in which thomas talked about how dick van dyke's incomparable physical comedy wreaked havoc with his swinging seabirds. thomas: i get the film of dick actually doing the dance. here's his feet flying all around, stepping on my penguins. i had them duck and i had them jump and i had them get out of the way any way they could.
off we go. connelly: so, for "mary poppins returns," director rob marshall felt it was important to continue that very rich tradition. marshall: it's in the dna of "mary poppins." the one thing i really wanted to do was to do the 2-d animation, which is all hand-drawn. ♪ connelly: it's a throwback thursday kind of concept. most animated movies today are done cg, or computer-generated. so, the decision to go old-school meant marshall had to find some disney alums, like james baxter, who was the lead designer on belle for "beauty and the beast." ♪ oh, isn't this amazing? coming into "mary poppins" was like, "oh, yeah, i-i love doing this. this is my thing." i can-- you know, i started out doing this. connelly: baxter knows his way around these parts, where, as a young artist, he would meander through the catacombs here at disney, like an archeologist, looking for animation antiquities. so, we're in the ink & paint building right now,
which has been here since like 1930s. and in the basement used to be the disney archives, which we called the morgue because it was, like, just these big shelves that you would pull out, right? just a storage room. but it was full of every drawing that disney had ever done. so, all the movies -- "fantasia," "snow white"... bye, grumpy. ..."101 dalmatians." i'll take them all, the whole litter. and you could look through every single animated shot that had ever been done and look at the original artwork and take it out and look at it and study how they did it. so, that was my school down there. i love how you got these victorian bicycle designs. connelly: for his disney reunion on "mary poppins returns"... jack: welcome to our show of shows! ...baxter joined forces with up-and-coming lead character designer james woods, 24 years his junior. getting to work with this guy, who, i mean, he's been my hero since i was a student. ♪ together with a small army of animators, they created a glorious animated sequence for the scenes in which mary takes jack and the children on an adventure
across the surface of a royal doulton china bowl. they wanted to honor the legacy of the first film and also to keep it, yes, just super entertaining. and i gather that meant penguins. right. [ laughs ] i know there's been a lot of excitement about -- isn't that the first question people ask you? when i say, "hey, i just, uh, finished working" -- "oh, are there penguins?" yeah. -sing. -please. -sing for us, mary poppins. -please. -do sing for us. -mary, please. connelly: but these penguins kick it up a notch. what's kind of cool about our penguins is they actually have a little more personality. he's got this nice, suave, killer expression on his face, 'cause he's a smoothy. ♪ chapter titles are like signs ♪ connelly: and in the spirit of the first film... ♪ and if you read between the lines ♪ ...there's plenty of song and dance in the sequence... ♪ you'll find your first impression was mistook ♪ ...with real, red-blooded, living, breathing actors as foils. ♪ for a cover is nice, but a cover is not the book ♪ how did the idea of the animation sequence get explained to the two of you at first? rob is very prepared, so he gives you a lot of previs. "this is what it looks like. these are the colors."
and it was completely meticulously laid out when you interact with the penguins. miranda: so you would get these great notes. "i think the penguin's a little heavier on the cane when you're bringing him from here." yeah. it sort of brings all your skills to bear because you have invisible costars. yes. thank you very much. yes, thank you. that carriage is just extraordinary. oh, yeah. i mean, i think it was a green-screen carriage when we did it, wasn't it? miranda: yeah. "and bump!" yeah. [ both laugh ] when did you finally get to see what the sequence looked like? um... you still haven't seen the finished scene. i still haven't seen it. oh, well, they cut it from the film. [ both laugh ] i saw it with the -- sorry. you're -- you're not in that scene anymore. yeah. [ laughter ] she's just kidding, of course. i-i still haven't -- i just saw it a few weeks ago, and it is staggering when you watch the whole thing put together. ♪ next, the newest banks children, how they learned from the best... meryl was teaching us how to fall over. i mean, i'm talking like whack! like, she fell flat and hard.
like, i thought that's it. i was like, "that's how meryl streep dies." connelly: ...and the first jane... [ fingers snap ] ...how she learned from julie andrews. i mean, that girl, who was working her buns off, set aside time for some little 8-year-old who doesn't know what the heck she's doing. huge.
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just by being their astonished and adorable selves. adorable. well, that's debatable, i must say. 8-year-old karen dotrice played jane banks. 7-year-old matthew garber was michael banks. it was through their eyes that audiences could themselves believe in the magic of mary poppins. [ fingers snap ] matthew brought the fun of childhood. karen brought the gravitas. michael, don't exaggerate. connelly: 54 years later, that enchanting little girl is all grown up. [ fingers snap ] why do you think this movie, more than 50 years later, continues to move and delight and thrill everybody who watches? 'cause walt disney made it. whatever he touches is gold. and the piano! oh, my god. we spent so much time at that piano. look. connelly: karen is sitting in walt disney's storied office at the burbank studio that bears his name. in this environment, young karen would have lunch with the man she called uncle walt.
i really enjoyed uncle walt. he just treated me and matthew like his own kids. connelly: karen was the daughter of two shakespearean actors, and from day one on that "mary poppins" set, she knew this was not your typical acting gig. the very first day, the props guy came over to me and said, "okay, um, can you come with me? because i've got to take a plaster cast of your bottom." that, of course, was then gonna be the seat that i'd sit on to go on the banister. together: ♪ in a most delightful way it was a -- a strange introduction. it w-was not exactly the shakespearean approach [laughing] that i'd been used to. connelly: karen remembers julie andrews as her savior, coming to the rescue in typical mary poppins fashion just as she was set to record her big number in the film. it was julie's day off, but she just popped in to see if i was okay, bless her. and she said, "oh, karen, let's just run through 'the perfect nanny' song." this is how i sang the song.
[ operatic ] ♪ if you want this choice position ♪ and julie said, "uh, uh, let's have a break. we'll have a little break now." so, she took me aside. she said, "you know, this is a song about a little girl. just be a little gl rather than a-a miniature opera singer." so -- and then we nailed it. ♪ if you want this choice position ♪ ♪ have a cheery disposition jane, i don't -- everything that you feel when you see the film, that euphoria that people get, that's how we felt, and, you know, we're all still friends to this day. connelly: this is every dream you would ever want for this movie, that the people who made it are still friends. i know! connelly: but sadly, not in this photograph is karen's closest cohort in the movie, matthew garber. we better keep an eye on this one. she's tricky. he died in 1977 at the age of 21 after contracting an illness on a trip to india. karen says she's grateful she was able to make
one more picture with matthew after "mary poppins" -- 1967's "the gnome-mobile" -- before they lost touch. and, of course, it's a huge sorrow. i expected him to be there for another, you know, 60, 70 years. e-everybody related to him and his mischievousness and his innocence and his honesty. connelly: during the filming of "mary poppins returns," karen got to visit the set outside london. dotrice: cherry tree lane. can i buy one of the houses? [ laughs ] can we move in? i want to live here. connelly: she also met emily mortimer, who plays a grown-up jane banks. couldn't have cast it better myself. she's just a gosh-darn good actress. don't you remember that kite? we used to love flying that with mother and father. i mean, i really feel touched that karen said that. i felt nervous that i-i wasn't necessarily -- how can you be the right person to fill those shoes? she'll bring a depth and a veracity to see how those people grew up.
connelly: and now there's a whole new generation of banks children to meet -- michael's three young kids, played by nathanael saleh, pixie davies, and joel dawson. something happen? together: i was flying a kite, and it got caught on a nanny! i found it absolutely amazing. i mean, i definitely find it better than stage work because i kind of get a little stage frights when i do stage work. the bowl is speaking. man: and who do we think is gonna fix that? ah, there's the riddle. them what broke it fixes it. that's what i say. miranda: they didn't know me from adam at the beginning. then midway through, i would, like, start hearing, like, "my shot." ♪ throw away my shot ♪ i am not throwing away my shot ♪ connelly: one of the iconic songs from his show "hamilton." and i would rewrite "my shot" sections for them. he made up one for each of us with our individual names. [ rapping ] ♪ my name is joel, and i'm out of control ♪ ♪ and i am not throwing away my shot ♪ i think. it was that. that was -- yeah. that was a classic. it was really cool. lin was lovely. i got very close to emily. she was -- she's just such a lovely, lovely lady. connelly: and the luminous meryl streep, who plays mary's utterly eccentric cousin,
gave the kids an utterly unexpected dramatic acting lesson. meryl was teaching us how to fall over but not actually hurt ourselves. she literally went from this and fell on her face like that. and she showed us how to make it actually look really real, and it did. i mean, the whole crew was like [gasps] i mean, i'm talking like whack! like, i thought that's it. i was like, "that's how meryl streep dies." connelly: even for the young actors who made it, seeing "marry poppins returns" on the big screen is an experience filled with wonder. how did they do that? like, when you were physically there, you didn't see it. when you watch it on a screen, you see something completely different. mary poppins! dotrice: and i think we couldn't be more lucky that mary poppins is returning. and i think this new film is gonna rock people's socks. they're gonna love it. yes, it is, isn't it? ♪ connelly: when we return, the one and only lin-manuel miranda interviews the one and only dick van dyke.
miranda: seeing dick van dyke see cherry tree lane... blunt: oh, my goodness -- very moving. ...was... ...one of those pinch everyone moments. ♪ when they showed me the set of cherry tree lane, it was perfect! i mean, every detail was exactly the same. it was a ceremonious pass-the-torch moment -- disney legend dick van dyke giving the new movie his blessing with his mere presence on set. we're standing on the shoulders of giants. mm-hmm. we are the inheritors of this incredible legacy. truly. you spend five minutes with dick van dyke, you are more alive than you were before... [ laughs ] you feel like you're not doing enough with your life when you meet him. the energy and the spirit behind the eyes is just -- it's extraordinary. there was this really beautiful moment where there was -- i was talking to him. he just took my hand and he goes, ♪ it's a jolly holiday with mary ♪ and i was just like, "you're gonna make me cry!" [ laughing ] i was like, "you can't do that to me." connelly: but he wasn't there just for sentiment. he makes a secret appearance in the movie.
♪ okay, not so secret. it's in the trailer. he told lin-manuel miranda how he got there. what was your reaction when they told you there'd be a sequel to "mary poppins"? well, i got excited, of course. and of course, my first question was, "can i be in it?" [ both laugh ] the answer -- an unequivocal yes. as they swapped stories, it turned out that each had had his first musical experience in a production of "bye bye birdie." dick's was on broadway. ♪ put on a happy face ♪ lin-manuel's -- the sixth grade at new york city's hunter college elementary school. ♪ oh, oh, oh ♪ oh, give me one last kiss [ screams ] you want to do more theater? yeah, that's -- that's my bread and butter. yeah. oh, boy. yeah. next for me, literally after this movie comes out, i go back and i'm gonna play hamilton in puerto rico. i haven't seen the show yet. nobody got me any tickets. wait a minute! i know -- i know a guy involved. [ laughs ]
i think i have a hook-up for you. i hate to bring it up, but... yeah. connelly: now, about that cameo -- dick van dyke does not return as bert the chimney sweep. in the first film, he also played mr. dawes sr., the elder statesman chairman of the bank where george banks worked. ♪ fidelity fiduciary bank it's funny. when you're a kid, you don't realize that. we don't realize it's you in that other part. that's me. but, you know, when they made me up as the old man in the old one, i had to go to walt and ask him for the part. really? he didn't give it to me. i didn't know that. yeah, i said, "i'll do it for nothing." actually, i had to give him $4,000. i paid him to do the part. you paid him to play the banker? to play... and i'd do it again. wow. connelly: and sure enough, he does. in "mary poppins returns," he plays the son of the banker from the first film. they made me a gorgeous head of hair and a beard and everything. yeah, you looked good. i said, "do you know you're making up an 91-year-old man to look like a 91-year-old man?" [ both laugh ]
in the film, dick has the pièce de résistance, sure to send chills up and down every "mary poppins" fan's spine. i remember they were sort of like, "is he gonna jump?" and then you leap onto this desk and you tap-dance and, i mean, surprised and delighted sort of all of us. you know... [ laughs ] including me. [ both laugh ] it was so beautiful i honest to god could not say "cut" because i was s-- in tears. the beauty of it -- i could tell everybody's heart was in the right place. they were into it. it just felt, you know, what walt would've wanted them to feel, i think. yeah. having dick van dyke say to us, "i feel the same spirit here that i felt on the first film," that was the greatest compliment of all. everything is possible... even the impossible. well, i can't wait for people to see it. i'm gonna be there. i'm gonna be there with my tux on. oh, i'll be right next to you. at the premiere. when is it coming out? christmas. christmas? christmas is here. god, i hope i live that long. you're gonna be fine.
you're gonna live that and many more. actually, it's in theaters now. what do you think people will leave the theater feeling after they see this movie? kids who see this movie are just gonna be wowed and amazed by -- by the spectacle of it all, and i think adults are gonna go, "man, our childhoods went like that." [ fingers snap ] uh, a-and hopefully, for 2 1/2 hours, you're -- you're back in your childhood again. you've forgotten what it's like to be a child. connelly: so, 'tis the season for "mary poppins returns" -- a sweet remembrance meets up-to-the-minute movie magic, and timeless music lifts all of us above the day-to-day and back into the wonder of childhood as only mary poppins can. ♪ off we go. -- captions by vitac --