1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hello, Guest! Do you have any shopping to do at Amazon? You can help support Magic Music by using our special link. Thank you!
    Dismiss Notice

"Lost song reveals a mean Mary Poppins"???

Discussion in 'Archive' started by thx99, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    4
    From THE SUNDAY TIMES...

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly...1462479,00.html

    ---

    January 30, 2005

    Lost song reveals a mean Mary Poppins
    Ben Dowell

    A SONG cut from the children?s film Mary Poppins by Walt Disney has been recovered from his company?s archives and will be released for the first time in March.

    The song, Chimpanzoo, has been revived by the musical?s co-composer Richard Sherman and will be included in a new DVD release of the 1964 film about the nanny with magic powers.


    Composed by Sherman and his brother Robert, the song portrays the darker side of the Mary Poppins character, played by Julie Andrews. It was to have been part of the scene of the floating tea party when the children rise by magic towards the ceiling.

    The missing sequence sees Poppins threatening to put the children, Jane and Michael, into a human zoo when they ?laugh like hyenas? with Uncle Albert and the cockney chimney sweep Bert, played by Dick Van Dyke.

    The song almost made it into the film but Disney, who monitored every stage of the three-year production process, decided it was too long and edited it out.

    It is also thought that its cruel suggestiveness about putting ?boisterous, bumptious? human beings under lock and key did not sit well in a film packed with optimistic and upbeat songs, including Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar and Let?s Go Fly a Kite.

    The original book, written by P L (Pamela) Travers, an Australian, was much darker. Travers said Poppins ?never wasted time on being nice? and was sometimes threatening, scornful, prim and unnerving.

    Travers described childhood as a ?sorrowful time? and was said to have been in tears when she saw the film, complaining it was too upbeat and ?saccharine?.

    ?They missed the point,? she said. ?It?s not about sugar and spice, but something from which we grown-ups can learn.?

    Travers, who was born in 1899 and lived mainly in London from 1924 until her death in 1996, is thought to have created the story to comfort her younger siblings after their alcoholic father died and their mother announced that she was going to drown herself.

    The character of Mary Poppins is believed to have been based on the author?s great aunt, Helen Morehead. She was a fearsome woman who gave Travers financial help that enabled her to become a writer. Morehead had an army of servants and eccentric neighbours, much as they are in the book.

    Because of her disappointment with the film, Travers refused to grant permission for Andrew Lloyd Webber to revive the musical on stage in the early 1990s.

    However her darker approach to the story was adopted by Cameron Mackintosh in his production now playing at the Prince Edward Theatre in London, which has been dubbed ?Scary Poppins?. Very young children are not allowed to watch it.

    ---

    A new DVD release of the film in March??

    Randy, can you shed any light on this?
     
  2. markjochems

    markjochems Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello thx99,
    Since this article was published in a British newspaper it is also referring to the DVD release of Mary Poppins in Great Britain, which is March 7, 2005. The deleted song "Chimpanzoo" is also featured on the R1 release.
     
  3. thx99

    thx99 Real-life Harry Caul Moderator Playlist Author

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    360
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks for the clarification! I wasn't even thinking about the R2 DVD vs. R1 DVD issue.

    And shame on me that I have yet to pick up the R1 DVD! I will rectify that soon enough. :)
     
  4. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sounds like she was just teasing them. I always thought that her denying that the horse race and Pavement art sequence ever happened was pretty cruel.
     
  5. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

    that song seems to be based on one of the stories from the original book which did not get included in the movie. In that story the children go to the zoo at night where for the celebration of Mary Poppins' birthday at full moon humans are actually locked in all the cages while the animals roam freely and enjoy playing the crule tricks on the humans those usually play on the animals (e.g. teasing them).


    Yours
    Dirk
     
  6. xfkirsten

    xfkirsten Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2002
    Messages:
    335
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I recall, the author of the original book has said that she doesn't like the Disney adaptation at all. The book was quite dark. Disney of course gave it a lighter tone, and she didn't like that.
     
  7. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    I get the impression that P.L. Travers liked it a little more than she let on. She seemed the type to show outward disatisfaction with everything if it wasn't just so, but underneath she may have appreciated things. For example, she wasn't thrilled when Disney changed the setting of the film from the 1930's to 1910. However, in later years Ms. Travers was planning on a film sequel and had it set in 1910 like the Disney version. Also, from things that Julie Andrews and the Sherman brothers have said, I'm inclinded to believe that she liked the Disney version just a bit more than she let on.
     
  8. X-S Tech

    X-S Tech Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Course there's a difference between liking the Disney film for what it was and being supremely upset that she would probably never have a chance to portray Mary Poppins on film as HER vision dictated.

    I love the film, I think it's one of the greatest movies ever made. but it did begin with PL Travers story. Usually when you hear a story like this, we are usually sympathetic to the Author, whose vision has been compromised by a greedy Hollywood Director who only has bells and whistles and not enough heart on his mind. Almost invariably, the film falls flat, on some level or another. The author, while disappointed that the story wasn't succesfully translated, is firm in their conviction that had they done it more like the book, it would have been a sucess. This is a rare example of 2 different interpretations being well liked, but of course the film has far more exposure and thus overshadows the book. By the time certain people come around to reading the books, they come off as "alternate universe" versions of a beloved story.
     

Share This Page