Julie Andrews Praises <I>Poppins</I> DVD23 Jun, 2004 By: Fred Topel
Mary Poppins was released on DVD in March 1998 as a movie-only edition, and then again with a trailer, a trivia game and featurettes in June 2000. At the end of 2004, the film will finally get full-on special edition treatment from Disney, to celebrate the film's 40th anniversary.
Star Julie Andrews recently finished work on her contributions to the extra features.
“I think it's going to be a wonderful DVD,” Andrews said. “They've added wonderful new material to it — not any newer material [incorporated into] the film — but they've found outtakes. They've found original wardrobe stills, personal stills, rehearsal tapes, interviews with Dick [Van Dyke] and myself now, and they've also added a new small cartoon which I narrate — nothing about Poppins.”
The animated short is based on another story by Poppins author P.L. Travers, The Cat That Looked at the King.
Having just finished voice work on Shrek 2, Andrews got another chance to go into the recording studio to do commentary on Poppins. “I sit in front of Mary Poppins and narrate feelings and thoughts because that's what [people] love, and I was staggered by it. I haven't seen it in almost that many years. I mean you might catch a moment of it on television, or something at Easter.”
What struck Andrews the most was the quality of the special effects, which included a blend of live action and animation, compared to today's filmmaking tricks.
“The technology is so advanced today, but if you look at Mary Poppins — what they managed to do 40 years ago — it's not at all creaky; it's not at all dated. It holds up brilliantly,” Andrews said. “I was just so staggered at how they achieved it, because they didn't have the equipment they do today.”
The musical cinema legend has enjoyed watching several of her classics debut for a new generation on DVD, including The Sound of Music, Victor/Victoria and Star!