Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Black & White series, 1950’s: Pt. 5, & Mary Poppins & Audio Animatronics

Nothing but a lot of rabble-rousin’ going on in Frontierland today! Our little varmints are hoopin’ it up around the Rivers of America. First up we have two shots of them watching the Mark Twain circle around Tom Sawyer Island.

The last shot of this series shows the boys in their Frontierland finery (fringed jacket and civil war hats) checking out all those other lucky kids who have made it over to the island on a raft for some fine fishing.

Next week on January 27th, Mary Poppins will be released on DVD in a 45th Anniversary Edition. With most of the bonuses from the 40th still included, this one also includes a number of extras documenting the behind-the-scenes of the stage production. A very nice set, and the picture/audio is superb...or should I say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Although Mary Poppins is mainly remembered for its amazing cast (Julie Andrews’ film debut) and unforgettable musical numbers (by the Sherman Brothers), it also marked the historic occasion of featuring Disney’s latest technology, audio animatronics. The little birds in the nursery scene were mechanical and some of the first to be seen by the public using Walt’s latest “toy.”

Not long after Poppins began filming came the New York World’s Fair, which made an even more sophisticated use of the technology with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and The Carousel of Progress:

Leave it to Mary Poppins to get the whole thing started! Side-note: Julie Andrews herself provided the whistle for the birds in the film. Pre-order your copy of “Mary Poppin: 45th Anniversary Edition” at
today. See more vintage Indian Village photos at my regular website.


Major Pepperidge said...

It almost looks as if that one kid standing on the fence is aiming an invisible rifle at the Mark Twain! We'd better keep an eye on that one...

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Fantastic B&W series Dave. Appreciate them all.

Katella Gate said...

Mary Poppins is looking so loving and pleasant at that fake bird ...I picked up somewhere that it gave her an electric shock the first time... I can only imagine how she really felt about it.

What an actress.

TokyoMagic! said...

Didn't those very same robins end up outside the window in the first scene of the Carousel of Progress? In earlier versions of the attraction, there was even a reference made to them, "Well, the robins are back...that's a sure sign of Spring."

In that photo of Julie Andrews, it almost looks like you can see the wire running down the backside of her left hand!

Anonymous said...

Hey you kids, get off my fences!