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“It’s grand to be an Englishman, in 1910/ King Edward’s on the throne, it’s the age of men!”
George Banks, Mary Poppins 1964
“When you set aside your childhood heroes
And your dreams are lost up on a shelf
You’re at the age of not believing
And worst of all, you doubt yourself”
Eglantine Price, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971
Well, you couldn’t really blame them.
Mary Poppins had been such a phenomenal hit for Disney that it was only a matter of time before they tried to recreate that success. The two films have a great deal in common, Robert Stevenson directed both, David Tomlinson plays the father role, there are scenes mixing animation and live action, the Shermans are back on song duty (the last time they’d work on a Disney film until The Tigger Movie thirty years later). Hell, Julie Andrews was even offered the part of Eglantine Price but turned it down. Considering how badly she was typecast after Mary Poppins and Sound of Music, that was probably the right choice. Instead, the part went to Angela Lansbury, who ironically was one of the actresses considered to play Mary Poppins which leads me to believe that Walt Disney only knew two actresses.