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711 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, FL 33602

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Sing-A-Long Mary Poppins (1964)

Walt Disney, on the advice of his daughters, tried for more than two decades to turn Mary Poppins into a movie. But P.L. Travers, author of the popular kids’ books series that originated our favorite magical nanny, stonewalled him — Disney had mostly made animated movies and lower-profile live-action pictures when negotiations began in the ‘30s, and she didn’t think they’d do her beloved character justice. 
Finally, in 1961, she agreed. They got Julie Andrews, an acclaimed stage actress, to make her motion picture debut; they got Dick Van Dyke, a huge TV star, to do the world’s worst Cockney accent. And with its innovative mix of animation and live actors, its timeless songs – these are sing-along screenings after all! – and its uplifting and optimistic message, the film was such a smash success (Walt’s only movie to get a Best Picture nomination in his lifetime) that the fortune it made at the box office funded the purchase of huge swaths of Central Florida land that would eventually become Walt Disney World. And so: you have Mary Poppins to thank for the contemporary Orlando metropolitan area. Who knew?!

2h 19m / G / Family        
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