HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 13: Special Guest Kurt Russell attends the screening of 'Escape from New York' at the 2019 TCM 10th Annual Classic Film Festival on April 13, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for TCM)
Movies - TV
You Can Thank Kurt Russell For The Penguins In Mary Poppins
Although adults run the entertainment industry, children are sometimes the best collaborators as they can help form new ideas or share different perspectives. One of these young collaborators who helped shape a Disney movie is none other than Kurt Russell, who provided feedback on an early cut of “Mary Poppins” that led to Dick Van Dyke dancing with animated penguins.
Russell revealed that he had a close relationship with Walt Disney as a young teen and that the film producer would ask for his thoughts on upcoming films. When Disney eventually asked Russell about “Mary Poppins,” the actor shared that the early version was “okay.” After hearing the teenager’s words, Disney had an epiphany: “We need some penguins!”
While Russell’s comment may have brought the penguins into the film, he wasn’t the only person involved in their creation, as the crew needed to animate the dancing animals into existence. The animator in charge of the scene, Frank Thomas, had the challenge of planning their movements and then altering them to react to Van Dyke’s dancing and avoid being stepped on.