As the current choice on Disney+ isn't vast, I started watching ‘Prop Culture‘ which is a new series about film props. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much. Nevertheless, the episode on the 1964 musical, Mary Poppins, piqued my interest.
The show opened with Dan Lanigan reminiscing on how he and his dad would watch Mary Poppins on home movie reels. It's evident he has a great love for the movies, and his enthusiasm shines through. Over the 35-minutes of each episode, he uses iconic props to tell the viewers incredible stories from behind the scenes.
It's fair to say that this is no dry tale of inanimate objects. In one scene Dan reunites the actress who played the little girl in Mary Poppins with the original yellow coat she wore in the movie. Her reaction is pure joy, and you come to realise the powerful memories tied up in these costumes and props for those who wore them, held them or just watched them on the big screen.
The focus of the show is more on people than objects. Each prop is woven into a larger story about the featured movie. It includes directors, actors and those behind the scenes who make the magic happen.
The second episode focuses on the 1982 sci-fi movie Tron. I remember watching this as a youngster, and its revolutionary special effects blew me away. Seeing the original spandex suits worn by the actors brought back so many memories. I have to say, the suits edged with masking tape don't look anything like those in the final movie. Dan later explains the complicated process which turned them into glowing futuristic costumes.
Later episodes detail the props used in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Chronicles of Narnia, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Muppet Movie.
For anyone who loves movies, you'll find Prop Culture an excellent show to binge. You'll whizz through the seven episodes quicker than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!