We sat down with two of the children that play the Banks children in the new Mary Poppins Returns. Pixie Davies who plays Annabel and Joel Dawson who plays Georgie were a delight and shared with us some of their favorite aspects of making the film. They sat in the next room working on their school work before coming in chat. You could tell they were excited to be at the press junket and sharing their experience on Mary Poppins Returns.
I sat near Joel Dawson during the world premiere, and this little boy was so excited about seeing himself on the big screen for the first time. He was dancing in his seat and singing. I spoke to his father at the after party about how adorable it was to see the movie through his eyes.
Rob Marshall spoke to us about how the kids were so excited to film the chase scene in the movie. It is the one scene where there are no other adult actors, and it is just the kids working together. We wanted to hear their thoughts on the scene because as an animation scene it's a lot of green screens and character stand-ins that you have to act around. And then seeing the animation completed is a total transformation.
Pixie Davies – That was so much fun. Because the music was being played, I actually felt like we were actually in a chase and it was really awesome. It was really surprising because you don’t know all the details that are gonna be there, and then you watch it, and it’s there.
What was your favorite part of filming the movie?
Joel Dawson – I really liked the part when I had to dive through the bushes and then got dragged along by the kite. That was a really fun scene.
PD – I think it was Trip a Little Light Fantastic because it was just incredible watching the dance. It just gets better every time.
What is your favorite song in the movie?
JD – Underneath the London Sky. They’re all really good. Really it’s very hard to choose.
PD – Still, Trip a Little Light Fantastic, I want to say it’s just a good song. It’s really like fun and dancey.
Anything fun happen between filming?
JD – I remember one day they had a chocolate water fountain with marshmallows and cookies. And Strawberries.
PD – There were loads of fun surprises like that. And you were just like ‘oh okay, wow.'
Was there anything you would’ve wanted to take home from the set?
PD – Costumes, because they were amazing, and the animated sequence, that was hand-painted and handmade.
JD – If it was really magical, I would take the bath.
What did you enjoy the most about working under Rob Marshall’s direction?
PD – He’s such a lovely director, honestly. He is the nicest man. And he’s so helpful because if you don’t really understand the note then he’ll explain it a bit more, or he’s just such a nice, lovely man.
What was it like working with Dick Van Dyke?
PD – Amazing. Words cannot describe it. It was so incredible because he was in the first one and it’s just iconic. He’s a legend. And well he’s a legend to me because he was in the first one. He was in a lot of other Disney movies, and yeah, it was really, really special.
Besides Mary Poppins, what’s your favorite Disney movie?
PD – I really like The Little Mermaid and The Aristocats, and Saving Mr. Banks because it’s fun seeing it all behind the scenes. Um, I like Pocahontas. Yeah, I like all the Disney movies, like the classic Disney movies, yeah.
Was there anything that you learned from the older actors on set?
PD – Just be yourself, do what you think is right, and then if you get a note, then you get a note. It’s okay.
While we missed talking to Nathanael Saleh about his role as John Banks, Pixie and Joel had nothing but great things to say about working with him and that they stay in touch and hope there will be another film one day.
Get the Mary Poppins Returns soundtrack!
Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters December 19!