Mary Poppins: Look Who’s Related

Posted December 19, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment

Do you remember watching Mary Poppins? This week Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the classic Disney children’s film, hits theaters with star Emily Blunt taking the reigns from Julie Andrews as everyone’s favorite magical nanny. The sequel sees Mary Poppins return to the home of the now adult Banks children, who are struggling to raise Michael’s young children after a family tragedy.

Today, many people around the world consider Mary Poppins to be one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Now with release of the long-awaited sequel 54 years later, we thought it would be fun to take a look at some connections found in Geni’s World Family Tree.

The films are based on the book series written by P.L. Travers, whose great aunt had inspired the character of Mary Poppins. It took Walt Disney over 20 years to convince Travers to sell the rights to film Mary Poppins. The books were a favorite of Disney’s daughters and he made a promise to turn them into a movie. Travers famously hated the film when it was completed. She felt Disney had diluted her story, was not a fan of the music, and particularly hated the use of animation. She may have also been irked to learn that Disney was also her 11th cousin thrice removed.

Mary Poppins: Look Who's Related

Despite the author’s opinions, the original film was a huge box office success and earned 13 Academy Award nominations. The movie won 5 Oscars, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews.

In the highly anticipated sequel, actress Emily Blunt takes on the role of Mary Poppins and an all-star cast rounds out the supporting characters, including Lin-Manual Miranda, Meryl StreepAngela Lansbury, and Colin Firth. The sequel also sees the return of Dick Van Dyke, who played chimney sweeper Bert and banker Mr. Dawes, Sr. in the original film. In the new movie, Van Dyke puts on his dancing shoes again as Mr. Dawes, Jr., the son of his character in the first film. In a recent interview, Van Dyke revealed to his co-star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, that he had paid Walt Disney  $4,000 in order to play the role of the elder banker in the original movie after Disney refused to give him the part. Perhaps if Disney had known that Van Dyke was also his 9th cousin once removed, he may have given his cousin a break!

Mary Poppins: Look Who's Related

Legendary actress Meryl Streep plays Topsy, Mary Poppins’s wacky and gravity-defying cousin. This will be Streep’s third film with Blunt. The two actresses first co-starred together in the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada. Mary Poppins Returns reunites the actresses with director Rob Marshall, who also directed them in the musical film, Into the Woods. Interestingly, Streep is Van Dyke’s 12th cousin twice removed.

Mary Poppins: Look Who's Related

Although Julie Andrews declined to make an appearance in the film, citing that this was Blunt’s time to shine, Andrews did give her approval of the star. You may be wondering, “How are Emily Blunt and Julie Andrews related?” The family trees of the two women who portray Mary Poppins still need to be filled out a little bit more. But thanks to the power of the World Family Tree, you can see that a connection does exist between the two women, albeit a very distant connection. Can you help find a closer connection between the pair?

Mary Poppins: Look Who's Related

Are you excited to see Mary Poppins Returns? Before you watch, check out how you’re related too!

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

See all posts by