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The Chimney Sweeps are characters who are featured in the 1964 Disney film, Mary Poppins. They are prominently featured in one of the film's iconic musical numbers, "Step in Time" where they are seen participating with Bert.

Background

The Chimney Sweeps, as their names imply, are a group of chimney sweeps whom Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, and Michael encounter on the rooftops of London. They are seen constantly dancing with Bert during the musical number, "Step in Time" where they dance with Bert, Mary Poppins, Jane, and Michael Banks throughout the sequence. Although they dance throughout the sequence, they become fearful when Admiral Boom and Mr. Binnacle use their cannon to launch fireworks confusing them for intruders causing the Chimney Sweeps to scatter around.

Development

The "Step in Time" musical number featuring the Chimney Sweeps in it proved to be the most advanced scene, due to Bert dancing with numerous actors on set. Prior to the filming of the "Step in Time" sequence, most of the rehearsal began on this sequence where the sequence was filmed outside in order to toughen the actors up and get ready for the final version of the film. The sequence was filmed outdoors in Burbank and took about an entire week to finish it during the summertime between August and September with a huge tarpaulin over the actors which helped hold the heat in it while filming the scene. Despite being filmed once, the challenging sequence had to be filmed twice due to the first footage of the film being scratched leading to poor quality on the footage, in which the sequence had to be filmed again. [1] [2] Even though the scene proved to be a challenge, the production crew was able to overcome this challenge of filming this sequence.

Appearances

Mary Poppins

The Chimney Sweeps are seen during the part where Mary Poppins, Bert, Jane, and Michael reach the rooftops via bottom of the fireplace to which while exploring, the four encounter various of them popping out together to which upon encountering them, Bert is happy to see his pals where they participate in the film's memorable musical number, "Step in Time". As they dance altogether happily, they sing in chorus together and as they continuously dance on the rooftops as Mary, Jane, and Michael watch the Chimney Sweeps dancing throughout the song. Observing them, Bert offers Mary to participate with them to which she accepts Bert's offer. After Mary dances, the Chimney Sweeps continue dancing altogether on the rooftops as well as dancing on the top of the chimneys altogether. However, Admiral Boom and Mr. Binnacle see the Chimney Sweeps from a distance, confusing them for intruders to which Boom offers Binnacle to load the cannon with dynamites and fireworks to scare them off. Binnacle then loads to explosives to scare them away just as the Chimney Sweeps react to the cannon's blast, dodging the fireworks.

As the Chimney Sweeps go down the chimney at the Banks family’s house, Ellen is humiliated with many of them inside their house just as Mary, Bert, Jane, and Michael go down the chimney just as the Chimney Sweeps continue dancing altogether, to which Winifred and her husband George look worried to have many Chimney Sweeps dancing in the house altogether. Mary then tells Bert to tell his friends to leave now to which he does so by whistling to which all of a sudden, the Chimney Sweeps leave the house altogether. As the Chimney Sweeps leave the house, they run past Cherry Tree Lane past the Constable who notices them running across the street. They are not seen again after that.

Mary Poppins Returns

While not directly featured in the film, the Lamplighters led by Jack show an homage to the chimney sweeps from the original film. Additionally, the musical number "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" shows an homage to "Step in Time".

Trivia

  • Despite only appearing in one scene, the Chimney Sweeps are occasionally featured in media inspired by Mary Poppins, specifically in live shows and attractions such as the Disney Cruise Line show Believe and the former Disneyland parade, Mickey's Soundsational Parade.
  • According to Dick Van Dyke in the audio commentary, the stunts done by the Chimney Sweeps were incredible during filming without having anyone injured on set even though the scene proved bit of a challenge with the main characters interacting with numerous actors on set.
  • Some of the dancers who played the Chimney Sweeps in Mary Poppins previously participated in the film, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers featuring choreography by Michael Kidd.

References

  1. Mary Poppins Audio Commentary (Mary Poppins DVD/Blu-ray releases).
  2. Poppins Pop-Up Facts (Mary Poppins DVD releases).


v - e - d
Mary Poppins Logo.png
Media
Films: Mary Poppins (video/soundtrack) • Mary Poppins Returns (video/soundtrack) • The Cat That Looked at a KingMusicalThe Legacy CollectionPractically Poppins in Every Way: A Magical Carpetbag of Countless Wonders
Disney Parks
Garden of the Twelve FriendsMary PoppinsThe Great Movie Ride

Entertainment: Disney Adventure Friends CavalcadeDisney's BelieveDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicFollow Your DreamsMickey's Magical Music WorldOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives OnOnce Upon a Mouse
Restaurants: Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Parades: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Dreams On Parade: Moving OnDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney's Party ExpressDisney Cinema ParadeDisney Magic on ParadeDisney on Parade: 100 Years of MagicDisney Stars on ParadeDisney Stars 'n' CarsDreaming Up!Happiness is Here ParadeMickey's Soundsational ParadeThe Wonderful World of Disney Parade
Fireworks: Believe... There's Magic in the StarsDisney Dreams!Disney Movie MagicDisneyland ForeverFantasy in the SkyMagical
Spring: Disney's Easter WonderlandDisney's Spring Promenade

Characters
Mary Poppins: Mary PoppinsBertGeorge BanksWinifred BanksJane BanksMichael BanksPenguin WaitersFoxAdmiral Boom and Mr. BinnacleUncle AlbertMr. Dawes Sr.Katie NannaMrs. BrillEllenMr. Dawes Jr.Constable JonesThe Pearly BandMiss LarkChimney Sweeps

Mary Poppins Returns: William Weatherall WilkinsJackTopsyThe Balloon LadyClydeShamusJohn BanksAnnabel BanksGeorgie BanksAngusHamilton Gooding and Templeton FryeThe Park KeeperPenny FarthingLamplighters
The Cat That Looked at a King: CatKing
Musical: Miss Andrew

Locations
LondonCherry Tree LaneEnglish Countryside Painting
Songs
Mary Poppins: Sister SuffragetteThe Life I LeadThe Perfect NannyA Spoonful of SugarSobre las OlasJolly HolidaySupercalifragilisticexpialidociousStay AwakeI Love to LaughFeed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)A British BankFidelity Fiduciary BankChim Chim Cher-eeStep in TimeA Man Has DreamsLet's Go Fly a Kite

Mary Poppins Returns: (Underneath the) Lovely London SkyA ConversationCan You Imagine That?The Royal Doulton Music HallA Cover is Not the BookThe Place Where Lost Things GoTurning TurtleTrip a Little Light FantasticNowhere to Go But Up
Musical: Temper, TemperPractically PerfectAnything Can HappenBrimstone and TreaclePlaying the GameBeing Mrs. BanksGood for NothingCherry Tree LanePrecision and Order
Deleted Songs: The Anthropomorphic ZooThe ChimpanzooThe Right SideThe Land of SandAdmiral BoomMary Poppins' MelodyYou Think, You BlinkThrough The Eyes of LoveWest WindTiki TownThe North Pole Polka

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