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The Lamplighters (also known as Leeries) are characters who are featured in the 2018 Disney film, Mary Poppins Returns. They are prominently featured in one of the film's musical numbers, ”Trip a Little Light Fantastic" where they are seen participating with Jack.

Background

The Lamplighters, as their names imply, are a group of lamplighters who participate with Jack during the aforementioned song who are planning to help Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie find their way home. Led by Jack, they serve as his allies and also help the four find their way home throughout the film. As Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie dance with them, they suddenly help them find their way back hom just as John, Annabel, and Georgie arrive at the Banks family's house. Furthermore, they also participate during the climax of the film in a plan to stop the Big Ben from striking the deadline to repossess the Banks family's house to which they are able to do so.

Development

While developing the "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" musical number, the song itself was used as an inspiration to follow the tradition of the classic song, "Step in Time" from the first film and with the choreographic team, the production crew was able to put the scene with the Lamplighters on it, making it the biggest production used in the film. The sequence where Jack dances with the Lamplighters took about a week and a half to film where it was used as an homage to the "Step in Time" sequence. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played Jack in the film, stated that he has been working with the dancers for months and months to lead the musical sequence to be finished. In addition to the dancers, actors playing the Lamplighters riding on bikes were hired to perform in this sequence which was the scene that no one has ever done before in a Mary Poppins film. After rehearsal, the production crew even applauded the actors for their performance and hard work during the "Trip a Little Light Fantastic" number.[1]

Role in the film

During the musical number, "Trip a Little Light Fantastic", one Lamplighter is seen lighting a lamp for Mary Poppins, John, Annabel, and Banks to help them find their way just as the four pass through a some of them while Jack guides them to find their way home as they sing in chorus to which as Jack continues guiding Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie, more lamplighters ignite the lamps throughout the musical number.

After Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie use a pole to enter a sewer followed by Jack himself, the four enter a fountain area where they see silhouettes of the Lamplighters. Various Lamplighters appear in front of Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie where they and Jack dance in front of them with a fountain behind the Lamplighters themselves and as the four are amused by their performance, Angus, one of them, tells Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie to dance along with them so they get a unique experience with them and as the four participate in dancing with them, the Lamplighters then sing along with Jack as Jack himself is planning to take Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie back home on 17 Cherry Tree Lane to which Jack and numerous Lamplighters march across Cherry Tree Lane to take Mary, John, Annabel, and Georgie back home.

Later, when John, Annabel, and Georgie find the share certificate on the back of the family photo and are on their way to the bank seven minutes before midnight, Mary brings in Jack and the Lamplighters to help them on their plan to stop time before it reaches midnight all across London to the bank to which Jack leads them to reach Big Ben to stop the clock from striking 12:00 midnight just as the Lamplighters place ladders on the Big Ben and seeing the Big Ben reading 11:59 p.m., the Lamplighters help Jack to make him reach the clock's face while commanding the Lamplighters to launch him to stop time while Mary Poppins futures the hour hand from striking 12:00 midnight just as the Lamplighters cheer for Mary who was able to undo it.

Later at the end of the film during the musical number "Nowhere to Go But Up", the Lamplighters are seen having fun with balloons alongside everyone else.

Trivia

  • The Lamplighters featured in the film pay homage to the Chimney Sweeps' musical number, "Step in Time" in order to maintain the tradition of having a sequence inspired by the song in the film, Mary Poppins Returns.
  • According to the audio commentary shown on digital platforms of Mary Poppins Returns, the lampposts which the Lamplighters dance one was one of the most complicated scenes to film due to each of them having very difficult platform discs on them. Additionally, another tricky part in the film was where the production team had to find the right sort of proportions for the props as the lamppost props were difficult to make as well. Additionally for the Lamplighters riding on bikes, it was one of the most complicated additions they added to Mary Poppins Returns as the actors riding them did their best to ride them throughout the sequence without having anyone injured on set.[2]
  • The "Leerie" language the Lamplighters speak originates from the Cockney slang which was actually invented by the production team themselves and does not originate from P.L. Travers' original works.

References

  1. Seeing Things from a Different Point of View: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns - Trip a Little Light Fantastic (Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray / Digital releases).
  2. Audio commentary by Rob Marshall and John DeLuca (Mary Poppins Returns; Digital Platforms).


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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