Interview: Harriet Burns (Babes in Toyland/Mary Poppins)

Walt Disney and Harriet Burns study a bird
Walt Disney and Harriet Burns study a bird

Harriet Burns worked on some of Disney’s most classic movies, television shows and theme parks, having started on the earliest days of Disneyland and retiring after working on Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Harriet often worked on props for Disney movies such as “Babes in Toyland” and “Mary  Poppins.” Primarily a scenic designer/model maker, Harriet ended up involved in much more than what her job typically entailed,  and often appeared on television with Walt Disney.  (See more photos below)

AUDIO INDEX

1:16 Working on “Babes in Toyland”; Working on the big cake for the “Babes in Toyland” cast party, which was a televised as an episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” entitled “Backstage Party”; performing the goose puppet for Mother Goose in the movie and television show

4:26 Working on the robin for the “Spoonful of Sugar” scene in “Mary Poppins”; Obtaining a robin skin from 1893 from the Natural History Museum for authenticity – trading it for Disneyland tickets; Julie Andrews wore a ring that went from the robin to the controls of the mechanical bird; Walt Disney liked to “show off” the bird

Harriet burns sits behind Walt Disney in the "Backstage Party" episode of "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color"
Harriet burns sits behind Walt Disney on the set of the “Babes in Toyland” movie, for the “Backstage Party” episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color”
Mary McCarty appears as Mother Goose as Harriet operates her goose puppet for the close-up camera shots
Mary McCarty appears as Mother Goose as Harriet operates her goose puppet for the close-up camera shots

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