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‘Mary’ pops back in

Practically perfect 'Poppins' celebrates 40th anni

HOLLYWOOD — Disney’s re-premiere of “Mary Poppins” at the El Cap was — in the nanny’s own words — practically perfect in every way.

“This is an evening filled with memories,” Julie Andrews said from the stage with the pic’s animators and choreographers.

The evening touted the 40th-anniversary DVD release on Dec. 14 of the pic; unlike most DVD events, this one included a screening of the film. Though it started an hour late, guests seemed happy to watch footage from the 1964 premiere at Grauman’s Chinese, which was cleverly juxtaposed with current celeb arrivals. Forty years ago, Andrews stepped out of her car noticeably shy and nervous — “Poppins” was her first film role — which was immediately cut to her grand, confident entrance Tuesday.

“I was in a daze in 1964,” co-star Dick Van Dyke said at the Kodak Ballroom after-party. “I’m not in a daze this time around.”

Oscar-winning composer Richard Sherman recalled Walt Disney “walking around the party with a big smile on his face,” while Karen Dotrice‘s memories centered on the royals in attendance at that year’s London preem, including Queen Elizabeth.

“I was seated by Princess Margaret, and I spent the entire film watching her instead of the movie,” said Dotrice, who was then 8. “I was much more impressed that I was sitting next to a real princess that night.”

Choreographers Marc Breaux and Dee Dee Wood, plus animators Xavier Atencio, Ollie Johnston, Bill Justice and Peter Ellenshaw were also on hand to relive their memories.

At the after-party, which re-created three scenes from the film, guests could make hats, kites and create chalk drawings. Also in the crowd: Meg Ryan, Disney’s Dick Cook and homevid topper Bob Chapek.

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