A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Prop Culture is a docuseries that focuses on the stories behind iconic props from Disney movies. The host explores the history of various props, costumes, and set designs from movies like Tron and The Muppet Movie. Viewers are introduced to some of the creative minds behind iconic visual effects that are as recognizable as the movie titles themselves. This is a fascinating glimpse into some of the work that goes on as a movie is conceived and in production, and it shines a spotlight on the people responsible for work that often goes uncelebrated. Kids likely will take selective interest in those episodes that feature movies they’ve seen, but this family-friendly series makes it easy to pick and choose which ones to watch.
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What's the story?
In PROP CULTURE, enthusiast and collector Dan Lanigan reunites iconic props from Disney movies like The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mary Poppins, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids with the artists and actors who helped make them famous. With help from the Walt Disney Archives and other collectors, Lanigan delves into the history of artifacts as familiar as the movie titles themselves. Whether he’s tracking down their whereabouts or simply visiting them in the Disney collection, his quest gives fans unique insight into how they were envisioned, crafted, and used to authenticate their respective films. He also investigates what happened to them after the lights went down on the set.
Is it any good?
This truly fascinating series gives viewers an unusual behind-the-scenes look at movie making as it relates to the costumes, sets, and objects that account for much of the live-action movies’ visual effects. Lanigan’s enthusiasm for the subject is infectious, and curious viewers will be rewarded as they tag along with him across the country to locate and revel in the likes of Mary Poppins’ carpet bag and the Pevensie children’s wardrobes. Even better, the stories come full circle as Lanigan meets with the artisans who created the items and the actors who used them onscreen.
Prop Culture is a collection of stories that are every bit as enthralling as the plots of the movies that necessitated them. Lanigan’s interviews also underscore the remarkable talent at work behind the camera and in workshops of all different sizes and specialties, from metal work to fiber arts to detailed set design. Movie fans naturally will be drawn to episodes about their favorite films, but even without a personal connection to the props and their stories, this fascinating series has a lot to offer even the casual viewer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how human creativity comes to life in the movies featured in Prop Culture. Where do artists find inspiration for the settings and props used in these movies? How must they think outside the box to create these fictional worlds?
How do artifacts and people's stories about them help us relate to events of the past? What is the value in understanding history? How can that impact the development of a movie or any other form of art?
Creating movies requires a lot of people working together efficiently and effectively. What are some qualities that a team leader and team members need to be most successful? Does this series change how you envision what goes on behind the scenes in the movies you watch?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love history docus
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