Prop Culture

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Prop Culture TV Poster Image
Charming series explores history of iconic movie artifacts.

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Artistic creativity is on full display in this series that looks at how props are inspired and created for films. For those unfamiliar with the extensive work that happens behind the scenes, it’s fascinating to learn about the many different types of skills that go into movie creation. As such, the show encourages as much respect for the work that doesn’t always get the same level of recognition that acting and cinematography might.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everyone who is involved with this series expresses genuine joy for the work. Lanigan is humbled by meeting the artists who design and create the impressive props, and the actors and others who get to see them again are clearly thrilled to do so. There’s a definitive air of respect for the work that has gone into these impressive artifacts.

Violence
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Consumerism

Each episode centers on and includes clips from a modern or classic Disney movie, many of which have launched franchises.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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 MovieViewers 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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Teen, 14 years old Written byPenPal17 May 26, 2020

An Intricate Look at The Details in Disney Movies

I thoroughly enjoyed this docu-series. Prop Culture is a fast-paced, interesting look at the props, sets, and costumes of classic Disney films. It's full o... Continue reading

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? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history docus

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