Prop Culture is an eight-episode series that debuted on Disney+ on May 1, 2020. The show follows host Dan Lanigan as he tracks down props from Disney films dating back to Mary Poppins. The episodes cover Mary Poppins, Tron, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Pirates of the Caribbean, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, The Chronicles of Narnia, Who Framed Roger Rabbitt, and The Muppet Movies. Unlike most Disney+ series, Disney made every episode of the series available on one day.
I was afraid this series wouldn’t keep my interest. I thought it might just be the host talking about inanimate objects from old movies. However, I was wrong. Prop culture not only kept my interest, but I watched six episodes in one night and finished it up the next day.
The show is not just about the props themselves, but also about the film’s production. They go behind the scenes on some of the techniques used to make these revolutionary films. For example, they give a glimpse of the detailed work that goes into the stop motion animation of The Nightmare Before Christmas. If you like movies and enjoy behind the scenes-type features, you’ll enjoy this aspect of Prop Culture.
It also shines a light on those involved in creating the film. Dan not only tracks down props but also finds many artists and actors that worked on these films. The most touching moments in the show are when Dan reunites an artist with a prop they worked on in the making of the film. That was not something I was expecting.
There were episodes that I enjoyed more than others. Mary Poppins, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and The Nightmare Before Christmas episodes were my favorite. I think you’ll find a correlation between your enjoyment of each episode and how much you like the film.
This show exceeded my expectations. I’d recommend it to anyone that’s a fan of the film industry, especially the movies featured in the series. I hope we can get a second season of Prop Culture so that we can learn more about other Disney live-action films. It would be great to see Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Iron Man (and other Marvel films), and Hocus Pocus, to name a few off the top of my head. I’d also love to see a similar show about the art behind Disney’s animated movies. The Animation Research Library has so much beautiful artwork. It would be great to see some of it featured in a Disney+ series.