I am happy that everyone will be able to finally enjoy Prop Culture, the fantastic Disney+ show I previewed over a week ago that will be available starting tomorrow, May 1st, 2020. Each episode runs about a half hour and encompasses a movie theme. And unlike most shows on Disney+, all episodes will be available at the same time.
Last week, I was part of a group interview with film historian and prop collector (and show host) Dan Lanigan about Prop Culture. Lanigan was quick with remarks before opening it up to questions, saying that he was excited about the opportunity for Prop Cuture to be on Disney+. Read my review of Prop Culture here and I also asked Lanigan about his inspiration for the show.
I told Lanigan that I dove into The Muppet Movie episode (which I’ve now seen twice) because that was a movie I watched in the theater as a child. Lanigan said “Yes, as did I”.
For myself, I found The Muppet Movie episode a wonderfully special experience. I think everyone will have an episode like that – for me, there are at least two of them, The Muppet Movie and Mary Poppins. I have not watched all of the episodes yet, I wanted to save some for this weekend. There are some episodes that won’t have the nostalgia for me, but I am looking forward to watching all eight.
I asked Lanigan, “What was your inspiration for creating the show? I thought it was going to be more of a dry show but it really is so entertaining and I think people are just going to love it.”
Lanigan told me, “Well, thank you so much. That’s the thing I’ve been trying to tell people for years is that this stuff is fun and…these pieces mean a lot to people and because these movies mean a lot. And these people that work on this stuff are all just amazing artists and amazing people”.
He continued, “You know, I came to create the show because I have an obsession for movie used art. You know, props, costumes, wardrobe, set pieces, all that kind of stuff. And I wanted to share my obsession with the world and show everybody why the people that work on these films are all just as important as the stars.”
I also told Lanigan that I loved that he had Kevin Kidney and Disney legends, artists and such that people will recognize and be happy to see (Richard Sherman, Andreas Deja, etc.). And of course, celebrities too – Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd and many more. The show isn’t just about props. Lanigan told me that he himself is a huge fan of everything he did. “I came to this show from a fan’s perspective…not from a filmmaker’s perspective. I’m not an insider on this, I’m right there with you being a fan boy. So I was geeking out just as much as anybody would and I made this for the fans because I made it for myself.”