A great film in many ways. Practically perfect, actually. The Disney film was one of the first to introduce a film that used a combination of live action and animation. On top it is done as only Disney can. There are singing cows and dancing waiter penguins. Meaning both are done well and it is not just a schtick. Then you get to listen to the marvelous Julie Andrews sing as well as act in the title role. She was so good that she won the Best Actress Oscar that year for Mary Poppins. To make things even better the film has been newly digitally restored and looks better than ever.
The Banks children, Jane (Karen Dotrice – from television’s Upstairs, Downstairs) and Micheal (Matthew Garber), are cute as buttons, but a handful for their nannies. This has resulted in them going through plenty. The latest, Katie Nanny (Elsa Lanchester – Witness for the Prosecution, The Bride of Frankenstein), has left Mr. (David Tomlinson – Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Love Bug) and Mrs. Banks (Glynis Johns – While You Were Sleeping, The Ref) in a bit of spot as they are both very busy people. The children try to be proactive and write up themselves a hiring post for the nanny position. Mr. Banks overrules them and posts one of his own in the paper.
As dozens of women line-up outside the Banks’ residence waiting to interview for the vacant nanny position, the wind changes and from up in the sky flies in a woman and her umbrella. She is Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews – The Sound of Music, Despicable Me) and is there to apply for the nanny position. The strange thing is that she is clutching the job description that the kids wrote up that Mr. Banks threw into the fire. He is out of sorts as a results and instead of interviewing Mary Poppins it ends up being her with all the questions and laying out of expectations. Needless to say, Mary Poppins ends up with the job.
Jane and Michael love her because despite the fact that she is strict Mary Poppins makes everything fun. Even cleaning up the nursery is fun. Mary Poppins along with her friend Bert (Dick Van Dyke – from television’s Diagnosis Murder) the chimney sweep take the kids on many an adventure. There is never a dull moment when Mary is around.
Though watching it with today’s eyes you might think that the film looks a little dated. That doesn’t really matter because it is so charming. Really a timeless film. Viewers have all been seduced by the magic and simplicity of Mary Poppins. Besides the entertainment value the film also has some good messages about family and education.
What I personally love about the film is the music. Those songs! Each one is a classic and will have you singing along in moments. “Jolly Holiday”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”, “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, “Step in Time”, “The Perfect Nanny”, and the poignant “Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)” are all great.
Despite the fact that the film is two hours and twenty minutes long it remains appropriate for all ages because of the quality and entertainment involved. Even young kids will remain enraptured throughout due to the animation, fun story and song and dance involved. Many generations have enjoyed the film and learned all the words to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
-Becoming Mr. Sherman
-Disney on Broadway
-Music + More
-Bonus Short: The Cat That Looked at a King
-Sneak Peeks of Disney Movie Rewards, Disney Perks, The Lion King: Broadway Musical, The Pirate Fairy, Saving Mr. Banks, The Jungle Book