Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
When Jane and Michael, the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, are faced with the prospect of a new nanny, they are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins. Embarking on a series of fantastical adventures with Mary and her Cockney performer friend, Bert, the siblings try to pass on some of their nanny's sunny attitude to their preoccupied parents. Written by
All right, ladies an' gents! Comical poem! Suitable for the occasion, extemporized and thought up before your very eyes! All right, 'ere we go!
Room 'ere for everyone. Gather around.
The constable - responstable! Now 'ow does that sound?
[dashes over to Miss Lark, sings]
'Ello, Miss Lark, I've got one for you.
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In the end credit cast list, the actor playing Mr. Dawes, Sr. is initially shown as NAVCKID KEYD, then the letters unscramble themselves to show that this is a second role played by Dick Van Dyke. See more »
Julie's film debut began the world's love affair with her--and what a marvelous vehicle for doing so. Julie appears here in fine voice and is radiantly beautiful.
The performance is more than deserving of the Oscar, especially considering that she had to act to blue screens and objects/characters from within her imagination. No easy task, certainly.
I also love the way Julie, as Mary, refuses to acknowledge the free-for-all that is going on around her. She simply pushes her hair primly back in place and presses on, despite the dancing chimney sweeps and giggling uncles that surround her. "I never explain anything," she blithely comments.
The score is one of my favorites in all the Disney canon. The Sherman brothers outdid themselves with "Stay Awake," one of the most under-appreciated lullabys ever written, and the hauntingly winsome "Feed the Birds."
The Disney animators have created a visual feast as bottomless and surprising as Mary Poppins' carpetbag. The Peter Ellenshaw matte shots are breathtaking. My favorite visual moments? Bert and Mary's live-action reflections in a pond are eddied by a family of cartoon geese. I also love when Bert, Mary, and the children ascend a staircase constructed only of chimney smoke. Brilliant!
There are a few drawbacks: The film's a little over-long, especially in the final third where Mary's but an afterthought in all the plot resolution. In addition, Van Dyke was an excellent choice for his singing and dancing (and popularity), but his cockney accent does grate after a while.
But all in all, this is a tour de force for all involved!
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