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
Originally Walt Disney had considered Mary Martin, Bette Davis and Angela Lansbury for the part of Mary Poppins, based on the cold characterization portrayed in the P.L. Travers books. Walt Disney Pictures (with songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman and co-writer Don DaGradi acting as the studio's sort-of "advance" team) first considered Julie Andrews after seeing her on Ed Sullivan's The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) in January 1961 do excerpts from "Camelot", the show she was appearing in on Broadway. About a month later Walt Disney himself went to New York, caught the show and sounded out Julie backstage after the show (the show was of double interest to Disney because his The Sword in the Stone (1963) animated feature was based on the first book of T.H. White's "The Once and Future King". "Camelot" was based on the fourth book of the same novel). It was at that February 1961 backstage meeting that Disney first sounded Andrews out, including inviting her husband at the time, designer Tony Walton, to check things out in California relative to doing "Mary Poppins". While there was an open offer to Andrews, she did not commit until the day after Warner Brothers announced that Audrey Hepburn would be doing My Fair Lady (1964) for them. See more »
In the penguin number Dick Van Dyke's pants change to short legs and long crutch to long legs and short crutch. This was deliberate, as Burt is clearly seen adjusting his trousers to match the shape/characteristics of the penguins he is dancing with just prior to and following the scene. See more »
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.
[...] See more »
The opening credits stop for a brief moment to show Mary Poppins seated on a cloud and applying makeup to her face, then the camera pans away and the credits resume. See more »
How good is Mary Poppins? I remember singing "Let's Go Fly a Kite" with my then four year old son when we first got it on a now-lost video. He is now a young man, and little brother is a teenager. I am going to buy the DVD for their children, who may not be born for ten more years. I'll watch it myself until then. It's that good. We all have opinions, and mine is that, in the long list of Disney classics and masterpieces, this one is at the top. It is the perfect combination of story, song, characters, actors, whimsy you name it. I believe it is one of the best movies ever made in any genre.
Need proof? How many songs can you hum in the car or sing in the shower? Chim Chim Cher-ee; Spoonful of Sugar; Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (thank God for copy and paste); Let's Go Fly a Kite. What about songs that put a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye? Feed the Birds. Great composing, great fit to the story. And Julie Andrews is as good a singer as you will find.
More proof? What about delightful scenes? A tea party on the ceiling. The fox hunt on merry-go-round horses. Dancing on the rooftops of London.
Memorable characters? Bert, even with his horrible accent, is a blast. Old Mr. Dawes. Uncle Albert. Mrs. Banks, that independent woman (as long as it did not annoy Mr. Banks). Jane and Michael having the experience of a lifetime. And poor Mr. Banks, so concerned with being the lord of his castle but learning the important lessons in the nick of time. His illusion of control begins to unravel the moment that Poppins woman walked in the door, and he never figures out who she is and how she did it to him.
Neither do we, really. She is both the cause of much madness but the stability within it as the story moves along. It is one of Disney's greatest talents to craft movies and stories that operate on multiple levels. Children love dancing penguins and fireworks. Adults may as well but they can register the message here of what is truly important in life. Poppins has the answers. It is better we don't analyze who she is and or course she never explains anything. The Banks family is just glad she was there for a while, and we should be glad that Walt Disney left us with this masterpiece.
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