Mary Poppins Film Details
Overview: In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.
Tagline: It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Review: The first time I saw Mary Poppins at the ripe old age of twelve, I was enthralled. My sister had taken me to see it one evening using her own hard earned money. The fact that admission was seventy-five cents when normally one could see a double feature for thirty-five cents as a kid was not lost on me either. It meant my sister was treating me to something special and as it turned out it was most assuredly all of that and then some. Films we view when we are young do not always hold the same appeal for us as we grow older. As a youngster, I remember being fascinated by many films that I can hardly stand to sit through as an adult. I loved anything with Jerry Lewis in it, yet there are less than a handful of his films I now find entertaining. There were countless cheaply made horror films that scared the living daylights out of me that I laugh at now. There were children films such as Pinocchio in Outer Space, even one with a mouse called Topo Gigio that are now long forgotten. There are two films however that made an impression on me more than any others at an early age. The first was the Cinerama presentation of How The West Was Won, the second was Mary Poppins. The question is whether or not I can view them in a favorable light as an adult. I still enjoy How The West Was Won, but it has never had the impact on me as it did in Cinerama. Today I viewed Mary Poppins again for the first time in a number of years and I can say that without question it is every bit as magical as it was back in 1965 when I first saw it. What is there not to like? The story has heart, warmth, memorable characters, wonderful musical numbers, and a heaping dose of magic. Mary Poppins is the nanny any child could hope to magically appear out of the sky with her umbrella and whisk us away to enchanted places that we can only dream of. In this film, Mary Poppins comes flying down to earth because two children, Jane and Michael Banks, are being ignored by parents who are too preoccupied with their own problems. It’s not that they don’t love their children, but they fail to recognize the importance of children being part of their lives, a message that forty years later still rings true for many parents. Julie Andrew’s Oscar worthy performance as Mary Poppins is perfection. It would have been easy for the character to become either ridiculously silly or a caricature of someone in the mold of a TV. witch or genie. The fact that we are able to view Mary Poppins as first and foremost a caring and loving nanny who just happens to have magical powers is what makes this film works, and can be attributed solely to Ms. Andrews. The fact that Julie Andrews has one of the most magnificent singing voices to land on the big screen didn’t hurt a bit either. David Tomlinson made two other films for the Disney studios, but his role as George Banks is the one for which he will always be remembered. He too seems to strike just the right balance. As the children’s father, we are amused by his fussiness and his wish to achieve a perfectly ordered life, but put off by his ignorance in matters regarding his children. The fact that we are able to see that despite his major character flaws he still loves his children keeps us from developing too much of a dislike for him. Glynis Johns as Winifred Banks is an odd kind of woman, especially for the early part of the twentieth century. Her love for her two children also shines, yet her preoccupation with being a suffragette seems to override that fact. Strangely though, she remains the loyal and obedient wife to her husband. If there is one thing that always seems to be good about Disney films, it’s the fact that Walt was able to find just the right child actors for any film. As Jane and Michael, Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber are exceptional. They appeared together in three films for the Disney studios and if you view this film you will understand why. There are many special effects sequences throughout Mary Poppins. Some of them may be considered quite cryptic by today standards, but you won’t mind. The animation sequence is done with bright, glowing colors, and the fact that someone in the costume design department matched up the perfect outfits for the live actors in the sequence helps add to the beauty of it all. I’m still in awe of Dick Van Dyke’s dance number with the penguins in that sequence. The chimney sweep sequence which includes a walk among the London rooftops and a marvelously choreographed dance being done by chimney sweeps is remarkable. You’ll laugh along with Uncle Albert, and have a swell tea party on the ceiling. Even if you don’t find the jokes particularly funny you’ll laugh at the absurdity of the situation. The songs by the Sherman Brother are once in a lifetime perfect. I can think of no Disney live action film where the musical numbers are so right from start to finish. Chim-Chim-Cheree won the Oscar for best song but it could just as easily have been to the less catchy numbers Stay Awake or Feed The Birds in my opinion. Both are beautiful, lyrical songs that show the depth and range of Julie Andrew’s voice. It takes a very special film that one can love as a child; yet as an adult appreciate the craftsmanship even more. That puts Mary Poppins in a class by itself. My score: A+
Duration: 139 min
Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Also known as: Mary Poppins,Mere Popins,欢乐满人间,Gökten İnen Melek,Meri Popins,歡樂滿人間,メリー・ポピンズ,Мэри Поппинс,Maija Poppanen,Μαίρη Πόππινς,Мери Попинс,Мері Поппінс