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Mary Poppins Revisited - My Review

Updated on July 2, 2012

Rate Mary Poppins

5 out of 5 stars from 4 ratings of Movie

Mary Poppins was produced by Walt Disney (1964). The screenplay was written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, based on the Mary Poppins book series written by P.L.Travers. Robert Stevenson directed the movie and the songs were written by the Sherman Brothers. This film was nominated for 13 Oscars. Julie Andrews won Best Actress and the film was awarded Best Film Editing, Original Musical Score, Best Visual Effects and Best Song (Chim Chim Cheree).

Runtime: 139 mins.

Box Office Gross: $102,300,000 (USA) (IMDb)

Official Trailer (1964)

Bert's one man band

Family Entertainment - good values

I often wonder about the impact technology has on the young. I grew up in the days when we had strict censorship in South Africa. At that time, each new Disney movie was eagerly awaited and people would queue around the block to go to the movies. Enter Julie Andrews, one of my all-time favorite actresses. Back then, there was so much quality family fare and I can tell you this: I was greatly influenced by the message of kindness and the awareness of nature that was so inherent in Disney films.

It bothers me greatly that today’s youth watch so much inappropriate content in movies, on TV and in video games. I wonder what kind of effect it will have in the long term. It is not so difficult to imagine. Julie Andrews was a wonderful actress, particularly for children. Her beautiful features and crisp English diction, not to mention her exquisite voice and ability to dance, combined to make her an eternal favorite for family entertainment. On my recent trip back from South Africa, I decided to watch movie classics and Mary Poppins was one of them.

The Perfect Nanny

Well begun is half done

Just a spoonful of sugar...

Dick van Dyke and Julie Andrews complement one another completely

Dick Van Dyke’s acting, singing and dancing ability and his partnership with the inimitable Julie Andrews in this wonderful musical couldn’t be more perfect. Disney movies are the perfect vehicle for their talents and vice-versa. This evergreen, feel-good children’s movie brings back an era when things were innocent and children were still children. Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) are perfectly cast as the “wayward” children of Mr. and Mrs. Banks who require the services of cook, housekeeper and nanny to run their household. This gives Mrs. Banks (Glynis Johns) all the time she needs to passionately pursue her role as a Suffragette and leave the management of her home to her staff. The children are apparently a handful and cannot keep a nanny for longer than a couple of days.

Mr. Banks (David Tomlinson) delivers a stern reprimand after the exit of yet another nanny and begins to place an advertisement for someone sober to take care of the children. A very charming Jane and Michael set about writing an ad themselves and their irritated father promptly tears up their letter and throws it into the fireplace - and then the magic begins! :)

Enter Mary Poppins, and what an entrance! I was totally enthralled when Mary Poppins descended from the sky, blew her competition away (so to speak) and completely won over stern Papa, Mr. Banks. It was even more fun to see her slide UP the banister and proceed to remove extremely big objects from a simple carpetbag. How much more fun was it to tidy up a messy playroom just with a click of the fingers and have the bed made up – snap – like that! When Mary Poppins sang with the robins andone flew in and sat on her finger (even though it was obviously fake), I was completely enchanted! Spit-Spot… Mary Poppins is Practically Perfect in Every Way!

Feed the birds

Some of you, dear Readers, may have read some of my other writings which make mention of the fact that I feed the birds. Guess what? That’s right! The song about the old woman feeding the birds at St. Paul’s Cathedral made a huge impact on me. I remember it vividly. It made me aware of creatures in our environment that depend on humans and the very fact that humankind has impacted negatively on so many natural habitats all over the planet, that we are forcing wildlife to the brink of survival.

As soon as I was old enough, I began feeding birds and did not keep them in cages. The apple does not fall far from the tree, and my beloved son has a heart as tender as mine. He would often find a sick bird and carry it in his hands to the Vet nearby so it could be helped. In so many of Disney’s animated movies, the Princess is kind and a friend to animals and birds and that sang to my heart. The songs in Mary Poppins are delightful and infectious.

I love to laugh

Laughter makes everything better

Another part of the movie has had me meditating about it for a while. There is a scene where Bert calls Mary Poppins to help with Uncle Albert, wonderfully acted by Ed Wynn. They rush over there with the children, to find old Uncle Albert floating near the ceiling. It becomes apparent that he is up there due to great hilarity. Mary Poppins tries to dissuade the children from laughing, but as you well know, when we find something funny and are told not to laugh, it is virtually impossible to stop. Bert and the children rise to the occasion and join their friend near the ceiling. Mary Poppins decides that it may be a good idea to join them and she does. While they are up there, they realize that it is time for tea, so Mary Poppins is glad to oblige by bringing the table up to them – all laid out with scrumptious tea accoutrements. Eventually the hilarity subsides, and so do all our friends, and they finally come back down to earth. I loved that scene and often think about how effective laughter is in lifting us all up. Yours truly used to be the class clown, as I enjoyed making people laugh – and so did my son! The apple never really falls far from the tree you know.

Mary, Bert and the children on the sidewalk

I loved the creativity of the scene where Mary Poppins, Bert and kids all jump into a chalk drawing on the pavement and proceed to mount pretty merry-go-round horses and end up winning a horse race. The fact that they help a poor fox which is being mercilessly chased by heartless riders on horses, accompanied by their baying hounds, scored a big plus for me. That is one criticism I have of the British royal family. I have never liked the idea of hunting! My opinion is that if you have to shoot an animal, shoot with a camera, unless it’s your survival that’s at stake! The marriage of actors with animation has always fascinated me and what charming set designs! Dick Van Dyk's fabulous dance with penguins is outstanding.

Fox hunt

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Bert dances with the Penguins

Chim-Chimini

Step in time

More beautiful songs and fabulous choreography

I loved the songs: “Supercalafragalisticexpialidocious,” “Chim Chimini,” and "Step in Time." The choreography and dancing is truly outstanding. What a talented bunch of dancers! The song, “Let’s go fly a kite” had me soaring. When I was a little girl, I recall with clarity when my two older brothers would begin building kites using dowel sticks and string to build the frame; then they would glue different colored tissue paper over the frame and finally add a tail and string to it. I watched with great interest, wondering why I couldn’t build one too. The next part was the most fun – going to see how quickly they could get their kites to fly! We lived across the road from a school. Toward the bottom of the road was a big field for athletics and sports games. It was the most natural place to run and play and ride bikes and fly kites on a weekend when the field was not being used. My brothers flew the kites and I watched. I was dying to fly one of my own. I did eventually, when my own son was old enough. I took him with his beloved cousins to the school field and we ran around trying to get the kites to fly. I remember that I was wearing my favorite pair of jeans. Due to the fact that they were well worn and that I was trying my damnedest to get the kite airborne, I split my jeans, right along one of my buttocks! The kite had a new function then… it became a good shield for my butt. I highly recommend the activity of kite flying for families. It is relaxing and a lot of fun, as evidenced by the Banks family and the crusty old directors from the bank. Did you know that Dick Van Dyk played the role of decrepit Mr. Dawes Sr. ?

Fidelity Fiduciary Bank - Guess Who?

Let's go fly a kite

Source

Highly Recommended

Mary Poppins is a delightful movie in every sense and I would highly recommend it for family viewing. It puts a lilt in one's step as you forget your worries and cares and find yourself transported by the magic, the charm and the humor of this captivating classic. With the addition of Disney animation which encapsulates the actors and the wonderful costumes, dance and music make this a movie to enjoy time after time and for many years to come.

© This writing is the work of Sue-Lynn Grace.

Thank you for reading my hub, dear Reader.

I hope you enjoyed it, and if so, I would love to read your comments below.I always respond, so I invite you to return and find my response to your feedback.

Your votes would be doubly appreciated too.Please feel free to share on Facebook, Pinterest and the like, or by emailing my link to your friends.

I appreciate your time and interest greatly. Many thanks.

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    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Vitallani, thank you for your lovely comments. I agree with you about Mary Poppins - it's an all-time favorite that doesn't seem to age. I have not read any of the books but it would make for interesting reading. :)

    • Vitallani profile image

      Bryony Harrison 5 years ago from UK

      Your reviews are excellent. Mary Poppins is such a magical film. It is one of the few films that I actually think is better than the book. It integrates all the random episodes into a coherent storyline.

      Have you read Travers book? I've heard before that she had a series, but I have only ever seen the first one.

    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Cogerson - thanks so much for reading, commenting and voting! :)

      I did not realize that Dick Van Dyke's performance had not been that well received - I think he is an exceptionally talented actor! :) He makes me smile, too and I think that's what is important.

      Have safe travels to Canada (I'm curious...) and it's wonderful that the kids still enjoy good family fare! They couldn't do better than Mary Poppins in my humble opinion. :)))

      I am making preparations to move to Canada, so I'll be interested to hear about your trip.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great revisited review of a great movie filled with lots of great film clips and songs from the movie. As a kid I loved this movie as well....with the highlight always being Dick Van Dyke. As an adult I have come to realize that his performance was not received very favorably ......but he still makes me smile.

      We are about to drive to Canada....and Mary Poppins was one of the DVDs picked by the kids to watch on our up and coming long car ride.....almost 50 years later and the movie still interests 3 and 5 year olds.

      Voted up and useful and interesting and across the board.

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      LOL, Heavenleigh707... you just infected me with your joie-de-vivre! :) Bless your heart and thank you. I love your comments and you have made MY day! These are the kind of songs that stay with one forever... I am so glad that what made your heart sing made mine sing too! :))))

    • heavenleigh707 profile image

      Heaven L Burkes 5 years ago from The Invincible Heart of Neverland

      Oh! Such a wonderful Hub - practically perfect in EVERY way! ;) I love the way you have woven your childhood memories into this, my-favorite-of-all-time Disney treat! Thank you for giving Mary Poppins a fresh and wonderful review! I'm going to go back tonight and watch all of the videos included here! These are the songs I danced around the house and washed dishes to, as a little girl. Wonderful JOB SueLynn!

    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Enjoy, lovedoctor! If I had my own copy, I would watch again too. :) Have fun!

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      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Your welcome Suelynn.. I think I am going to watch Mary Poppins tonight.

    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Welcome to my pages, lovedoctor926 and delighted to meet another member of the Disney Club! This is an evergreen favorite of mine too and I'm so glad I could jog some of the memories. Thank you for the vote - you made my day. :)

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      As a member of the Disney Club, this is one of the movies that I own and still one of my favorites. Thank you for the memories. Voted up!

    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Sinea Pies, that's delightful! It sure is a favorite of mine too and I loved watching it as an adult every bit as much as I did when I was a child. :) I'm so glad I reminded you of those lovely times. Thank you so much for commenting.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      When I was a pre-teen, Mary Poppins was in the movie theaters. It was the first time I went with friends to the movies, on our own. It quickly became one of my favorite childhood movies and a big memory for my first time out on my own! :)

    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi b. Malin: Thank you for sharing your comments with us. I love it when the kid in us comes out to play. :)

      I look forward to reading your hubs soon, too.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      I remember seeing this Wonderful Movie, and getting Lost in it myself. It certainly brought out the "kid" in me as well. What a Wonderful Hub and Tribute to "Mary Poppins", Suelynn. This truly was a "Classic" and so Timeless. Thanks for the reminder of what Good Movies are made of!

      I now look forward to Following your Hubs.

    • Suelynn profile image
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      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi ignugent17: I totally agree! Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate it. :)

      Hi Deb: I think that's wonderful that it was the second movie you ever saw and that it was a special time with your Mom. Lovely comments that you've contributed and I couldn't agree more. Thanks for coming by, it's good to see you. :)

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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was the second movie that I saw at the movie house. I went with my mother and had such a wonderful time. It is a uplifting and carefree movie, bound to entertain anyone from any walk of life.

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      ignugent17 5 years ago

      Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke are very good actors and it really made the movie very beautiful. Thanks for writing the hub Suelynn.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      You are very welcome Sue, my pleasure! :)

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Josh, you're such a sweetheart and thank you for saying! I'm glad that your memory banks were refreshed, as was Mr. Banks and his bank! :))) If singing is joyous to you, SING my friend. Musicals are the most wonderful movies as they lift our spirits so! Thank you, Josh. I'm smiling.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thank you so much for bringing this movie back into my memory banks, and I am sad to say it had ever left!

      You did truly amazing job with this one! I may be a 25 year old male, but I love musicals and love to sing! Excellent review!

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Vellur: It's lovely reading your comments and nice to know that others are transported too. It's nice to be part of that same club. :) I appreciate your comments and votes. Thank you.

      Hi Susan: True and true and I'm glad you enjoyed my take on the film and how it resonates with me and my life. I love the clips and could watch them over and over - truly a visual and aural treat! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. :)

    • profile image

      Susan 5 years ago

      I truly cannot imagine anyone not enjoying every minute of this movie. I am also a great fan of all the old Disney movies, those with real people as well as the animated ones. I was fun reading how you brought parts of this movie into your life.

      I like the way you add clips to refresh my memory! It is such a visual treat to watch intermittently as I read your interesting text.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Enjoyed reading your hub. This brings back memories. Mary Poppins is one of my favorite too. You are right we are transformed into a magical world and forget all our worries and cares when we watch this movie. Awesome. Voted up.