Tuesday, December 18, 2018


With the upcoming release of Mary Poppins Returns I decided to go back and watch the original. This is one of my favorite movies of all time. The movie takes place in London sometime in the early twentieth century and follows the Bank's family. Gorge Banks is the father and he has grown very distant from his kids to the point where he is kind of cruel to them at points and insults them. So the kids can be a handful because the nannies that he has hired don't work out. The movie opens up with a nanny quieting because Jane and Michael Banks ran away and now he has to find a new nanny. Just at the perfect time, Mary Poppins arrives played by Julie Andrews who is the nanny the kids have been looking for not so much Mr. Banks. The rest of the movie is pretty much Mary Poppins and the two Banks kids going on many grand adventures.    Watching this movie as an adult you really appreciate the story and the technical achievements. A lot of that does have to do with the characters. Mary Poppins is a weird character to describe. She is mysterious, she can often be very strict, she denies a lot of the crazy stuff that Jane and Michael talk about sometimes in a very commanding and mean-spirited way and yet she never comes across as unlikeable. Julie Andrews is absolutely perfect. There's a reason she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She is an amazing singer and manages to make me feel weirdly emotional about some of the most simple songs like Feed the Birds. It's about an old woman sitting on the steps of a church who is constantly feeding the birds and somehow that gets an emotional response from me.    Dick Van Dyke plays the character Bert and he is a great character as well. He's basically a poor guy who just hangs around London. He has so many different jobs and yet he is never upset. He always has a great attitude like when his drawings on the sidewalk are ruined because of the rain he just goes off and finds another job.  The songs were written by the Sherman brothers they are true Disney legends and the songs in this movie are iconic. "A Spoonful of Sugar" "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" "Jolly Holiday" "Chim Chim Cher-ee" "Step in Time" "Feed the Birds" "Let's go fly a Kite" all these songs are phenomenal, incredibly catchy and they can make you emotional.  The dance sequence with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in the chalk paintings goes on for a while, but it's outstanding whether they are dancing together or when Bert is dancing with animated penguins and the only scene that tops it is Step in Time with all the chimney sweeps dancing on the roof.     Watching this movie with an adult perspective is very interesting because when you watch Gorge Banks he is a cruel guy. He just doesn't seem to care about his kids at all. There's one moment where the kids come up with a suggestion for a new nanny and Jane mentions how they are two adorable kids and Mr. Banks says well that is highly debatable.    This is one of the best Disney films ever. The characters are great, the performances are fantastic, the songs are iconic and the story is incredible.  5 out of 5 stars for Mary Poppins. I hope you enjoyed my review.

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