`Tart', `not nearly so sentimental as The Sound of Music', `Disney's finest achievement' ... I'd read critics' comments like these with puzzlement. Had they seen the same film I had?Of course they had: it's just that someone had got it wrong; and as it turned out, it was me. I still think that anyone who calls `Mary Poppins' Disney's finest is being silly - Disney's finest hour was clearly the one that saw `Pinocchio', `Fantasia', `Dumbo' and `Bambi' - but what we have here is a fine, clever film, NOT overly sweet.What won me over was <more>
the ending. David Tomlinson changes from a mechanical banker to a human being with surprising fluency. It's not any one scene: it's the entire extended sequence, from the run on the bank to the end credits. And it's not just Tomlinson's acting, either, but the long, lingering shots of him standing and walking in darkness, and a use of music that's far more sophisticated than I'd first supposed it to be, the general intelligence of the script. The last lines given to Mary Poppins I'd missed the point of the first time round. She's a riddle throughout the film which the film's conclusion partially, but only partially, unravels.Considered as a musical `Mary Poppins' lacks something. WHAT it lacks is revealed when we hear the Jane and Michael tramping around the house singing `Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' a great song, by the way - and they GET THE TUNE WRONG. They get it wrong in exactly the irritating way that children WOULD get it wrong. This may be an inspired touch of realism, but it surely violates the ethos of musicals, as do the deeply pedestrian songs `Stay Awake', `Sister Suffragette' and `A Spoonful of Sugar'. This was the side of `Mary Poppins' I'd remembered. I'd forgotten the haunting quality of `Feed the Birds' and `Let's Go Fly a Kite', and the punch of the score as a whole.So anyway, I'm now a convert. I can't find anything to seriously object to except Dick Van Dyke's ludicrous accent, which makes him sound almost, but not quite, like Bugs Bunny.
A unique achievement, filled out on the DVD (by [email protected])
Despite the technical achievements and the outstanding musical score, it is the performances that keep the film alive for me. Julie Andrews was right on target when she received her academy award and thanked Jack Warner for turning her down in the film version of My Fair Lady. She conveys both dignity and warmth as Mary. Dick van Dyke had the chance of a lifetime to demonstrate the breadth of his talents, especially his dancing, which could not be fully exploited on his TV series. Disney gave real depth to the film through his use of Elsa Lanchester, Arthur Treacher, Reginald Owen, Ed Wynn <more>
and especially Jane Darwell who is cited in the IMDb biography as best known for her cameo portrayal of the Bird Lady, despite her 1940 Academy Award for one of the great all-time performances in Grapes of Wrath . I computed the ages of the five as reaching 418 years when the film was released; their film careers covered 193 combined years, with stage careers going back as far as 1905. Disney's casting of these, as well as a group of accomplished British actors of stage and film demonstrated what should be meant by "supporting cast": it gave strong support against which Andrews and Van Dyke could perform without being under to carry the entire film. Finally: If someone wants to appreciate the care that went into the film, s/he should purchase the new 40th anniversary DVD. Viewing the interviews and other documents enabled me to increase my already great enjoyment. They do not "murder to dissect"; quite the contrary.
"Mary Poppins" is only pretending to be a children's film (by timboytx)
Although I loved this film upon first seeing it at the theater in '64, it wasn't until I was an adult that I began to appreciate and be amazed by the sophistication of the writing. Sure, the special effects and the music and the visuals are what grab the attention, but the script itself and the lyrics offer just as much brilliance. I would even assert that this isn't a "children's film" at all, but a film aimed at adults under the guise of a kids' film. And that type of subversion is exactly what you'd expect from Mary Poppins. Her method from day one is to <more>
use reverse psychology on anyone she is trying to manipulate--in a good sense, of course. She teaches the children to give money to the poor by suggesting they "feed the birds". She gets them to fall asleep by sweetly singing "Stay Awake". She gets Mr. Banks to take the kids with him to work by acting as if it was his idea, and complimenting him for thinking of it. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. The film's main character, dramatically speaking, is not Mary, nor the children. It is the father, George Banks. After all, he is the one who makes the film's primary transformation brought about by the presence of Mary Poppins. She is there to show him that his children are more important than money or his job, and once she has completed her task, she moves on. And that is the sort of message that the adults in the audience need to learn, not the children.As further evidence that this is a film aimed at adults, take a look at this line from "Jolly Holiday", when Mary sings to Bert:"You'd never think of pressing your advantage. Forbearance is the hallmark of your creed. A lady needn't fear when you are near. Your sweet gentility is crystal clear!"In these days when studios tend to pander to young audiences, desperate not to add anything that might bore them or be over their heads, it's refreshing to return to the days when films like "Mary Poppins" trusted in the integrity of its material.
Brilliant metaphors that inspire the imagination!! (by gue_gg_ila)
I was a big fan of this movie when I was 6, loved it, visually it is fantastic and the music is just too beautiful. It's great fun, and its packed with amazing performances especially from the multi-talented and beautiful Julie Andrews.I saw it again recently, may be I have more capacity to understand the double sense of things now and found out that this film has so many subliminal great messages that are enriching for the mind and soul...As a little girl I never cried on this film, but it has got so many reasons to cry for I'm crying now because it truly is beautiful. The film can <more>
be good for children because it actually can stimulate the imagination, and the creativity of a kid, I for example tried to arrange my room by making sounds with my fingers at some point of my life! Still the film contains some messages that can be quite interesting and useful for any other person of any other age.SPOILERS***** Besides it contains some great effects, especially when you consider the time it was done 1964 . Great dancing sequences, and especially those gorgeous songs each one of them great . The animation part is brilliant, takes a genius to make that and coordinate those dancing penguins with the Bert character.And I think that all the words that I could possibly say about this film are over, except tat this film is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins, practically perfectly in every way! A MUST SEE FILM!!
It's hard for me to explain the connection I feel with this film ... I was 7 when it came out, saw it twice in the theaters at the time, and of course have seen it over and over since then. I'm going to get the 40th anniversary DVD soon. You can argue about Dick Van Dyke playing an Englishman, about Julie Andrews being too sweet and young compared to the character in literature, about the fact that the whole thing was obviously shot on a soundstage. But just imagine being 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 or anywhere near there, and not getting out of your small town in the rust belt of the U.S. <more>
except maybe a few times a year on holidays, and you can imagine what seeing this magical, albeit Disneyfied, look at another world must have been like. Every time I see it, I think back to the beautiful old movie theater in which I saw it a block away from the Catholic school I then attended, no less , to getting my mother to buy a certain box of cereal so I could get the Mary Poppins prize inside, to gathering on weekends with cousins to listen to the soundtrack and try to dance like Bert. I've been to London many times since then, but funny enough, as much as the great city has to offer, I've never been able to find that magical place I saw 40 years ago.
Classic film that works on all age levels (by Foux_du_Fafa)
Based on some books by P.L. Travers, "Mary Poppins" tells the story of the Banks family, who are live in Edwardian London. The parents David Tomlinson and Glynnis Johns don't take much notice of their children Jane and Michael, and it is only until a mysterious woman named Mary Poppins Julie Andrews appears from the sky that things begin to change. She works wonders on the family, in particular taking the children on a number of adventures with Bert Dick van Dyke , the local Jack-of-all-trades.Everybody has seen this movie, but I'll review it anyway; it is a bona-fide <more>
classic, not because it is an old film, but because it has endured. The film isn't a dirty picture and will delight the little ones, yet underneath this, there is something for adults to obtain. Just as their kids will, they will love the songs, be blown away by the novelty animated segment and will marvel at the special effects, which hold up even in today's CGI obsessed world. Yet adults will also be able to unlock the endearing layers of the story, which are simultaneously simple and complex and thoroughly beautiful. This film comes recommended time and time again, one of the great features of owning the 40th Anniversary Edition DVD that has a beautifully restored image and lovely bonus features such as a "making of" documentary, original theatrical trailers and vintage footage from the premiere.Possible alternatives: Bedknobs and Broomsticks 1971 , Alice in Wonderland 1951 , My Fair Lady 1964
I don't think it's possible to meet someone who hasn't seen Mary Poppins, it's one of those necessary movies that you see during your childhood. It just lifted your mood with it's cheery songs, beautiful lead actress Julie Andrews and her lovely voice and was just a magical film. But does it stand the test of time, that as adults we could still watch it with that same feeling of being a child? Oh, yeah! I still watch Mary Poppins to this day, how could you resist this wonderful movie? The songs are fantastic, the whole movie is made wonderfully and has fun energetic <more>
characters, some with the worst accents of all time *cough* Dick Van Dyke *cough!*, but that adds much more laughter that is needed for this good time. Mary Poppins will melt it's way into your heart, I promise you.We are introduced to the Banks family, headed by the cold and aloof George Banks and the loving but highly distracted Winifred. Jane and Michael draft their own advertisement asking for a fun, kind-hearted and caring nanny, but Mr. Banks tears up the paper and throws it in the fireplace. Unnoticed, the remains of the note float up the dark chimney. Mary Poppins floats down and enters the residence. As Mr. Banks puzzles, Mary Poppins employs herself and begins work, saying that she will stay for a trial period of one week, before deciding if she will take a permanent position. The children face surprises of their own: Mary possesses a bottomless carpetbag, and makes contents of the children's nursery come to life and tidy themselves by snapping their fingers. They continue on a magical journey with the "practically perfect in every way" nanny as their stuffy father learns how to love and the family reunites together.Mary Poppins is a classic family film that I cannot wait to show my children one day. I still go crazy with energy when "Steppin' Time" comes on the screen, what a great dance number, so filled with life and gives you the best time. "Feed the birds" is one of the most beautiful songs put on film and can make the toughest convict cry like a baby. Julie Andrews is just too wonderful as Mary Poppins and deserved that Oscar rightfully. Dike Van Dyke may have one of the worst accents of all time, but during his scene with "love to laugh" he was just irresistible. He brought such a wonderful time to the film, both he and Julie had great chemistry, they were so charming together. I really have no complaints about the movie, it is a perfect family film that any would could fall in love with at any age. Plus it's against the law if you do not let your children watch Mary Poppins, it's a necessary children's movie.10/10
Lots To Like But A Tad Too Long (by ccthemovieman-1)
It took me 40 years before I finally saw this film, in December 2004 shortly after it had come out on DVD. After the first half hour I thought, "Wow, I can see why this is such a beloved movie" but after that it started to lag in a number of areas and the songs were just too numerous. It seemed to go on way too long. Yet, it's a good film worthy of anyone's collection. In my case, I may just skip over some of the songs, such as Ed Wynn's laughing on the ceiling scene with goes on forever, or Julie Andrews singing the kids to sleep. Condensed a bit, this 139-minute movie <more>
would be more watchable.The DVD transfer is very good: nice rich colors and reasonably sharp for a 40- year-old film. Andrews is wholesomely pretty and Glynis Johns, even with her strange voice, also is appealing. The kids are kind of stupid-looking, as are their parents.The other major character, the chimney sweep played by Dick Van Dyke, is a likable chap, but hard to understand with this cockney impression. However, on the DVD, one can use the English subtitles when he speaks. Van Dyke surprised me with his singing and dancing talent. I didn't know he was that proficient.The movie was one of the first efforts at mixing real life with animation and they did it well. It still holds up today.
Julie is the perfect answer to a dysfunctional household... (by Doylenf)
MARY POPPINS is one of the wittiest and most magical movies Disney ever made, full of boundless energy, inventive wit and on top of all that, a priceless musical score as good as anything one could expect from even a Broadway musical. The chimney sweep number alone is worth the price of admission and songs such as "Chim-Chim-Cheree", "A Spoonful of Sugar" and "Let's Go Fly A Kite" are integrated wisely into whatever sequence they grace. The wistful "Feed the Birds" sung by Julie as birdlady Jane Darwell does just that is one of its nicest <more>
ballads.Furthermore, the comic contributions of DICK VAN DYKE as Bert, the chimney sweep , GLYNIS JOHNS and David TOMLINSON as the confused parents, and a brood of other lively characters, are not to be underestimated.By all means, the kind of family entertainment that will fascinate any child who has ever fantasized about taking magical trips to other places rather than just a trip to the zoo.JULIE ANDREWS fully deserved her Oscar as the world's most wonderful nanny, as popularized in the novels of P.L. Travers. Her success in the role makes it even more of a shame that Jack L. Warner decided not to cast her as Eliza in MY FAIR LADY. However, winning for POPPINS was Julie's trump card.