Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) Banks are a pair of typical rich kids, allowed to run amuk and totally out of control. They've successfully driven away their most recent nanny, Katie Nanna (Elsa Lancester), by escaping in the park. Mrs. Banks (Glynis Johns) is so wrapped up in the women's suffrage movement that she can't be bothered to care for the children on her own, and Mr. Banks (David Tomlinson) is quite busy being a high level official at the local bank. The parents determine to place an ad for the perfect nanny, but the children have an ad all their own. Magically, in floats the perfect nanny, Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews), while all the other applicants are mystically blown away by a strange wind.
Mary Poppins is quite impressive and is immediately hired, starting straight away to get the children in order. She teaches them life lessons in song, classic tunes we have all come to know and love, such as "A Spoonful of Sugar" helps the medicine go down, while getting them to happily perform chores. She takes them on magical adventures and introduces them to her dear friend Burt (Dick Van Dyke), who travels with them to tea parties with dancing penguins, and horse races on carousel horses. The lush backgrounds in these magical locales are hand drawn and dreamy, and Disney was a pioneer when it came to infusing live action with animation. This technique absolutely shines in Mary Poppins.
When Mary teaches the children about giving and kindness, it sparks their desire to give some money to the poor "bird lady" and mistakenly causes a huge commotion at the bank when Mr. Banks takes them there for a visit. This untimely event costs him his job, but allows him to rethink what is really important. That's what Mary Poppins is truly all about. Learning what is important in life. Just as quickly as she blows into town, she is gone. But the lessons she taught the Banks family are there forever and so is their love and admiration for her.
While watching this film again, I was surprised to see how many memorable songs come from this movie. I had truly forgotten, although as a child, I had a full collection of Disney records (yes, vinyl!), this one included. Among the special features in Mary Poppins: 45th Anniversary Edition, you'll find a deleted song called "Chimpazoo," as if there isn't already enough music in the film. You'll also learn different things in the featurettes such as the fact that another more dreary song was planned, but Julie Andrews nixed it in favor of "A Spoonful of Sugar." This release has even more special features than Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary Edition, including a really comprehensive set of featurettes on the stage production of Mary Poppins. If you are a huge fan of the film, you will want to see how they bring it to life live. Also included is radio and video footage of the film's release, which is chock full of Hollywood stars of the time, featurettes with Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews and Richard Sherman reminiscing on the song work for the film, plus an animated short that sort of continues Mary Poppins' adventure, a wacky make-up test with Dick Van Dyle and oh so much more!
This movie is pure Disney magic. Ok, I'll say it, since you knew it was coming anyway. It's Supercalifragalisticexpealidocious! There, its out of my system. If you don't already own it for your collection, then definitely buy Mary Poppins: 45th Anniversary Edition. Watching it, I couldn't help but wonder what this film would look like, fully remastered in Blu-ray. The backgrounds used throughout the film have a beautiful, watercolor look to them and I'll bet the movie would absolutely pop in Blu-ray. Here's to hoping they make the jump for the 50th Anniversary or sooner!
Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Edition ClipsMary Poppins Arrives
Spoonful of Sugar