An eccentric millionaire and his grandchildren are embroiled in the plights of some forest gnomes who are searching for the rest of their tribe. While helping them, the millionaire is ... See full summary »
The movie combines songs, color and sequences of live action blended with the movements of animated figures. Mary Poppins is a kind of Super-nanny who flies in with her umbrella in response to the request of the Banks children and proceeds to put things right with the aid of her rather extraordinary magical powers. Written by
Originally Walt Disney had considered Mary Martin, Bette Davis and Angela Lansbury for the part of Mary Poppins based on the cold characterization portrayed in the P.L. Travers books. The Walt Disney Studio (with the Shermans and co-writer Don DaGradi acting as the studio's sort-of 'advance' team) first considered 'Julie Andrews' after seeing her on Ed Sullivan's The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) in January 1961 do excerpts from 'Camelot', the show she was appearing in on Broadway. About a month later, Walt Disney himself went to New York, caught the show, and sounded out Julie backstage after the show. (The show was of double interest to Disney because his The Sword in the Stone (1963) animated feature was based on the first book of T.H. White's "The Once and Future King." "Camelot" was based on the 4th book of the same novel.) It was at that February 1961 backstage meeting that Disney first sounded Andrews out, including inviting Julie's husband at the time, designer Tony Walton, to check things out in California relative to doing "Mary Poppins". While there was an open offer to Andrews, she of course, did not commit until the day after Warner Brothers announced that Audrey Hepburn would be doing My Fair Lady (1964) for them. See more »
When Mary uses the tape measure on herself, she holds the tape horizontally to read it, however the close up shows the tape vertically with the words oriented that way. See more »
All right, ladies an' gents! Comical poem! Suitable for the occasion, extemporized and thought up before your very eyes! All right, 'ere we go!
Room 'ere for everyone. Gather around.
The constable - responstable! Now 'ow does that sound?
[dashes over to Miss Lark, sings]
'Ello, Miss Lark, I've got one for you.
[...] See more »
In the end credit cast list, the actor playing Mr. Dawes, Sr. is initially shown as NAVCKID KEYD, then the letters unscramble themselves to show that this is a second role played by Dick Van Dyke. See more »
Julie's film debut began the world's love affair with her--and what a marvelous vehicle for doing so. Julie appears here in fine voice and is radiantly beautiful.
The performance is more than deserving of the Oscar, especially considering that she had to act to blue screens and objects/characters from within her imagination. No easy task, certainly.
I also love the way Julie, as Mary, refuses to acknowledge the free-for-all that is going on around her. She simply pushes her hair primly back in place and presses on, despite the dancing chimney sweeps and giggling uncles that surround her. "I never explain anything," she blithely comments.
The score is one of my favorites in all the Disney canon. The Sherman brothers outdid themselves with "Stay Awake," one of the most under-appreciated lullabys ever written, and the hauntingly winsome "Feed the Birds."
The Disney animators have created a visual feast as bottomless and surprising as Mary Poppins' carpetbag. The Peter Ellenshaw matte shots are breathtaking. My favorite visual moments? Bert and Mary's live-action reflections in a pond are eddied by a family of cartoon geese. I also love when Bert, Mary, and the children ascend a staircase constructed only of chimney smoke. Brilliant!
There are a few drawbacks: The film's a little over-long, especially in the final third where Mary's but an afterthought in all the plot resolution. In addition, Van Dyke was an excellent choice for his singing and dancing (and popularity), but his cockney accent does grate after a while.
But all in all, this is a tour de force for all involved!
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