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. Walt Disney Pictures (with songwriters Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman 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 fourth book of the same novel). It was at that February 1961 backstage meeting that Disney first sounded Andrews out, including inviting her 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 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 and the children are sliding down the stairs, the equipment rolling along with them is visible. 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 »
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. 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.
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