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Mary Poppins More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Excellent Disney, One of my favorite Films

Author: Theflyace from United States
3 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mary Poppins is one of those films that works on every level its been given. This was the film that Walt Disney dedicated most of his life and career to get made. He and his exceptional team of geniuses lifted the characters and some story from P.L. Travers' decent books and transformed it into something that will stand the test of time.

The story is about the dysfunctional Banks family in Edwardian London. The children Jane and Michael are rambunctious and keep annoying nannies out of the house. The parents, George and Winifred, are good people but are way too focused on their profession and causes to notice that the kids just want their love. Then comes Mary Poppins on her flying umbrella. She is a sweet but still stern lady who takes the kids on these whimsical adventures and sings catchy songs. But she's there for more than that (something way deeper), she is there to help mend the broken family.

What makes great characters is a great cast, and that movie has it all. Julie Andrews (in her film debut) gives one of the best heroines ever put to screen. it is interesting how her character is never quite clear in her motivations, but that is also a great trait of her character. Andrews is "practically perfect in every way." Dick Van Dyke gives a very funny and at times touching performance as her jack-of-all-trades cockney companion Bert. David Tomlinson gives possibly one of my favorite performances in any movie as Mr. Banks. You see his journey over the course of the film and the moment is beautiful when he realizes that his kids and his wife are more important than what his bosses (played memorably by Arthur Malet and Dick van Dyke in heavy makeup) at the bank tell him and what he thought was important. And Glynis Johns gives a funny performance as the chipper suffragette Mrs. Banks.

The story and score are something to behold. This is one of the best thought out of any Disney movie before or since (except Beauty and the Beast) Writers Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi concocted a story full of whimsy, sweetness, and surprisingly, very good drama. And then the Sherman Brother's score adds to the timeless quality of the film. There are showstoppers ("Supercalifragilistiexpialidocious" and "A Spoonful of Sugar") but the ones I like are either subtle or just fun to watch and listen to, "Step in Time, "A Man has Dreams," and the best song of the movie "Feed the Birds" (which features a great cameo by the great Jane Darwell) The song gives away Mary Poppins' message, which is that the small things in life are important, and family love is the ultimate gift for any person young or old. The man who also held this all together and mixed them in a beautiful way was long time Disney director Robert Stevenson, knowing just when to blend lightness and whimsy with pathos and drama.

Then there are the special effects. This is one of the first movies I saw where I was blown away (even as a little kid) because i thought it was all real. It's one of those films that uses special effects to tell the story, not to distract the viewer. Nowhere is this more evident than artist Peter Ellenshaw's masterpiece matte paintings. They are warm and nostalgic, and also thoroughly convincing. The animated sequence is fun too, with the waiter penguins being the best part of that whole adventure

This is Walt Disney's best film, and was hailed as such when it premiered in August 1964. His fingerprints were all over this film too, as he made really good contributions to the story and characters (he was the one who made the animated waiters Penguins, Brilliant!)

The reviews and box office numbers were all outstanding. Then it was nominated for a staggering 13 Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and won 5 Oscars, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews. Regrettably it did not win Best Picture, but it still has endured forever in the hearts and minds of children and adults who have seen it.

Like the title of my review suggests, this is one of my all time favorite movies. And this is one of the films that inspired my interest in filmmaking, and one I will always look to with affection. I will be watching this many more times, and never get tired of it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Disney's Finest Achievement

Author: donjeffries from United States
27 August 2013

Walt Disney was one of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century. He left a legacy behind filled with classic, unforgettable films like "Show White," "Sleeping Beauty" and "101 Dalmatians." With "Mary Poppins," however, he reached his zenith and produced perhaps the greatest musical ever made, a beautiful film for both adults and children.

While the movie doesn't exactly do justice to the wonderful P.L. Travers' books, its originality and charm is as magical as Mary Poppins herself. Julie Andrews is perfect for the title role; pretty but cold and firm. Dick Van Dyke really shines here as Bert the chimney sweep; it's perhaps the only time he was allowed to display the full extent of his prodigious talents. Andrews and Van Dyke clearly have a great chemistry together.

Disney filled "Mary Poppins" with top notch character actors, like Reta Shaw, Elsa Lanchester, Arthur Treacher and Ed Wynn. Reginald Owen is a treat as Admiral Boom, along with Jane Darwell as the old lady behind one of the many unforgettable songs in the film, "Feed The Birds." Glynis Johns is cute as a very innocent suffragette, and David Tomlinson plays the role of distracted father/crusty banker to the hilt.

But it's the songs that really make "Mary Poppins" so special. Every Baby Boomer knows them by heart; my personal favorite is the soaring (no pun intended), "Let's Go Fly A Kite." The film deserved all the accolades and praise it earned, and it remains one of the finest films in motion picture history.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

"Mary Poppins", practically perfect in every way. Couldn't have put it any better myself.

Author: Chris Mizerak
21 July 2013

I have to admit that it's rather miraculous that I'm able to remember a few of the first movies that I've ever seen as a child. I am able to recall seeing Disney films like "Cinderella" (1950) and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) for the first time at an early age. So it's no surprise that I'm still able to recall seeing "Mary Poppins" (1964) for the first time at a young age and remembering how special an experience it was. What makes it all the more memorable is that I still enjoy "Mary Poppins" looking back at it as an adult just as much as I did when I saw it as a kid. In my opinion, that's the key ingredient regarding what makes a children's film timeless in the first place.

We follow an unhappy British family led by Mr. and Mrs. Banks (David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns, respectively) during the 1910s that are looking to hire a new nanny after their most recent one (Elsa Lanchester) quit. What they get is a magical nanny by the name of Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews in her amazing, Oscar-winning theatrical debut) who changes the entire family's lives forever. The kids (Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber) are taken on adventures beyond their wildest dreams such as jumping into chalk drawings, cleaning their room with the snap of their fingers, and other similar outings which are more magical than they sound. Joining with them on their adventures is an upbeat jack-of- all-trades by the name of Bert (Dick Van Dyke in a highly enjoyable performance). This film basically covers Mary's time with the family until the "wind changes direction", both literally and metaphorically.

What's fascinating about the story for "Mary Poppins" is that it teaches lessons not only to children, but also to adults. In its own unique way, it tells every family to meet in the middle between what the children expect from their parents and what the parents expect from their children. That means that parents should be more understanding of their children's playfulness and children should only have so much of a good thing. That's exactly the type of family dynamic that Mary Poppins tries to teach the entire Banks family through her own mysterious yet somehow smart actions. It is a profound and meaningful dynamic for any family to learn and strive for, and it's one crucial reason why "Mary Poppins" remains an original and unique family picture almost 50 years since it first came out.

Looking back at it again, I just picked up on how funny, witty and charming this movie truly is. At times, the humor bares comparison with some of the greatest comedies of the 20th century like "Duck Soup" (1933) and "Modern Times" (1936). Other times, I was displaying an affectionate smile either for the terrific lines of dialogue made possible by writers Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, or recalling just how cool and charming every scene is. Remember the scene with Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn) floating up in the air because he's laughing so hard? Remember the chimney sweeps, including Bert, doing some dangerous dancing on the rooftops? This film contains one great scene after another and at a running time of more than 2 hours, it all moves exceedingly well. If that isn't a compliment to Walt Disney's master storytelling skills, I don't know what is.

I briefly mentioned earlier that this was Julie Andrews' acting debut as the main character Mary Poppins. Considering that she won an Oscar for her first performance, it's an impressive way to start out her career. Between her superb singing skills, her comfort in the role, and her overall excellent delivery, I can definitely see why she earned the Oscar. I know Dick Van Dyke received criticism for his British accent, but to be brutally honest, I never saw the problem because I don't know anything about true Cockney accents. I honestly loved Dick Van Dyke in this movie regardless. I thought he had charm and wit to spare, he worked very well with the kids, he always had a positive attitude, he was highly entertaining overall. Even David Tomlinson is outstanding as Mr. Banks. For me, this is the strict parental figure done right. He may be able to tolerate the playfulness of his children for a very limited time, but the filmmakers still made a likable character out of him and somehow make his stubbornness funny.

I think we all know how great the music and songs written by Richard and Robert Sherman are here. We all remember the song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and the meaning of that unorthodox word. It's practically a word that's used when there's nothing else to say. How do you like that? There's a reason why this film is one of the only 2 Disney movies to be on the list of the AFI's 25 Greatest Musicals. The fact that it's filled with timeless songs such as "A Spoonful of Sugar", "I Love to Laugh" and the Oscar-winning "Chim Chim Cheree" should explain enough. They're cheerful, they're memorable, they're catchy, the songs and music are everything you could ask for from a musical.

"Mary Poppins" easily takes its place amongst the finest films that Disney has ever put out. The story flows very well at 139 minutes and the fact that it moves more efficiently than most films of that running time is further proof of Mr. Disney's superb talents as a storyteller. The music, the acting, the characters, the writing and even some of the special effects all come together in a wonderful family film that is "practically perfect in every way".

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! You expected something different maybe?

Author: Steven Torrey from United States
27 March 2012

I saw this movie when it came out in 1964 at age 19. I thought it was excellent then, memorable, and sad. What, with Mary Poppins flying off at the end of the movie.

At 66, and having been a parent myself (of a daughter who is herself a parent) ... I learn that the most important responsibility people have is to their children, for their children. Being there for them, giving them something to meet life head on, and so they can be 'successful' at life.

Pity the parents who have a 13 year old alcoholic, or drug addict; oftentimes--in fact, many times--it's not the fault of the parents but the child has a self-destructive bent. But parents are expected to give that spoon full of sugar to help the bitter medicine {of life) go down... And giving children the gift of music as lively as this is no small gift. Raising children is the most important responsibility parents/grown ups have; at the end of the movie Mr and Mrs Banks learn that thanks to their Nanny, Mary Poppins--her job is done and she can leave them to the task of being a family.

There is a moral to the movie MARY POPPINS. The story moves seamlessly from song, to dialog, to dancing. When Jane Darwell urges tuppence a bag to feed the birds, there is no more gorgeous and evocative ballad than 'Feed the Birds'. But the ballad propels the story further into different layers. The tuppence Mr Banks wants invested in the bank is what Michael wants to spend on making pigeons fat--a point many viewers would heartily agree with. But the dictum was put forth with Chekhov: If there is a gun on the table in the first act, it had better go off soon. And that's what the movie does with no effort and accretion of detail--like 'Feed the Birds'--to tell a story with a profound moral.

With the internet seemingly giving people permission to engage in the most outrageous behavior and offering no checks,this movie gives to children something vastly different and better. When values of 2012 seem to reject any value system, this movie asserts that parents--people who are flawed--still have responsibility to give their children values that will see them through life's struggle. So they can pass on to their children a set of values that will see them through life's struggle, so that they...

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The First Movie I Ever Liked

Author: kenbarr-ny from United States
10 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Mary Poppins" was the first movie I sat through as a child, aged 6. Previous to that, I would cry loudly at just a bout every movie my parents took me to, including "Fantasia." I developed such a crush and Julie Andrews that I sang falsetto just to sound like her. The whole thing just found the right spot with me, from Mary flying in on her umbrella, through my favorite song from the movie "Tuppence a Bag (Feed The Birds)" to the end when Mary flew out over London. I have had two cats named "Tuppence" (the present one was adopted and was already named "Chirp," therefore he is now called "Tuppence-Chirp." I wore out my VHS copy so now I have the DVD. It was one of my daughter's favorites from the time she started watching movies, although she never acted up the way I did at her age. Dick Van Dyke's accent never bothered me, even after I lived in London for three years and heard all the jokes about it. Later on, when I heard that Ms. Andrews did "Mary" after she was not cast as Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady," I felt grateful to the MFL makers for their decision, misguided though it was. I will always have a spot in my heart for "Mary Poppins," the movie that broke through my childhood resistance.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Ideal Christmas Viewing

Author: kiwi43 from New Zealand
24 December 2011

This was shown on NZ TV on Christmas morning, without ads, & I saw it for the first time since 1964. What a treat it was - no need to sit & watch everything (perhaps it was a bit longer than necessary), but some wonderful moments and great music in the background. I had forgotten just how beautiful Julie Andrews looked, and her voice was so pure. My only complaint was Dick VAn Dyke's accent, but his dancing was superb. Am planning a trip to DVD store to get a copy for when the grandchildren come to stay. This and the musical of Oliver (another recent TV treat)are so much more entertaining and memorable than the modern kids' movies.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining and heartwarming.

Author: Mightyzebra from Scotland
7 September 2007

Genre: Family film with real people, Julie Andrews, musical, positive feeling.

Main characters: Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews), Bert (Dick van Dyke), Jane and Michael.

What happens: Jane and Michael need a nanny, after their last one went off in huff. What Mr. Banks doesn't expect is a nanny arriving responding to an advert he tore up and threw in the fireplace..!

My thoughts: This is a very lovely film, charming for both children and adults. You are likely to enjoy the songs, the actors or/and the story. Those who have read the book/s may think of this as a little bit of a mess of P.L Travers's work, but of course if you haven't read them then you will definitely think otherwise. This film also has a good amount of humour, performed mainly by Julie Andrews and Glynnis John ( :-) ).

Whatever you have read the book or not, you will love this film in at least one little way or another. If you do not, then I am sorry that I have failed you and maybe you like horror films or something like that. If I have not, then I am glad you enjoyed this and maybe then you will be interested in reading the book.

Recommended to: Families and people who like musicals. Enjoy! :-)

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

I just rediscovered the magic!

Author: Camoo from United States
5 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, it was years since I had seen this as a kid, and I was totally floored at the intelligence, wit, and visual effort that went into this movie. Mary Poppins contains a rare, universal joy that is accessible to people from all cultures, of all ages, and asks the viewer for nothing in return except to sit and enjoy it! There are so many inventive images; from Mary traveling on a cloud, to the nannies being blown away by the wind, to the penguins and carousels...Like the Wizard of Oz, it's all such a tremendous, beautifully choreographed, never-ending feat of collaborative creativity, the likes of which come out of Hollywood once or twice every generation.. Really, why don't people make films like this anymore? Recently I've been re-watching many of Stevensons other pictures, which are extraordinary creations; Bedknobs and Broomsticks and the Absent Minded Professor are similarly wonderful.

A lot can be learned (and remembered) by watching a film like this... I hope people revisit it as I did and recapture some of that joy felt in childhood when the possibilities of flying horses, magic potions, and talking penguins were all made real by seeing something like Mary Poppins..

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: nijt12 from Netherlands
14 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the few movies that is completely timeless. Generations will grow up with this movie and it will never get bored. Let's face it; who's never heard of Mary Poppins? Who's never heard of the songs 'feed the birds' or 'stay awake'? Beautifully written and how about that 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocius'? Whoever thought of that just had a brilliant fantasy. Speaking of that great fantasy... Jumping into a drawing on the pavement and entering a peaceful, heavenly park where anything is possible. Amazing! The actors themselves are doing an awesome job. I think it's a mixture of that great music, the acting and the set that makes this movie one of my all time favorites.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the Greatest Ever Family Films

Author: de_niro_2001 from scotland
4 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I never saw this film in its entirety as a child. I saw it yesterday and I've been an adult for a fair while now. It's wonderful. Dick Van Dyke knows full well he will never be asked to make a guest appearance on East Enders but forget about his much derided cockney accent. He's great. At the end when the credit is given for the actor playing Mr Dawes Snr I thought "What nationality is that? Czech? Serbian?". I laughed when the letters rearranged themselves to form Dick Van Dyke's name. That's what the film's all about. It makes you feel good from beginning to end. I will admit that if I was up on the ceiling with Uncle Albert I would groan and fall to the ground with an almighty crash when I heard Bert's jokes but I agree with the basic message. There's a lot to be said for laughter. Everybody does very well in the film. The special effects in the film look primitive now and when you see the robins (who cares that they're American robins in London) you can see how much animatronics have advanced. But this is a film that should never be remade. Ms Andrews has made the role her own and the actresses that have played Mary Poppins in the stage versions of recent years have all been in the Julie Andrews mould. If you never saw this film as a kid see it now!

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