This is a review for the new 2-disc Disney 40th Anniversary edition of Mary Poppins.
This is one of the best re-releases of this year.The movie is STILL(and will be for years to come) an aural and visual delight and designed for families and people of all ages.
Interweaving a wonderful story with some groundbreaking techniques and special effects Disney took/takes us on a magical ride in a recreated slice of life from 1910.
The story,by now familiar to many,involves the arrival to the Banks household of a nanny(Julie Andrews).In short order she manages to shake the prim and proper Banks household to its Edwardian core and teaches them,especially the "master" of his realm Mr.Banks(David Tomlinson),that there are more important things in life than strict adherence to schedule,rules and blind duty to ones'job.Bert(Dick Van Dyke),a friend to Mary,assists her whenever and wherever he can.
Julie Andrews plays her character with a wonderful reserve befitting the part and she sings beautifully.Whenever Mary gets too stodgy though Bert,played phenomenally by Dick Van Dyke,is always there to ease the atmosphere and put a smile on everyones' face.
The entire cast from the children,the servants to the admiral and the policeman all turn in a superb supporting job from beginning to end.
The restored print and accompanying sound track have been given the deluxe Disney treatment.Visually I have not seen as good a print of this film since I first saw it during its' premier in Toronto in late 1964.The versions I have seen over the years either on TV or on video just don't come close to this one.
My particular benchmark test was the colour and detail of the panoramic view(with special attention to the sky)when they climb the "smoke stairway" and gaze out over a late in the day city of London.
It is stunningly beautiful and was as I remembered it after all this time.That cinched it for me.
Aurally the liner notes tell us that the sound has been remastered into a Dolby 5.1 "Theatre Mix"(the original 2.0 theatrical mix is also included).
The movie never sounded as clean or as good.I couldn't help but to sing and tap my feet to all the numbers.
The set is loaded with a surfeit of extras that will satisfy even the most picky of movie buffs from footage of its' opening premiere in L.A. to a making-of special.
So grab the popcorn,get yourself seated comfortably on the sofa,turn down the lights and slip into the magical world of Mary Poppins like you've never experienced before.
Oh yes a heads up, grab the hankies for the "Feed the Birds" scene/number....you'll need it.