9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins; practically perfect in every way
This is one of those films that has stood the test of time and is still entertaining now as it was 40 years ago. Everyone knows the tale of the magical nanny that blows in on the east wind and into the lives of the Banks family of 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Jane and Michael Banks have had a succession of strict nannies as well as a very strict father and a mother who is always...
Published on Sept. 9 2006 by Ms. H. Sinton
3.0 out of 5 stars Disney Incorrect
Anyone who has a 16x9, widescreen television will be disappointed to discover that the technical information provided by Disney. They released this disc saying that it was in a widscreen ANAMORPHIC format. It is not. It is widscreen (letterbox) but it is not anamorphic so it is distorted when displayed on a widscreen television. It's disappointing because this film is...
Published on June 30 2001 by Doug Dunlap
Most Helpful First | Newest First
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins; practically perfect in every way,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition) (Bilingual 2-Disc Set) (DVD)
This is one of those films that has stood the test of time and is still entertaining now as it was 40 years ago. Everyone knows the tale of the magical nanny that blows in on the east wind and into the lives of the Banks family of 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Jane and Michael Banks have had a succession of strict nannies as well as a very strict father and a mother who is always out with her fellow suffragettes. Mary Poppins brings magic and fun into the children's lives, something that has been sorely lacking prior to her arrival.
Julie Andrews stars as the nanny and Dick Van Dyke as the lovable cockney Bert, (just forgive his dreadful accent) who always seems to be around at the right time for an adventure. The children find themselves having outings such as jumping into a chalk picture into a cartoon world, having a tea-party on a ceiling and dancing across the rooftops of London. Stuffed to the gills with songs such as 'Spoonful of Sugar', 'Chim Chim Cheree', 'Feed the Birds' and 'Jolly Holiday', this will have you tapping your foot throughout.
This 40th anniversary edition is on 2 discs and features lots of extras such as a documentary, commentary, footage of the premieres etc. The quality of print is very high, the colours have never looked so vibrant and the picture is razor sharp. Wonderful stuff.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins-Simply Marvellous!!,
This review is from: Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition) (Bilingual 2-Disc Set) (DVD)
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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins (50th Anniversary Edition blu ray): Great movie, great songs, great video and audio – great for the whole family!,
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This review is from: Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
Mary Poppins pops onto blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.66:1 encode. The digital restoration by Disney is simply fantastic. Grain levels are intact and filmic. Colour reproduction is bright, bold, and accurate - especially the fanciful cartoon sequences. Contrast is dynamic and blacks are inky. Image resolution and details are excellent. Human faces and other clothing textures are impressive. You'll see individual hair follicles, wrinkles, and even makeup effects on the Senior Mr. Dawes. (4.5/5)
Mary Poppins dances and sings its way onto blu ray with a robust English 7.1 DTS-HD MA sound mix. Dialogue is crystal clear and neatly prioritized at all times; effects are crisp and mischievous; and Richard and Robert Sherman's unforgettable songs have quite simply never sounded better, fuller or more engaging. Dynamic range is just average. There are even a few wonderful moments, like exploding fireworks during Step in Time, where all nine channels spring to life with active, almost-aggressive panning, and my two subwoofers thundered. (4.5/5)
In 1965, out of 13 nominations, Mary Poppins won 5 Oscars: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Film Editing, Best Special Visual Effects, Best Original Song (Chim Chim Cher-ee), and Best Original Score (Richard and Robert Sherman). It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Colour Cinematography, Best Set Direction – Colour, Best Costume, Best Sound and Best Music Score.
Mary Poppins has an estimated budget of $6 million, but grossed $102 million, which is phenomenal by today’s standards.
Mary Poppins is a top tier catalog title we've been long waiting to see on blu ray. Thanks to the film's 50th Anniversary and the biopic about the project's development, Saving Mr. Banks, the wait is finally over. The classic live action/musical/animated picture features a stunning video transfer and a lovely multi-channel sound mix. It is a totally enjoyable movie for the entire family. You will sing along with such classics, as Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (I hope I spell it correctly), Feed The Birds and Step in Time. This set is way superior to the 40th Anniversary DVD release, and is highly recommended.
I hope my review is helpful to you.
5.0 out of 5 stars MARY POPPINS – 50th Anniversary Edition  [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] [US Import],
This review is from: Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital] (Bilingual) (Blu-ray)
MARY POPPINS – 50th Anniversary Edition  [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] [US Import] Walt Disney’s Crowning Achievement! Celebrate The 50th Anniversary Of A Disney Classic!
Released from the Walt Disney Vault in celebration of its 50th Anniversary Edition, this beloved classic shines like never before on Blu-ray with an all-new digital restoration. Winner of five Academy Awards®, including Best Actress [Dame Julie Andrews], Best Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Best Visual Effects, ‘Mary Poppins’ is a movie experience your family will enjoy over and over again.
“Practically Perfect In Every Way” Mary Poppins flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert [Dick Van Dyke], the spirited nanny turns every chore into a game and every day into a “Jolly Holiday.” Share the music; share the magic, share the joy of Mary Poppins with a whole new generation for the first time on Disney Blu-ray. The movie received 13 Academy Award® nominations and won 5 Oscars® for Best Actress, Best Song, Best Music Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Special Visual Effects. It also received a special scientific award for the creation and application of Colour Traveling Matte Composite Cinematography, which helped make the combination of live action and animated actors in the film possible.
FILM FACT: ‘Mary Poppins’ was released on August 27, 1964 to universal acclaim, receiving a total of thirteen Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture — an unsurpassed record for any other film released by the Walt Disney Studios and won 5 Awards for Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effects, and Best Original Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee." In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
Cast: Dame Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Reta Shaw, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Elsa Lanchester, Arthur Treacher, Reginald Owen, Ed Wynn, Jane Darwell, Arthur Malet, James Logan, Don Barclay, Alma Lawton, Marjorie Eaton, Marjorie Bennett, Andrew (Dog uncredited), Alan Napier (voice uncredited), J. Pat O'Malley (voice uncredited) and Richard M. Sherman (voice uncredited)
Director: Robert Stevenson
Producer: Walt Disney
Screenplay: Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi and P.L. Travers (based on the "Mary Poppins" books)
Composer: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
Cinematography: Edward Colman
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo [Original Theatrical Mix], French: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Running Time: 139 minutes
Region: Blu-ray: All Regions and DVD: Region A/1
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: “Wind's in the east, mist comin' in. Like something is brewin,' about to begin. Can't put me finger on what lies in store. But I feel what's to happen, all happened before.”
Adapted from a series of books by P.L. Travers, “Mary Poppins” was one of the last projects personally supervised by Walt Disney. Directed by Robert Stevenson, written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, and with music and lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman, this musical is a fantastical, comedic romp about a magical English Nanny who flies into a needful family's life when the wind changes.
Practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins [Dame Julie Andrews], arrives in London to help the Banks family. Children Michael and Jane are mischievous terrors who have gone through six nannies in the last four months. Worse, they have no real relationship with their overly stuffy and strict father, Mr. Banks [David Tomlinson]. With the assistance of her chimney sweep / street artist friend, Bert [Dick Van Dyke], Mary Poppins introduces Michael and Jane to a wondrous world where laughing makes you float, where you can jump into an animated world via sidewalk art, and where chimney sweeps perform elaborate dance numbers on rooftops.
As Mary Poppins changes the world and people around her, Mr. Banks fights to stay stuck in his stuffy ways. Englishmen and bankers must be formal and precise, but Mary Poppins' silly words and infectious spirit slowly breaks down the father, allowing him to see the joys in fully engaging in the lives of his children. A classic film that combines just about every technology innovation developed at Walt Disney Studios... where should we begin our analysis today?
I don't know about you, but simply hearing the 'Mary Poppins' overture on this Blu-ray's main menu instantly makes me feel like a child again. Memories sprang up of tuning in the 'Wonderful World of Disney' on Sunday evenings during the Michael Eisner era where he, in the tradition of Mr. Disney, introduced us to a catalogue of wonderful family films. As a child, these television broadcasts, combined with theatrical re-releases, made the entire Walt Disney catalogue feel new.
Looking at the film today I saw so many new details that my younger-self had never noticed or remembered. As a self-diagnosed story addict, we could have a chat about how little actually happens in the film, or how, during the animated sequences, Michael and Jane simply disappear for great swaths of time to allow Dame Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke to (rightfully) take centre stage. But you know what, our modern conventions, our development process of "rules" could never allow for such a production to be made today.
'Mary Poppins' is a deceptively simple story on purpose. Mary Poppins comes to London and changes one family's life by helping a man become a better father, right? Many family films have a variation on this age old tale. But why? Because in simplicity, in a story anyone can follow, the filmmakers jam packed this classic film with so many genre-bending sequences. Tangents, all of them, designed to slap smiles on our faces as wide as Uncle Albert's and then, at the end, to pull our heart strings when Mary Poppins departs, having succeeded, but seemingly destined to face the world alone.
Basically, 'Mary Poppins' is the perfect film to watch with your family and friends of all ages. In addition to amazing children alike and allowing you to remember your own childhood days (assuming you've been a youngster sometime in the last 50 or so years), 'Mary Poppins' boasts a wonderful sense of innocence and nostalgia that represents, to me at least, a lot of what Walt Disney created in all of his films and theme parks. Walt Disney wanted us to experience the world, if only for a short time, the way most of us only can at the beginnings of our lives. He wanted us to marvel at the wonder of it all. He wanted us to believe in silly things, to laugh and enjoy whatever moments we can without worry. Mary Poppins might not be real? But the film 'Mary Poppins' is best described as a magical experience.
We should probably also talk about what a technological marvel the film truly is. Disney's team of filmmakers assembled a project that truly wouldn't be rivalled, visually, until 'Star Wars' blew audiences' minds. Shot entirely on sound stages, 'Mary Poppins' extends its universe with gorgeous matte paintings (similar to those used in 'Citizen Kane') and numerous instances of optical compositing. To combine live action and animation – something Disney had been doing since his first silent version of 'Alice in Wonderland' – they used the Sodium Vapour Process, aka the "yellow screen process" to create a traveling matte so actors could dance around in just about any background. It was so amazing at the time 'Mary Poppins' premiered; it went on to win an Academy Award in 1965. More than the visual effects, the animation itself is gorgeous and there are numerous practical effects – floating people and animatronic animals – that truly make one of the true technological marvels of 1960s Hollywood.
'Mary Poppins' – thanks to Walt Disney's collaboration with dozens of talented writers and singers and dancers and animators and actors and crew members – is everything Walt Disney did well... all in one project. For those reasons, and many more, it's not only an excellent film to watch and enjoy as often as you please, it's also a really important film for its breakthroughs and as a crowning masterpiece just before the death of one of Hollywood's most influential storytellers.
Blu-ray Video Quality – 'Mary Poppins' – 50th Anniversary Edition rides up the bannister onto Blu-ray with a resplendent 1080p encoded image, framed in the film's original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Digitally restored for high definition, 'Mary Poppins' looks absolutely fantastic on Blu-ray. Grain levels are intact and filmic. Colour reproduction is bright, bold, and accurate -- especially the fanciful cartoon sequences. Contrast is dynamic, and black levels (like the bankers' suits and hats) are decidedly dark. But none of those highlights compare to overall image resolution and detail. Human faces and other clothing textures are impressive. You'll see individual hair follicles, wrinkles, and even makeup effects on the Senior Mr. Dawes. And finally, as far as I could tell, I didn't see a tuppence worth of dirt, scratches, or other damage.
For minor quibbles to discuss, this is some minor ringing around characters in a few shots, and many special effects shots and composites, including the opening title sequence, suffer noticeable resolution drops and grain spikes. Understandable, given the compositing techniques of the day, is not a big problem, overall.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – 'Mary Poppins' dances and sings its way on to Blu-ray with a robust English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix. We have what appears to be an expanded version of the near-field mix created a decade ago. Dialog and singing voices literally take centre stage and are always clear and vibrant. The film's score nicely films out the multichannel soundstage. And there are even a few wonderful moments, like exploding fireworks during "Step in Time", where all eight channels spring to life with active, almost-aggressive panning and thundered surround sound.
In terms of "faults," it's a little quieter than some mixes (simply in terms of what levels I usually set my receiver) and the centre channel might be a little hot compared to the stereo mix. Finally, as we would expect from similar era soundtracks, the dynamic range is a wee bit limited, but that's okay. Alternate audio tracks include 5.1 Dolby Digital mixes in English, French, or Spanish, as well as the "Original Theatrical Mix" in the English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo mix. I can't speak, personally, to how "original" this mix is, but the stereo track is also quite good and doesn't sound noticeably compressed (it even matrixes well in Dolby Pro Logic II).
Post Script: The only thing that truly bothered me about this release was Menu and Sub Menu functionality. To access various language tracks and Special Features, must one endlessly hunt for choices along horizontal lists that aren't very functional. For example, if you click past the last item, you end up at the beginning and have to click all the way through again. Further, getting back to the Main Menu itself can be a bit of a chore. Surprising in this day and age, but if anyone from Walt Disney Home Entertainment is reading this; I would personally suggest avoiding this particular menu structure in favour of something more versatile.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Becoming Mr. Sherman [1080p] [14:00] Goes behind-the-scenes of director John Lee Hancock's ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ which stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as "Mary Poppins" author P. L. Travers. Actor Jason Schwartzman sits down with Mary Poppins' Richard M. Sherman to discuss the classic film's music and lyrics. Sherman in turn shares his memories of Poppins' troubled pre-production and discusses Schwartzman's portrayal of him in Hancock's film.
Mary-Oke [1080p] [Dolby Digital Stereo] [8:00] Sing along with "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Step in Time" and "Chim Chim Cher-ee" with this karaoke-style feature.
Classic DVD Bonus Features: The Blu-ray edition of Mary Poppins also includes most every previously released bit of supplemental content from past releases. Extras include:
Audio Commentary: Composers and lyricists Richard and Robert Sherman and actors Dame Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins), Dick Van Dyke (Bert/Mr. Dawes Sr.) and Karen Dotrice (Jane Banks) reminisce about the film and its production, commenting on the challenges they faced, the fun they had and the magic they helped make. The only downside is that all five participants aren't together in the same room; Dame Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke cosy up, but Karen Dotrice and Richard Sherman are paired up and recorded separately, while Robert Sherman is by his lonesome. It's only a small complaint, though. The carefully compiled track is entertaining and engaging no matter who's speaking, and Dame Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are an absolute joy to listen to.
Disney on Broadway [SD] [55:00] Next up is a 48 minute documentary: "Mary Poppins From Page to Stage," an overview of the film's Broadway adaptation with producer/President Disney Theatrical Productions Thomas Schumacher and performers Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Gavin Lee (Bert) and a 7 minute feature, "Step in Time," with Broadway composer George Stiles.
Backstage Disney [SD] [113:00] Eight additional spoonfuls of supplemental sugar are also available: 51-minute documentary "The Making of Mary Poppins," vintage red carpet features "The Gala World Premiere" and "The Gala World Premiere Party," kid-friendly special effects mini-doc "Movie Magic," two "Deconstruction of a Scene" features ("Jolly Holiday" and "Step in Time"), a "Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test" and a "Publicity" roundup with original trailers, re-issue trailers and TV spots.
Music & More [1080p and SD] [52:00] Four music-themed extras: 17 minute retrospective "A Magical Musical Reunion Featuring Dame Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Richard Sherman" [SD]. Deleted song "Chimpanzoo" [SD]. "Disney Song Selection" suite [1080p] [7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio], and a "Movie Sing-Along" track.
Bonus Short: The Cat that Looked at a King [SD] [10:00] In this 2004 live-action/animated short, Dame Julie Andrews leads two children into a chalk drawing and tells them the story of a talking cat, a knowledge-obsessed king and the arrogant ruler's neglected queen.
Finally, without question, Walt Disney's ‘Mary Poppins’ has remained a perennial firm favourite during the last half-century, thanks in large part to Julie Andrews' career-defining performance and the Sherman Brothers' memorable songs. The film holds its own some fifty years past its prime, Dame Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are fantastic and fantastically fun, the songs are treasures in and of themselves, and the age of the production has little bearing on the end result. Fortunately, Disney's Blu-ray release is deserving of the title "definitive." The film holds its own some fifty years past its prime, Andrews and Van Dyke are fantastic and fantastically fun, the songs are treasures in and of themselves, and the age of the production has little bearing on the end result. Fortunately, Walt Disney's Blu-ray release is deserving of the title "definitive." This 50th Anniversary Blu-ray is anchored by a fantastic A/V presentation, and a generous selection of supplemental materials, there aren't any downsides or drawbacks to be found. Add ‘Mary Poppins’ to your Blu-ray collection post haste, as it is an honour to have such a beautiful magical film added to my ever increasing Walt Disney Blu-ray Collection and reacquaint yourself with the magic of one of Walt Disney's most treasured classics, live-action or otherwise. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins for a new generation,
This review is from: Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Edition (DVD)
I ordered this 45th anniversary edition of Mary Poppins for my pre-school grandson, to see if he would delight in the scenes as much as his parents, his aunts, and his grandparents had done. The magic is still there, even for a kid exposed to the docile renderings on the Treehouse cable network. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke perform at the top of their game. The chimney sweepers fill the rooftops better than any computer-generated hocus-pocus.
The second disc in this set takes viewers behind the scenes of the recent Broadway production of Mary Poppins. This is a revelation that theatre-goers will love. Not everyone will enjoy the lengthy conversations about adapting the screenplay to the stage. Likewise,pointing out the distinctions between the original texts in England and the Disney version may seem somewhat academic if one is not familar with the books themselves. However, for those people who love this kind of exploration, the second disc is a marvel. Best of all, the disc contains a video version of the stage play's chimney scene, in which the actor climbs the proscenium arch and walks upside down across the top of the stage- spectacular!
I loved the movie the first time around. My three children loved watching it at home on video. Now our little David is enchanted. Hooray for Mary Poppins!
5.0 out of 5 stars truly magical,
A film by Robert Stevenson
"Mary Poppins" is one of the most beloved movies of all time, and for good reason. This truly is a magical film. It is a mixture of live action and animation and is a wonderful musical and is quite possibly the perfect family film. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards and it was the winner of 5, including Best Actress for Julie Andrews in her feature film debut.
"Mary Poppins" is the story of, well, Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews). Mary Poppins is the new nanny for Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Matthew (Michael Garber) Banks. As a nanny, Mary Poppins is "practically perfect". She floats down from the sky holding on to an umbrella and convinces George Banks (David Tomlinson) to give her the job as the nanny. George is flustered by Mary and of course he gives her the job. The lives and experiences of the children are about to change because there is something magical about Mary. With a song and a dance amazing things happen around Mary. She can clean up a room with nothing more than a snap of the fingers and can take a journey into a picture drawn with chalk on a sidewalk.
"Mary Poppins" perfectly mixes animation (the penguin waiters!) and live action to create a magical world that is an incredible change from the London that Jane and Matthew think they know. There are excellent acting performances and the over the top Dick Van Dyke is charming in how sweet he is. The whole movie is sweet, charming, funny, and fantastic. This is a highly recommended musical for the whole family
5.0 out of 5 stars Though her words are simple and few, listen, listen...,
...she's calling to you.
In my mind, this movie is the reason why Disney is great. The rest of them - however good many of them may be - don't hold a candle (on the water) to this wonderful Disney masterpiece. This is easily my favorite Disney movie ever and one of my favorite movies of all time.
One of the things I love most about this movie is the fact that there's plenty of entertainment here for children; but there's also a lot of humor for adults. So, when the children grow up, they can have just as much, if not more, appreciation for the film. I love the way the satire starts out. Mrs. Banks comes home from her Sister Suffragettes Rally, shouting and singing for women's rights and equality with men
("Though we adore men individually,
We agree that as a group
They're rather stupid.").
Then Mr. Banks comes home from work singing about the pleasures of being a man in this age in England:
"It's grand to be an Englishman in 1910.
King Edward's on the throne;
It's the age of men!
I'm the lord of my castle!
I still love the thought of a house which sports a naval cannon deck on top. And I have to confess when I was a child I did try the finger snap to see if it would get my room clean. (It didn't work, so I just grew up in a messy room.)
The fantastic acting performances by Julie Andrews (who received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress - back in the days when the person who won was usually the person who deserved to win), the children, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynnis Johns, Jane Darwell (though her part was very small), and the rest - cannot be overstated. I have already said that this is Disney's best film. Well, it is also boasts the finest acting ever in a Disney film.
I highly recommend purchasing this in the Widescreen format. You will see a lot more of the picture than in the standard format. Unfortunately, the widescreen version is out of print (you can still buy them used; that's how I got mine); and it looks like the standard version may also be going out of print soon. Hopefully, that means there will be a special deluxe edition with both formats, documentaries, commentaries, etc. coming out soon.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Poppins is Movie Magic!,
By A Customer
Mary Poppins, released in 1964, is perhaps the most famous and magical movie ever released by Walt Disney. Based on the character and books by P.L. Travers, it captured the public's imagination in much the same way as The Sound of Music did a year later. It tells the story of Jane and Michael Banks who write an advertisement for "The Perfect Nanny", attract the attention of Mary Poppins and end up in a whole new world of fantastic adventure. Even now it has a visual inventiveness and imagination that is both remarkable given the period in which it was made and far more appealing than many of the digitized special effects predominant in films today.
For instance, the scene of the new Nanny tidying Jane and Michael's nursery with a snap of the fingers is a pure enchantment; toy soldiers march back into their box and a dolls house is put back in order. Also the look of total disbelief on a Maids face as Nanny and children go sliding down the banister on their way to the park is a delight. The "Jolly Holiday" in the country fantasy sequence is also a masterful combination of animation and live action.
Julie Andrews once again is excellent in the title role giving a winning performance as the very British Nanny who is "practically perfect in every way". Here she sings some of the scores most well loved songs and also won an Oscar for her efforts. Her co-star Dick Van Dyke is given ample scope to display his amazing versatility, playing no less than three roles in the movie including his most well known and loved as Bert, the Chimney Sweep (and pavement artist) and Uncle Albert who enjoys having tea parties on the ceiling. David Tomlinson as Mr. Banks is suitably stuffy, later softening and becoming more comfortable in his Fatherly role with the help of "That Poppins woman". Glynis Johns as Mrs Banks is also wonderfully dizzy but quietly determined not to be the compliant appendage by fighting for her cause as "Sister Suffragette".
In addition, the melodic score by the Sherman brothers contains many popular songs that nearly everyone knows by heart including A Spoonful of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ( what a mouthful!), Feed the Birds, Chim Chim Cher-ee and I Love to Laugh. The DVD includes some great options such as Sing Along With the Movie, footage of the Hollywood Premiere attended by Walt Disney and the films stars and a documentary about creating the films magic. Mary Poppins prevails as one of the all time great movie musical classics and it's not hard to see why.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Movie for All Ages,
By A Customer
MARY POPPINS was a favorite of mine as a child, but oddly enough, I enjoy it even more now that I'm an adult. Like most great children's stories, this one deals with serious issues -- like childhood loneliness and neglect -- in a warm and light-hearted way. Julie Andrews is simply perfect as the governess of the title: prim and proper yet fun-loving, too. Her singing voice is in its golden prime here, making a musical treat of each of her songs. Dick van Dyke's Bert is good-natured and fun; the role displays all of van Dyke's many talents: acting, comedy, mime, singing, and dancing. David Tomlinson is totally believable as Mr. Banks, the stern father who finally learns to appreciate his children. The reason Tomlinson's performance is so convincing is that there is a certain absent-mindedness -- even silliness -- about him even when he is strict, so that it's not so very far-fetched that he would suddenly want to take off from work to "go fly a kite." The Banks children, Jane and Michael (Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber), are also totally convincing -- as someone else wrote, they are real children and not "cute moppets." Ed Wynn, with that bubbly giggle that itself suggests someone who floats, is cleverly cast as Mary's Uncle Albert, who suffers from "chronic laughter," making sheer delight of the tea party-on-the-ceiling scene, in which Jane and Michael learn how to laugh and enjoy themselves. (This was the second of two Disney movies in which Wynn's character gave an eccentric tea party; the first, of course, was ALICE IN WONDERLAND.) The movie is filmed in glorious technicolor, with lush settings that delight the eye as they evoke Edwardian London. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the score, which is simply the finest ever written for a Disney musical. ("Feed the Birds, Tuppence a Bag" is one of my favorite songs ever, and it is obvious why "Chim-Chimeree" won an Oscar). MARY POPPINS is a must-see for children -- or for any adult who wants to revisit childhood with its simplicity and fun.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Nanny triumphs over the Governess,
The first thing you notice about this movie is that Julie Andrews shines. She looks young, happy and a darn sight prettier than in The Sound of Music. She either put everything she had into the part of Mary Poppins, or had a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time playing her. This role was obviously tailor-made for Julie Andrews and nobody else.
The second thing you appreciate is the subtitles option, which is the only way you can understand what Bert is saying half of the time, unless you're a cockney, or know one to translate for you.
Some of the British terms are quite unusual, and will fly over the heads of most.
Other little comments:
I thought the housekeeper stole the scenes she was in - really funny stuff
Some of the songs went on a bit too long for short attention spans.
In the chalk sceneries, Mary Poppins tells the children not to fall and smudge the paintings, but Bert kneels down in his white trousers and they remain immaculate. (Not complaining, just something I noticed)
There are a lot of songs you know, that you didn't know came from this movie.
Great visual effects for the time, great acting by everybody, sing-a-long quality music, a highly entertaining classic movie for all ages. Buy it and learn to speak cockney with Bert.
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Mary Poppins by Robert Stevenson (VHS Tape - 2002)