on September 9, 2006
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.
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.
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.
on June 30, 2001
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 one of Walt Disney's crowning achievements and it's too bad that they didn't put it out in the best possible format.
on November 1, 2015
This concerns the 50th Anniversary Edition (blu-ray). This is another of my "feel good" movies. This movie has been digitally restored and looks nice, although it shows its age more than other restored movies, probably because of the source material, which contains a lot of special effects and animation. Still the images are sharper on the blu-ray than the DVD. This edition contains both the blu-ray and the DVD versions.
The menu which loops a sequence from the movie, looks very nice on the blu-ray, ugly on the DVD (someone at Disney needs glasses). Once you put the disk on the player be ready to press "skip" because you will be bombarded with crappy ads! Does anyone actually watch these things?
The box mentions a making-of documentary, although I can't find it anywhere.
on August 26, 2010
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!
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.
on April 26, 2003
This is a comical satire on utilitarian precision and propriety : the children rather need more playtime and more imagination. In short, they need everything Mary Poppins, the young and charmingly loving witch brought to Bank's children.
The film was shot just a few years before The Sound of Music. The rhythm of this film is quite slow and it's more like a play without much settings/background and, it's long. From the today's children's point of view, the scene about bank management board or even the bird-feeding woman may not be very inviting.
Having said that, this is still a marvelous movie. Children would like the one man band played by the chimney sweeper. Mary Poppins part was wonderful. Even Mr Bank and his so-called woman-liberalizing wife and or the captain next door are all such a big humour. Yes, there is also the tongue twister... Now that Harry Potter, The Worst Witch are so popular, winds are certainly blowing Mary Poppins' way too. I rank this next to The Sound of Music.
on February 13, 2003
In 1964, Walt Disney Pictures, under the directorship of Robert Stevenson, released what became a timeless, musical, fantasy called "Mary Poppins". Starring Julie Andrews as the mysterious & magical Mary Poppins, the film is a fictional account of a dysfunctional family living in London circa 1910. The father, George W. Banks (David Tomlinson, who played Emelius Browne in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" in 1971), is obsessed with his job at a prestigious Fidelity Fiduciary Bank and with maintaining a professional atmosphere at all times at home. The mother, Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns, whose film career began in 1938), is preoccupied with demonstrating as a suffragette and maintaining a clean home. Their young children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber, who died at the young age of 21 in 1977), are allowed minimal time with their parents, who prefer to have a nanny look after and raise their children for them. Unfortunately, Jane and Michael rarely like any of their nannies, who regularly quit after the children do something mischievous to each of them. Also working for Mr. & Mrs. Banks are the maid Ellen (Hermione Baddeley, who played Mrs. Cratchit in the 1951 classic "Scrooge") and the cook Mrs. Brill (Reta Shaw, who played in "Pollyanna" in 1960 and "The Ghost & Mr. Chicken" in 1966), neither of which have the time or the desire to look after Jane and Michael.
Following the departure of yet another nanny, George decides to hire an appropriate nanny himself. Jane and Michael write their own advertisement for a nanny, but George regards their innocent description as rubbish as he intends to find a nanny that will uphold his every professional expectation. Mysteriously, the children's advertisement, that George tossed out, comes to Mary Poppins. When a very lengthy line of perspective nannies are seen at the Banks' front door early one morning, all of them are blown away by a strong wind. Coming down from the sky via an umbrella is the magical Mary Poppins. Expecting a rush of perspective nannies to race through the door, only Mary Poppins waits to enter the Banks' home. George interviews Mary, but he is quickly confused by her wit and unexpectedly hires her. From that point on, nothing is quite the same in the Banks home and the children get a nanny that not only fulfills their expectations, but becomes something much more to them. Along the way, the children are also introduced to several interesting people, including the handyman Bert (Dick Van Dyke, who starred in his own 1961 TV show and starred in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"), Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn, who also played the toy-maker in "Babes in Toyland" in 1961) and the bird woman (Jane Darwell).
Many of the songs in the film are well known by people who have never seen the film, including:
* "Sister Suffragette" (4.5/5, Glynis John). Winifred calling for the rights of women to be able to vote.
* "The Life I Lead" (5/5, David Tomlinson). George describing his life and what a British home should be.
* "The Perfect Nanny" (4.5/5, Karen Dotrice & Matthew Garber). Jane & Michael telling what they want in a nanny to their parents.
* "A Spoonful of Sugar" (5/5, Julie Andrews). Mary encouraging the children to clean their rooms upon her arrival.
* "Pavement Artist (Chim-Chim-Cheree)" (5/5, Dick Van Dyke). Bert's carefree life.
* "Jolly Holiday" (4.5/5, Dick Van Dyke). Bert describing how wonderful it is to be with Mary Poppins again within the sidewalk chalk painting.
* "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (5+/5, Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke). A word you use when you don't know what else to say.
* "Stay Awake" (5/5, Julie Andrews). A lullaby to Jane and Michael.
* "I Love To Laugh" (4.5/5, Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Ed Wynn). Uncle Albert is visited who is suffering from incurable laughter.
* "A British Bank (The Life I Lead") (5/5, David Tomlinson & Julie Andrews). Mary telling George that he'll be taking the children to the bank with him.
* "Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)" (5/5, Julie Andrews). Mary describing the life of a poor woman who enjoys feeding birds.
* "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" (5/5, Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson) Mr. Dawes Sr. (also played by Dick Van Dyke), the CEO of George's bank, sings praises to the British banking system with George to Jane and Michael.
* "Chim-Chim-Cheree" (5/5, Dick Van Dyke). Bert describing the carefree life of chimney sweep.
* "Step in Time" (4/5, Dick Van Dyke). Song and dance upon the sooty rooftops of London.
* "A Man Has Dreams" (4.5/5 Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson) George singing his woes to Bert.
* "Let's Go Fly a Kite" (4.5/5, David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns). George & Winifred spending time with Jane and Michael.
It is not surprising that so many children and adults alike love "Mary Poppins". It's catchy songs and fantastic situations propel the audience into a magical world of laughter and love that can be watched many times while never becoming tiresome. It also made Julie Andrews a household name with her unforgettable performance as Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews went on to play leading roles in "The Americanization of Emily" (1964), "The Sound of Music" (1965), "10" (1979) and "Victor/Victoria" (1982).
I highly recommend the purchase of "Mary Poppins" on DVD, where it can be fully appreciated in its widescreen format. I rate this DVD with 5 out of 5 stars.
on July 29, 2002
No doubt this is a fantastic movie. Ask anyone. But there's one thing about this production that makes me want to break the disc over my knee: Disney has encoded this disc so that every time you watch it, YOU ARE FORCED TO SIT THROUGH THE ...PREVIEWS!
The DVD standard allows the producer to prevent viewers from activating certain functions at certain times (to make a DVD-based game, for example, play according to the game rules). But, aside from the FBI warning segment, this is the first movie I've encountered that WON"T EVEN LET YOU STOP THE DISC during the previews. You can't press MENU to get to other features, and you can't press STOP. You're stuck, basically, with the temptation to press EJECT. Fortunately, the production engineers at Disney missed one trick; you can at least Fast Forward through the previews. This is a shade better than turning off the TV and waiting it out.
C'mon, Disney. This isn't a rental -- I bought your disc! And you make me sit through 5 minutes of previews for things that I either: own, or choose not to own (thank you very much). I understand Disney's desire to "cross sell" their new stuff based on their old stuff. And I don't mind watching previews, but -- every time I play the disc? Shame on you!!
After you've wasted five minutes, of your life, enjoy the movie. It's a treasure and I wish someone would make another like it. But not on a disc like this!