The movie combines a diverting story, 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 before flying off again.
|Release Date||:||August 27, 1964|
|Genres||:||Comedy, Music, Family, Fantasy|
|Production Company||:||Walt Disney Productions|
|Production Countries||:||United States of America|
|Writers||:||P.L. Travers, Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi|
|Casts||:||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|
|Plot Keywords||:||london, dancing, parents kids relationship, bank, brother sister relationship, famous score, confidence, nanny, laughing, magic, chimney sweeper, music, title spoken by character, live action and animation|
Julie's film debut began the world's love affair with her--and what a marvelous vehicle for doing so. Julie appears here in fine voice and is radiantly beautiful.
The performance is more than deserving of the Oscar, especially considering that she had to act to blue screens and objects/characters from within her imagination. No easy task, certainly.
I also love the way Julie, as Mary, refuses to acknowledge the free-for-all that is going on around her. She simply pushes her hair primly back in place and presses on, despite the dancing chimney sweeps and giggling uncles that surround her. "I never explain anything," she blithely comments.
The score is one of my favorites in all the Disney canon. The Sherman brothers outdid themselves with "Stay Awake," one of the most under-appreciated lullabys ever written, and the hauntingly winsome "Feed the Birds."
The Disney animators have created a visual feast as bottomless and surprising as Mary Poppins' carpetbag. The Peter Ellenshaw matte shots are breathtaking. My favorite visual moments? Bert and Mary's live-action reflections in a pond are eddied by a family of cartoon geese. I also love when Bert, Mary, and the children ascend a staircase constructed only of chimney smoke. Brilliant!
There are a few drawbacks: The film's a little over-long, especially in the final third where Mary's but an afterthought in all the plot resolution. In addition, Van Dyke was an excellent choice for his singing and dancing (and popularity), but his cockney accent does grate after a while.
But all in all, this is a tour de force for all involved!