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December 7, 2018

Mary Poppins (1964) --- “It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Released in 1964 when large-scale musicals were coming to their end, Mary Poppins is widely considered to be Walt Disney’s most successful venture, earning a Best Picture nomination and winning Best Actress (Julie Andrews) at the 37th Academy Awards. Based on the beloved children's book by P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins tells how the dysfunctional Banks family gets their strict lifestyle turned upside down when the magical and mysterious nanny, Mary Poppins comes into their lives. Armed with her flying umbrella, bottomless bag, and catchy songs, Mary Poppins takes the whole family on a whimsical adventure to help mend the hurt and bring love back into their lives. Be prepared to go on a musical adventure the whole family will love.

     Mary Poppins (1964) is one those rare films that works at every level and it is no wonder considering that Walt Disney dedicated over 20 years to turn the book into a film with a beautiful story that will stand the test of time. To this day it is a timeless musical classic that is still captivating audiences around the world with its fun story (Bill Walsh and Don DaGradiThe Love Bug), catchy award-winning music (The Sherman Brothers and Irwin Kostal), unforgettable dance numbers, colorful cinematography (Edward ColmanThe Love Bug), and unique filmmaking techniques that can only be described as Disney-style – like mixing live-action with animation.  The film’s message can be heard in the song “Feed the Birds”, which says that the small things in life are important and that the love of family is the ultimate gift any person could have. Director Robert Stevenson (The Love Bug, The Shaggy D.A.) did an incredible job bring all oftheses aspects together as well as effectively blending whimsy lightheartedness with pathos and drama.
     The cast is filled with some of the greatest actors of their time. The beautiful Julie Andrews (Sound of Music) makes her feature film debut as the magical and mysterious Mary Poppins. Her most striking musical number in the film was her hauntingly beautiful ballad of “Feed the Birds”, which both haunted and delighted Walt Disney until his passing in 1966.  The legendary Dick Van Dyke (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) was the perfect choice as the fun loving and goofy Bert, one of Mary Poppins’ oldest friends (and possible love interest). The chemistry between Andrews and Dyke was great both in the musical and non-musical scenes. Aside from the two main characters, David Tomlinson (The Love Bug) gives one of my favorite performances in the film as the strict and no-nonsense Mr. Banks. The children played by Karen Dotrice (The Gnome-Mobile) and Matthew Garber (The Gnome-Mobile) did a wonderful job, and Glynis Johns (While You Were Sleeping) gives a funny performance as the cheerful and positive suffragette, Mrs. Banks.

     Overall, Mary Poppins (1964) is a timeless musical classic for the whole family to enjoy. With an incredible story, clever animation, catchy music, colorful visuals and costumes, and side-splitting humor, there is no doubt that this is Walt Disney’s greatest cinematic achievement. The film’s message teaches kids and adults about enjoying the small things, the importance of a families love, and embracing that little kid the lives inside all of us. I highly recommend this film as a must watch cult classic, especially if you plan to see the Mary Poppins Returns (2018) later this year.

"Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin' is brewin' and 'bout to begin. Can't put me finger on what lies in store, But I feel what's to happen all happened before."
- Bert [singing] 

Final Vote - 10 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
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Cross Creek (1983)
Finding Neverland (2004)
Goodbye, Christopher Robin (2017)
The Last Station (2009)
Miss Potter (2006)
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Nanny McPhee (2006)
Nanny McPhee Returns (2010)
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
Paddington (2014)
Paddington 2 (2018)
Peter Rabit (2018)
Pan (2015)
Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
Winnie the Pooh (2011)

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