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October 6, 2008 | by  | in Film | [ssba]

Mary Poppins

Despite several Salienteers’ attempts at destroying the film Mary Poppins (and indirectly my childhood) through highlighting some alleged LSD and deviant sexual practices it is still my favourite movie. Maybe I just do not want to grow up but there is something about the film Mary Poppins that makes me feel all warm and happy inside. It takes me back to a simpler time of fairy bread and princess shoes. I first saw Mary Poppins when I was just a wee lass the day my little brother was born. My parents put it on so I would leave my poor mother, who was in the midst of labour, alone. I was one of those children who asked “Why mummy?” after every occurance which can become quite tiresome for a woman in labour. As soon as I heard Julie Andrews sing my little four year old eyes widened and I was hooked for life it seems.

Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) is a singing magical nanny who can levitate and sit on clouds. She answers Michael (Matthew Garber) and Jane (Karen Dotrice) Banks’ cries for a better Nanny who has “rosy cheeks” and “plays games, all sorts.” Mary Poppins introduces the kids to all sorts of fun characters such as tap dancing penguins, talking animals, a bird lady and most importantly her old friend (and possible lover?) Bert (Dick Van Dyke). Now you can say what you want about old Dick Dyke but I think he is amazing – an all round entertainer and a total dreamboat (in 1964 not now!).

The film ends with Mary Poppins fixing the family’s ‘dysfunctional’ (we are talking PG dysfunctional here) relationship and makes the dad realise the age-old adage “family first.” A tad cheesy I know but so, so lovely. If only real life was that wonderful and easily mended.

The music in Mary Poppins is Disneytastic which is a incredible mix of bubblegum operatic pantomime goodness! Mmmm. The 2004 special edition DVD is particularly good as it has a singalong function so you and all your friends can reminice or get drunk and sing “a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.”

An interesting side note to this is the mother who is a suffragette (Glynis Johns) sings the most entertaining feminist jingle that has ever been created. Thus begins my tempestuous relationship with feminism.

My favourite scene is when Mr Banks comes home and he’s singing about how he runs his household with the efficiency of a British Bank. Another moment of equal awesomeness is the classic room cleaning scene where Mary Poppins teaches the children to magically clean their rooms by clicking their fingers. To this day I wish I had that magical power.

Directed by Robert Stevenson


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