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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:00 pm 
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I can't believe we don't have an official thread for this (they are tons of littler threads, and threads for the DVD releases, but this one can just be about the movie itself)... Well, the only reason I'm making one now is I wanted to share this information-

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"[Travers] did want the musical done, but for 30 years, she kept Disney at bay ... It was widely known she wasn’t wild about the movie, though I suspect she loved the movie more than she let on because she kept going back to see it," Mackintosh said. "I had no wish myself to do a stage show that didn’t encompass the heart of the score … and I didn’t think the public would want to see it anyway."

http://www.ajc.com/lifestyle/mary-poppins-hybrid-of-501504.html

I've never in my life heard that Travers may have come to like the film. Of course, I've heard the stories about how she was a pain to Walt and absoultely did not like the film, prefering a version made in the 70s in the USSR (which I watched a bit of, bizarre). To think she may have come around to the film.. quite interesting.

And for the record, I personally feel Mary Poppins is one the few movies that actually surpasses the book. Sure, P.L. Travers created one of the greatest fantasy characters ever in Mary Poppins, but that's about it. I recently read books 1-3 in a row, and they were appalling repetitive... Maybe that was her goal, but the reading those stories- the scenarios in each book were the same, in the same chapter order, as well.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:43 pm 
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I haven't read the book before. I'll have to add that to my summer reading list (I've kind of got lax in my reading the past 3 years, and plan to make up for it--especially by reading all the books Disney films have been based on, if possible).

Anyway, I've actually never been crazy about this movie. I mean, the music is beautiful, no question (though some of Bert's numbers are boring, imo), but I always found the film rather meandering, particularly in Bert's moments, the "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" segment of the film, and also the "laughing" scene. And those scenes that actually pertain to the story (basically anything with Mr. Banks) are pretty dull, especially the bank segment at the end. Also, about the music again--again, I think it's spectacular--only many times the movie seems to come to a standstill until the song's over. By "Step in Time," I just want to turn the movie off. I had a lot of trouble staying tuned the whole time when I was a child, and I still feel that way. Sometimes it amazes me though that the 'special effects' in this film feel more "real" than those in some modern-day films. I especially like how they have the house react to the cannon-shots, as well as the "Spoonful of Sugar" sequence.

And Julie Andrews definitely gave an excellent performance. None of the others really stood out that much (loved the cameo of Jane Darwell as the bird woman though) except Dick Van Dyke. Oh, and I always liked the house servants.

I think my favorite song in the film was probably the mother's "Sister Suffragette" song. Though I felt the movie was weird in its treatment of the suffragette subject (it seems completely at odds with Mrs. Banks' character when she's around her husband; and, at the end, she "puts it aside" for the sake of the children--as if women's rights take away from a woman's ability to be a good mother, but...eh), the melody to this song is extremely memorable. "Superfragilisticexpialidocious" is the most-paraded number from the film, but I never really liked it until I bought the CD for the musical version of the film (which I never saw, but the music is phenomenal). I don't know, I really liked the musical's cast, and their rendition of it felt more satisfying--more like a showstopper. Also, "Feed the Birds" is absolutely perfect (whether it's the film or musical version). Btw, Jim Brickman's medley of the Mary Poppins music is really beautiful.

Overall, I felt that this was a very nice movie, if not one of my favorites.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:36 am 
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i adore mary poppins. its the only live action disney movie i own. i love the step in time sequence and just recently bought it through itunes.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:39 am 
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I learned to snap my fingers thanks to Mary Poppins.

Mary can be quite a nasty b!tch in the book, so I'm glad the movie softened her up a bit, though she still has a lot of sass. I mean, what employee would say "I never explain anything" to her boss?

Disney's Divinity wrote:
I think my favorite song in the film was probably the mother's "Sister Suffragette" song. Though I felt the movie was weird in its treatment of the suffragette subject (it seems completely at odds with Mrs. Banks' character when she's around her husband; and, at the end, she "puts it aside" for the sake of the children--as if women's rights take away from a woman's ability to be a good mother, but...eh), the melody to this song is extremely memorable.

That always bothered me as well. In the books, the Banks parents really don't have any "conflict" and are just there as parents (Mrs. Banks is less wispy and flighty in the book too), and in the movie, they give Mrs. Banks her own suffrage subplot in order to give a reason why the children are often neglected (Mr. Banks because of work, Mrs. Banks because of women's suffrage). It's not developed well, IMO, and while the song is good, seemed more to be shoehorned in so that Glynis Johns had something to do, rather than be a necessary part of the overall story.

My favorite moments in the movie are the entire chalk-painting-world sequence and Stay Awake. The former is just a marvel to watch, and the latter really showcases Julie Andrews' magnificent voice as well as a superb (and very subtle) acting within the song itself. "Step in Time" is great too, but gradually feels overlong after viewing it the first 100 times.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Hands down favorite part of the movie, after Step in Time when Mr. Banks walks into the house...."What's all this?" and they add that line into the song.

Has me cracking up every time.

Love this movie. Never had a problem sitting through it, even as a very young child.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Mary Poppins is in my opinion just a perfect movie. Everything just works, the characters, the story, the songs, the setting, everything.

I think a lot of people misunderstand Mrs Banks' character from what I've read above though. I think that the reason she's portrayed as a woman who obeys her husband in spite of her support of the women's movement is because quite frankly, she's just not a very good suffragette. I think becoming a suffragette was her way of having a meaning in life. She was bored at home with a nanny to take care of the children and her husband at work and so she became a suffragette as a welcome distraction from her daily life.

It's easy to see why. Her house is filled with people who do everything for her: A cook, a maid and a nanny. She doesn't sacrifice her beliefs in the end of the movie by giving up her cause, because it was never a cause close to her heart to begin with and she preferred being a mother to her children all along.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Disney's Divinity wrote:
Though I felt the movie was weird in its treatment of the suffragette subject (it seems completely at odds with Mrs. Banks' character when she's around her husband; and, at the end, she "puts it aside" for the sake of the children--as if women's rights take away from a woman's ability to be a good mother, but...eh), the melody to this song is extremely memorable.


I think that Mrs Banks' devotion to her husband is a comical representation of how bourgeois women in Edwardian Britain essentially tried to stand up for womens' rights (and eventually won the vote :) ), yet ultimately were forced to return to life in the parlour whenever domineering men (read: their husbands) were about. It ultimately also belittles Mrs Banks and highlights her relative apathy for her children, as it shows that her support of women's suffrage is ultimately quite half-hearted considering that she panders to her husband's conservatism and orders whenever he's around.

And yes, who doesn't like Mary Poppins?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:00 pm 
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candydog wrote:
I think a lot of people misunderstand Mrs Banks' character from what I've read above though. I think that the reason she's portrayed as a woman who obeys her husband in spite of her support of the women's movement is because quite frankly, she's just not a very good suffragette. I think becoming a suffragette was her way of having a meaning in life. She was bored at home with a nanny to take care of the children and her husband at work and so she became a suffragette as a welcome distraction from her daily life.
That wasn't really my point--I haven't misunderstood Mrs. Banks as a character. I just think that that aspect of her character is inserted in such a way as to discredit the suffragette movement. "Oh, it's nothing but a bunch of bored, rich housewives. And we're all better off if they'll just stop and go mother their children."

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She doesn't sacrifice her beliefs in the end of the movie by giving up her cause, because it was never a cause close to her heart to begin with and she preferred being a mother to her children all along.
I'm not sure I agree about that, tbh. I haven't seen the movie in a while, but she goes on and on about how she's joined the cause for her children (specifically her daughter, but also so her son will respect women, too, I guess). It seems rather half-hearted to say in the very last minute of the film or so that, no, she doesn't really care about it.

I guess the only real problem I had with is that the suffragette movement is presented as a problem--something that disconnects a woman from fitting properly into her mother role. The father's greedy and dogmatic, and the movie pans her suffragette cause as being equally bad (and something that we would all be better without).

Seriously, just because a person doesn't respond the same way as everyone else does not mean they've "misunderstood" anything. And I'm not outright calling the film "sexist," just that it doesn't deal with the subject quite the way I might've enjoyed it.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:10 pm 
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I always thought that the intent of including the suffragette movement was to show how distracted the mother was from her home life. Not to say that the cause was pointless or frivolous, but just that she needed to make time for the children too.

I don't think she gave up her cause at the end, just that she managed her time better.

Mrs. Banks character does seem willing to do anything for her husband and agree with him alot, but as she sings "though we adore men individually...". I'm sure she would appear less ridiculous at one of her rallies (just slightly).

As for Poppins in general, it's not my all time favorite, but every time I see a clock with 6:02pm on it I feel the need to declare that my slippers, cherry and pipe are due.

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Mary Poppins is one of my favorite (Disney) movies, and I consider it to be perhaps the greatest film Walt Disney has ever made. I didn't always feel that way. When I was much younger ( 14 or 15 years old) I found the film to be too long and to drag too much, and I could hardly sit still --and this was when I was 15 years old already (and I don't have ADD)! :wink:

But I learned to fully appreciate the movie when I bought the 2-disc dvd a year or two ago. What makes it so great, is that it appeals to both children and adults alike. It's clear that it aims at children; adults are not the targeted group. For that, the jokes are too obvious, the acting is too over-the-top and the story is too fantasy-like (not even counting the animated sequences). Yet, an adult never has to bore him/herself when watching the film, because it specifically invites him/her to be a child again and enjoy the world through the eyes of a kid. You have to be a pretty cynical person to be able to resist this film --which I *am*, and I still can't resist!

Three things are crucial to its appeal: the music, the acting and the staging. Starting with the music: roughly 95% of it is pure genius. (The other 5% consisting of songs that are dragging the film down, like 'I love to laugh' and 'Step in time'.) You've got the 'Jolly holiday', 'Supercali etc.', 'Chim chim cheree', 'Feed the birds' and a whole bucnh of other songs that get into your mind and won't go away for days. You'll catch yourself humming them at the strangest of moments, and it never annoys you. The Sherman Brothers could make a memorable song out of almost nothing. For example, when you take a look at the lyrics of 'Chim chim cheree', what does it say? Nothing much. A lot of it is nonsense. But the way it's phrased and the way the song is structured, it becomes an all-time favorite of mine. The simplicity is deceiving, I think.

Then there's the acting. It's hard to believe this is only Julie Andrews' first role in a movie. When you look at her performance, it looks like she's never done anything else her whole life, but act. Dick van Dyke makes the character of Bert funny, but not too over-the-top or childish. There's a fine line there, and it coud've been easily overstepped. When he's singing 'Jolly Holiday' and hitting himself with his cane, that could've easily turn out too childish or corny, but he manages to stay just right on the good side of the line. I love the chemistry between the two of them, especially during 'Supercali etc.' I don't think I've ever seen such chemistry matched in any other film.

I conclude with the staging. With that I mean the sets, the matte paintings etc. Some people on the dvd said that they made it look like the real London, but I disagree. You can see clearly they're on a set. But that's okay with me; that's ultimately the charm of the film. It's not hyper-realistic. In the animated sequences, you can see how the actors and the animated characters don't go together very well, unlike in Who framed Roger Rabbit, which came much later. To me, this revealing of the stage doesn't get me 'out' of the film. It just immerses me even more into the fantasy-world of Mary Poppins.


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:08 am 
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Goliath wrote:
Three things are crucial to its appeal: the music, the acting and the staging. Starting with the music: roughly 95% of it is pure genius. (The other 5% consisting of songs that are dragging the film down, like 'I love to laugh' and 'Step in time'.) You've got the 'Jolly holiday', 'Supercali etc.', 'Chim chim cheree', 'Feed the birds' and a whole bucnh of other songs that get into your mind and won't go away for days. You'll catch yourself humming them at the strangest of moments, and it never annoys you. The Sherman Brothers could make a memorable song out of almost nothing. For example, when you take a look at the lyrics of 'Chim chim cheree', what does it say? Nothing much. A lot of it is nonsense. But the way it's phrased and the way the song is structured, it becomes an all-time favorite of mine. The simplicity is deceiving, I think.


Don't forget the wonderful arrangements and conducting job Irwin Kostal did. That's one of the more underrated aspects of the great soundtrack, and it deserves more credit. By the way, you think the 'Step in Time' sequence is dragging the movie down? I think that's one of the highlights of the movie.

Goliath wrote:
Then there's the acting. It's hard to believe this is only Julie Andrews' first role in a movie. When you look at her performance, it looks like she's never done anything else her whole life, but act. Dick van Dyke makes the character of Bert funny, but not too over-the-top or childish. There's a fine line there, and it coud've been easily overstepped. When he's singing 'Jolly Holiday' and hitting himself with his cane, that could've easily turn out too childish or corny, but he manages to stay just right on the good side of the line. I love the chemistry between the two of them, especially during 'Supercali etc.' I don't think I've ever seen such chemistry matched in any other film.


Well, she was a Broadway actress, so it's not like she's never done it prior to the movie. I have to agree that she absolutely nails the role, and it's very difficult to see anyone else in it. If only Dick would've bothered a little more with his accent, he would be excellent in this. He's still great, though. That's just one gripe I have.

Goliath wrote:
I conclude with the staging. With that I mean the sets, the matte paintings etc. Some people on the dvd said that they made it look like the real London, but I disagree. You can see clearly they're on a set. But that's okay with me; that's ultimately the charm of the film. It's not hyper-realistic. In the animated sequences, you can see how the actors and the animated characters don't go together very well, unlike in Who framed Roger Rabbit, which came much later. To me, this revealing of the stage doesn't get me 'out' of the film. It just immerses me even more into the fantasy-world of Mary Poppins.


I don't think Poppins was ever meant to look realistic. The sets do look marvelous, and they're great in conveying the feeling of London.
It's possible that the movie just needs a thorough restoration, with perhaps recombining the elements for the special effects sequences as well. Frankly, I'm bothered more by the stiff animatronic robin during 'A Spoonful of Sugar' than the animation :D .

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 Post subject: Best lyric ever
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 3:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:35 am 
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Stephen Sondheim, the musical genius behind West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, and Sunday in the Park with George, mentioned in his last book that he attempted to write a musical version of Mary Poppins in the 1950s (he also implies that he doesn't think Disney's version was very good). In the new book, he includes the lyrics to a song that would have been a part of his treatment. He also mentioned that in the '90s, P.L. Travers called him out to musicalize her books for the stage, but she died before he could talk to her. With no further ado, The Sun is Blue!


The Sun is Blue-

Mary Poppins:

The universe is small,
The sun is blue;
And summer follows fall
While spring is freezing.

And the ocean's filled with sugar,
And I'm sure that the grass is pink.
And the night is another thing I am certain of--
It's a curtain of
Ink.

The moon is made of cheese,
The earth is flat,
And money grows on trees,
And that is that.

And love is just a frivolous game
That soon begins to pall.
Yes, the sun is blue
And I don't love you at all.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:01 pm 
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i watched a making of feature on the poppins dvd a few months back and remember someone saying they wanted the movie to feel like it was taking place on a stage, like a proper musical. they mentioned the step in time sequence along with this, though i cant remember what the connection was.

i find myself wondering how they did certain things whenever i watch, like the nursery tidy up and especially poppins carpet bag! i dont think i will ever figure that out and im not sure i really want to.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:21 pm 
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The special effects in the nursery scene are really quite simple (for most of it anyway). Take the part for example where the overturned table stands upright and all of the cups and saucers fly back up onto it. Here they just filmed the ready made table being knocked over, and then played it in reverse when they put it in the film.


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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Wasn't sure where else to put this, but the Academy has uploaded the Sherman Brothers winning Best Score for Mary Poppins on their YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8N65jY0nDs[

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Mary Poppins has been added to the National Film Registry!:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/animationsco ... m-registry


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:28 am 
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SNEAK PEEK: Dick Van Dyke to Explore ‘Mary Poppins’ Archives on ABC
http://www.stitchkingdom.com/disney-dic ... get-81951/

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:01 am 
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Mary Poppins,’ and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/movi ... kface.html

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:41 pm 
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Ugh! I remember that article. There is nothing that's racist or stereotypical in the whole thing and when Mary Poppins is powdering herself with soot, it's a joke because instead of making her look cleaner it makes her look dirtier. These hot takes on the most minute issues in Disney films are just getting more and more ridiculous.


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