It’s hard to believe that one of the most beloved Walt Disney films, Mary Poppins, is celebration it’s 50th Anniversary? I find it amazing because Julie Andrews has hardly aged a bit and Dick Van Dyke looks pretty good or a man who made this classic film 50 years ago.
Out in theaters is the film Saving Mr. Banks which is the story about how Walt Disney was able to bring Mary Poppins to life on the big screen. The author of the book that the film was based on was very reluctant to have Walt Disney turn her stories into a movie. It took a lot of time and effort (20 years!) but Walt Disney was finally able to see the film come to life.
I have not seen Saving Mr. Banks yet but people I know who have seen it love it. You might want to check it out over the holiday break.
I would like to think that most people know a bit about this timeless classic. If you are like me you have probably seen it dozens of times.
In a nut shell Mary Poppins is a nanny who comes to tend to precocious siblings, Jane and Michael Banks. The children have a way of running off all of their nannies. They find that their nannies are strict and no fun. The children want a FUN nanny. Before their father can hire a new nanny the children write a note looking for a nanny who is fun, kind-hearted nanny. The father finds the note and tosses it into the fireplace where it floats out of the chimney.
The next day Mary Poppins show up to answer the children’s ad for a nanny. Mr. Banks is reluctant to hire her, but agrees to let her stay on a trial basis.
Mary is not your average Nanny. She has a magic umbrella and the ability to turn chalk drawings into scenes that come to life.
The children embark on several adventures with Mary and a chimney sweep name Bert.
Mary Poppins is a fun filled fantasy filled with wonderful musical and dance numbers. It’s full of heart and sheds light on the importance of family.
Many people are familiar with the songs from the film, like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, A Spoonful of Sugar and Chim Chim Cheree. Below is the song A Spoonful of Sugar for your enjoyment.
I haven’t seen Mary Poppins in many years. It was wonderful to watch it all over again, this time on Blu-ray. I found myself singing right along to the songs (much to the shock of my kids). It’s amazing how you don’t forget the words, even after many years.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo package include a lot of great bonus features. To be honest I found the bonus features equally as entertaining. I especially loved learn more about how the Walt Disney brought this film to life, which is what Saving Mr. Banks is all about. It was great to hear from the cast and crew and their experiences on the film. Sadly the young boy who played Michael Banks (Matthew Garber) died when he was very young. It was nice to see Jane Banks (actress Karen Dotrice) all grown up.
There are two new bonus features not seen on other editions of the movie. One is called Becoming Mr. Sherman which features the actor who plays the role of Richard Sherman in Saving Mr. Banks, Jason Schwartzman. He discusses the Sherman Brothers part in creating the music for the film and the challenges they faced. There are even a few interviews with Robert Sherman himself.
The other fun bonus feature is called Mary-oke Sing-Along. It’s a sing along to a few songs from the film, but instead of watching a little bouncing ball go over each word you need to sign, it’s more like a cartoon with the works spread through the images. It’s cute to watch.
Look for Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition where ever movies are sold.
Check out the clip below from Mary-oke Sing-Along.
*I received a free screener copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.