Practically Perfect in Every Way
Mary Poppins was just released on DVD on Tuesday, January 27th, in a two-disc 45th anniversary edition set. The new Mary Poppins two-disc DVD features hours of bonus material, including the all-new “Mary Poppins: From Page to Stage,” which takes the viewers backstage for an exclusive look at the making of the Tony Award winning musical, and “Step in Time,” a never-before-filmed musical number performed by the original Broadway cast—also downloadable as an MP3 audio file. Bonus materials also include the “behind-the-scenes” movie documentary and reminiscences of Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and songwriter Richard Sherman. (1)
In 1964, Mary Poppins was a groundbreaking blend of live action and pioneering Disney animation, and it became an instant hit. I remember as a very little girl how I desperately wanted to see Mary Poppins, and how excited I was to finally see the movie. What I don’t remember was if I easily sat through 139 minutes of singing and dancing without squirming. I do remember loving the movie and developing a little-girl’s crush on Bert, the chimney sweep, portrayed by a young Dick Van Dyke.
I still find Dick Van Dyke just as charming on the 45th anniversary edition of Mary Poppins, and Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way
as Mary Poppins who descends down from the clouds in response to the Banks children’s advertisement for a nanny. However, Mary Poppins is l-o-n-g, and the singing and dancing become tedious after a few numbers. I can’t imagine a child sitting easily all the way through Mary Poppins today unless they can use the fast-forward feature during some of the song and dance numbers. Part of my problem, however, was the fact I once again received a warped disc, and I really cannot concentrate on a movie that stops action for a moment every time the warp spins around.
There are 15 songs plus the overture and closing credits in Mary Poppins . Fifteen. That’s about twelve too many songs. The memorable songs are: “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” In 2004, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” was ranked number 36 in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Movie History.
Julie Andrews won a Best Actress Oscar award in 1965 for Mary Poppins. In fact, Mary Poppins received 13 Academy Awards nominations and won 5 awards including (2) :
* Best Actress — Julie Andrews
* Best Film Editing
* Original Music Score
* Best Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee”
* Special Visual Effect
Mary Poppins is rated G and is very family friendly.
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