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Mary Poppins (1964 movie)

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Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is a 1964 live-action/animated musical movie produced by Walt Disney and directed by Robert Stevenson. The movie was filmed entirely in the Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

Background[edit | edit source]

P. L. Travers as Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream

The movie was based on the Mary Poppins children's books by P. L. Travers. In the books, Poppins is a strict and pompous character, but in the movie she is transformed into a gentle and kindly character. The movie setting was changed from the 1930s of the books to the Edwardian era.

Travers objected to the "toning-down" of the harsher aspects of the Mary Poppins character. She also objected to the songs, and any suggestion of a romance between Mary and Bert. She so hated the animated sequences that she ruled out any further adaptations of the Mary Poppins books. Disney was unsuccessful in trying to persuade her otherwise.

Travers was not invited to the premiere, but asked Disney for permission to attend. At the premiere, she marched up to Disney and told him the animated sequences had to "go". Disney had the last word on the product, and said as he walked away, "Pamela, the ship has sailed." When a musical was being planned many years later, Travers refused to grant her permission for the adaptation should anyone associated with the movie be involved.

Story[edit | edit source]

The movie is about an eccentric and magical English nanny, her chimney sweep friend Bert, and two young children estranged from their busy father, a banker, and their mother, a suffragette. Poppins has the job of bringing the dysfunctional family together before she sails away on the wind.

Cast[edit | edit source]

The movie stars Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke as her friend chimney sweep friend Bert, David Tomlinson as Mr. Banks, Glynis Johns as Mrs. Banks, and Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber as the children Jane and Michael Banks.

Music[edit | edit source]

Dick Van Dyke leads the "Step in Time" sequence

The songs were written by the Sherman brothers, Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman. These songs include "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "A Spoonful of Sugar", "Jolly Holiday", "Step in Time", "Feed the Birds", and "Chim Chim Cher-ee", which won the Best Song Academy Award.

Awards[edit | edit source]

The movie was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards and won five. Andrews won the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance.

The movie received universal critical praise. Dick Van Dyke though was roundly takedn to task for his inauthentic Cockney accent.

The movie inspired a 2004 award-winning musical, and the 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P. L. Travers.

In 2013, Mary Poppins was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".


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