Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Movie #399: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is musical based (loosely) on the books by P.L. Travers and starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Jones, Ed Wynn, Karen Dotrice, and Matthew Garber.

London, 1910. The Banks family, headed by George (Tomlinson), a banker, is experiencing some stress. They can't seem to keep a nanny, because the children, Jane (Dotrice) and Michael (Garber) keep...running off to fly kites? Anyway, George composes a new ad for a nanny, as do the children, and the next Mary Poppins (Andrews) flies down from the clouds and takes the job. She agrees to stay "until the wind changes" and proceeds to throw magic around, taking the children into a chalk drawing with the local lovable camp Bert (Van Dyke). Finally, George takes the kids to work with him, where his ancient boss (also Van Dyke) tries to get Michael to invest his money, and then there's a riot, and George gets fired but learns What's Really Important, and Poppins sods off into the sky again. In the midst of all of this, there are songs and animated penguins.

So, this movie is cute. I haven't read the books, though Michelle has and says they're not quite so much about George's feels, which, like, that's kinda typical, yeah? I admit I've never been much of a fan of how his wife Winifred (Jones) is a hardcore suffragette but completely kowtows to him at him, nor of how Mary denies all of the magic stuff after the kids get home. But, regardless, the absolute worst thing about this movie is Van Dyke's god-awful cockney accent. Like, his dialect coach needs a stern talking-to.

Andrews is, of course, charming as Poppins, and the kids are cute. There are some funny bits, and the songs are nice, though the dance sequences go on a little long. My daughter used to really like this movie when she was little, and I think it wouldn't be the worst thing to see a remake, maybe hewn a little closer to the books?

My Grade: B
Rewatch value: Low

Next up: The Mask