There is only one word that comes close to accurately describing the enchanting Mary Poppins, and that term was coined by the movie itself: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Even at 2 hours and 20 minutes, Disney's pione... more »ering mixture of live action and animation (based on the books by P.L. Travers) still holds kids spellbound. Julie Andrews won an Oscar as the world's most magically idealized nanny ("practically perfect in every way," and complete with lighter-than-air umbrella), and Dick Van Dyke is her clownishly charming beau, Bert the chimney sweep. The songs are also terrific, ranging from bright and cheery ("A Spoonful of Sugar") to dark and cheery (the Oscar-winning "Chim Chim Cher-ee") to touchingly melancholy ("Feed the Birds"). Many consider Mary Poppins to be the crowning achievement of Walt Disney's career--and it was the only one of his features to be nominated for a best picture Academy Award until Beauty and the Beast in 1991. --Jim Emerson« less
Bruce Gray | Shenandoah Valley, VA, USA | 11/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Poppins may be =the= stand-out live-action movie that Disney has ever produced. Or will ever produce.
All the songs are very memorable. Who out there does not find themselves humming or even singing along with the likes of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" or "Spoonful of Sugar"?
Julie Andrews will always be remembered for her role as Mary Poppins, and Dick Van Dyke absolutely shines as Bert the Chimney Sweep. Van Dyke also plays the senior officer of the bank - and has his very best scene where he realizes that the punchline - "A wooden leg named Smith" - is funny. Andrews won an Academy Award for Mary Poppins, and the movie also won Best Visual Effects, and Best Music Score, as well as Best Song ("Chim Chim Cher-ee").
The scene where "I love to laugh" is particularly poignant. Ed Wynn died not long after the release of Mary Poppins, and shows some of his best comedy style in this scene. Very laughable.
The story is top-notch and has a wonderful moral without being too "preachy". It was a very good adaptation from the original novel, and it's a shame Disney never did any of P L Traver's own sequels to Mary Poppins.
The animated bits are a little flat by today's standards, but they add a wonderful whimsey to a stellar production. Highly recommended to any family with children. A must-buy for Disney fans.
This is the far better, two-disc, 40th anniversary edition that not only restores everything to digital quality, but adds a second disc of deleted scenes (and a song!), commentary, and many other cool new features. Look for the new 40th anniversary DVD edition - it's worth waiting for!
It's just supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"
Disney's Live Masterpiece Shines More Brightly than Ever!
Benjamin J Burgraff | Las Vegas | 12/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Mary Poppins" is one of that select group of films that can truly be called 'Classic', a project conceived in love and filled with so much child-like wonder that it will never grow old or 'out-of-date'. Certainly the crowning achievement of Walt Disney's remarkable career, the "Mary Poppins" 40th Anniversary Special Edition is simply magnificent!
Based on P.L. Travers' tales of a magical nanny who arrives to bring families closer, the rights to the stories had been pursued by Disney since 1938, but Travers had seen what studios had done to other authors' works, and withheld her approval unless she could maintain some creative control. Years of negotiations only whetted Disney's desire to make a definitive, truly 'special' film, and by 1960, despite the box office failure of another fantasy-themed 'pet' project, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People", he was more confident than ever in the story's potential, bringing together a remarkable array of talent, including songwriting brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, production head Bill Walsh, and the brilliant artist Peter Ellenshaw to 'visualize' 1910 London through his matte paintings.
With Travers' grudging approval, casting began. While American stage and TV star Dick Van Dyke was an odd choice to play a Cockney chimneysweep, he was a gifted mime and physical comedian, and had such a wholesome exuberance that Disney knew British audiences would forgive his shaky accent. Popular British actors Glynis Johns and David Tomlinson would play the preoccupied parents, with Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber (from "The Three Lives of Thomasina") as the neglected children. Veteran stars Ed Wynn, Elsa Lanchester, Reginald Owen, Arthur Treacher, and Jane Darwell (as the Bird Woman, in her last screen appearance), headed the strong supporting cast.
But it was the casting of Julie Andrews, in her first film, as Mary Poppins, that truly 'made' the film! Passed over by Jack Warner for the movie version of her stage hit, "My Fair Lady" (he opted for Audrey Hepburn), Disney caught her performance in "Camelot" on Broadway, knew, instantly, that she was the right 'Mary', and approached her for the role. "But I'm pregnant," she told him. "No problem," he replied. "I'll wait!"
And thus a Classic was born!
A multiple 1964 Oscar winner (including 'Best Actress' for Andrews, who got to share the stage with her "Lady" costar, Rex Harrison, who won 'Best Actor'), the film was a major hit, worldwide, and quickly achieved the legendary status it holds today.
For it's 40th Anniversary, Disney's heirs have put together a spectacular package; along with the digitally-remastered film (it looks and sounds SUPERB!), a second disc of additional features includes a joyous reunion of stars Andrews and Van Dyke (who both seem ageless!); reminiscences of Robert Sherman, who sings a cute ditty cut from the final film; a fascinating 50-minute "behind-the-scenes" documentary about the production; featurettes on how the FX were achieved in several key scenes; and much, MUCH more! As the owner of several "Special Edition" Disney DVDs, I can honestly say, THIS is the BEST, yet!
With the holidays fast approaching, I can't think of a finer gift to give, or to get!"
Excellent Movie, Unnecessary DVD
Don Vito Corleone | Sleeping with the Fishes | 06/11/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Mary Poppins is one of my all-time favorites. Is fantastic film that is perfect in every way. the actors are excellent, the animation superb and the songs are unique. five years ago, Disney released a 40th Anniversary Edition DVD with 2 discs. It was one of the best DVDs editions that Disney had released with everything that we need to know about the movie besides the fantastic restoration of the film.
This January, Disney released a 45th Anniversary Edition. While some people like me will think that was too soon for another re-release, Disney as usual, wants to gain more profits. This new DVD has the same picture and sound than the original. Nothing is shinier, crispier or anything. Is exactly the same. Disc one holds the same bonus material as the 40th Ann. Ed. Disc Two presents us Disney on Broadway, a bunch of featurettes that shows us the new Mary Poppins musical. This is completely a waste. We are concern about the movie itself not the musical so this is unnecessary. The other bonus materials are the same that the ones in the 40 Ann Ed. But, in order to put this Broadway featurerette, Disney dropped some good material about the movie that are encountered on the previous DVD. This material is: a game (not such a loss), the deconstruction of a scene featurette that was fun but most important of all, the Party where it shows the party after the preimiere of the film in 1964. What a shame that they dropped this extras to put things that have nothing to do with the film. So this is a very unnecessary DVD so my suggestion is don't buy it, and if you haven't bought Mary Poppins on DVD yet, buy the 40th Anniversary Edition which is still available and is the same price of this new Edition."
One Word Sums It Up: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
M. Hart | USA | 02/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1964, Walt Disney Pictures, under the directorship of Robert Stevenson, released what became a timeless, musical, fantasy called "Mary Poppins". Starring Julie Andrews as the mysterious & magical Mary Poppins, the film is a fictional account of a dysfunctional family living in London circa 1910. The father, George W. Banks (David Tomlinson, who played Emelius Browne in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" in 1971), is obsessed with his job at a prestigious Fidelity Fiduciary Bank and with maintaining a professional atmosphere at all times at home. The mother, Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns, whose film career began in 1938), is preoccupied with demonstrating as a suffragette and maintaining a clean home. Their young children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber, who died at the young age of 21 in 1977), are allowed minimal time with their parents, who prefer to have a nanny look after and raise their children for them. Unfortunately, Jane and Michael rarely like any of their nannies, who regularly quit after the children do something mischievous to each of them. Also working for Mr. & Mrs. Banks are the maid Ellen (Hermione Baddeley, who played Mrs. Cratchit in the 1951 classic "Scrooge") and the cook Mrs. Brill (Reta Shaw, who played in "Pollyanna" in 1960 and "The Ghost & Mr. Chicken" in 1966), neither of which have the time or the desire to look after Jane and Michael.Following the departure of yet another nanny, George decides to hire an appropriate nanny himself. Jane and Michael write their own advertisement for a nanny, but George regards their innocent description as rubbish as he intends to find a nanny that will uphold his every professional expectation. Mysteriously, the children's advertisement, that George tossed out, comes to Mary Poppins. When a very lengthy line of perspective nannies are seen at the Banks' front door early one morning, all of them are blown away by a strong wind. Coming down from the sky via an umbrella is the magical Mary Poppins. Expecting a rush of perspective nannies to race through the door, only Mary Poppins waits to enter the Banks' home. George interviews Mary, but he is quickly confused by her wit and unexpectedly hires her. From that point on, nothing is quite the same in the Banks home and the children get a nanny that not only fulfills their expectations, but becomes something much more to them. Along the way, the children are also introduced to several interesting people, including the handyman Bert (Dick Van Dyke, who starred in his own 1961 TV show and starred in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"), Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn, who also played the toy-maker in "Babes in Toyland" in 1961) and the bird woman (Jane Darwell).Many of the songs in the film are well known by people who have never seen the film, including:* "Sister Suffragette" (4.5/5, Glynis John). Winifred calling for the rights of women to be able to vote.
* "The Life I Lead" (5/5, David Tomlinson). George describing his life and what a British home should be.
* "The Perfect Nanny" (4.5/5, Karen Dotrice & Matthew Garber). Jane & Michael telling what they want in a nanny to their parents.
* "A Spoonful of Sugar" (5/5, Julie Andrews). Mary encouraging the children to clean their rooms upon her arrival.
* "Pavement Artist (Chim-Chim-Cheree)" (5/5, Dick Van Dyke). Bert's carefree life.
* "Jolly Holiday" (4.5/5, Dick Van Dyke). Bert describing how wonderful it is to be with Mary Poppins again within the sidewalk chalk painting.
* "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (5+/5, Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke). A word you use when you don't know what else to say.
* "Stay Awake" (5/5, Julie Andrews). A lullaby to Jane and Michael.
* "I Love To Laugh" (4.5/5, Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Ed Wynn). Uncle Albert is visited who is suffering from incurable laughter.
* "A British Bank (The Life I Lead") (5/5, David Tomlinson & Julie Andrews). Mary telling George that he'll be taking the children to the bank with him.
* "Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)" (5/5, Julie Andrews). Mary describing the life of a poor woman who enjoys feeding birds.
* "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" (5/5, Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson) Mr. Dawes Sr. (also played by Dick Van Dyke), the CEO of George's bank, sings praises to the British banking system with George to Jane and Michael.
* "Chim-Chim-Cheree" (5/5, Dick Van Dyke). Bert describing the carefree life of chimney sweep.
* "Step in Time" (4/5, Dick Van Dyke). Song and dance upon the sooty rooftops of London.
* "A Man Has Dreams" (4.5/5 Dick Van Dyke and David Tomlinson) George singing his woes to Bert.
* "Let's Go Fly a Kite" (4.5/5, David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns). George & Winifred spending time with Jane and Michael.It is not surprising that so many children and adults alike love "Mary Poppins". It's catchy songs and fantastic situations propel the audience into a magical world of laughter and love that can be watched many times while never becoming tiresome. It also made Julie Andrews a household name with her unforgettable performance as Mary Poppins. Julie Andrews went on to play leading roles in "The Americanization of Emily" (1964), "The Sound of Music" (1965), "10" (1979) and "Victor/Victoria" (1982).I highly recommend the purchase of "Mary Poppins" on DVD, where it can be fully appreciated in its widescreen format. I rate this DVD with 5 out of 5 stars."
Great for 1st Time Buyers; extras emphasize Broadway Musical
Dave | San Diego, CA | 01/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Is there really much new to say about this classic Disney film that helped launch the movie career of Julie Andrews? Probably not, but for the handful of people who haven't seen this film, this DVD is a must-buy. Strangely enough, Disney is not releasing a Blu-ray version just yet, so this edition will have to tide over video buffs until that occurs. The 1964 classic is based on the books of P. L. Travers, with a few Disney liberties thrown in. Travers' nanny, Mary Poppins, is somewhat more harsh and unpleasant in the books than in the film version. However, it is obvious that she is hiding a heart of gold inside and that she truly does love the children she takes care. Two of the children did not make the transition from the book, but they are definitely not missed. Julie Andrews is able to bring out the many facets of Mary Poppins without compromising the character, and of course her voice is legendary. The Sherman Brothers whipped up some of their most memorable tunes including "Jolly Holiday," "Spoonful of Sugar," and "Let's Go Fly a Kite."
In a nutshell, the story is about a magical nanny who swoops in to take care of the Banks children, Jane & Michael, and also help their father realize what he is missing by ignoring them the way that he does. Along the way she treats the children to adventures with a street performer/chimney sweep, Bert (Dick Van Dyke) as well as her Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn) who loves to laugh. One of the most memorable and touching sequences is the "Feed the Birds" numbers, with veteran actress Jane Darwell making her final screen appearance. One of Walt Disney's favorite songs, it is sure to bring a tear to many eyes.
For those that have Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition), here's what's missing on this edition:
* Deconstruction of a Scene: Jolly Holiday & Step in Time sequences are examined thoroughly.
* "I Love to Laugh" Game (not a big deal for me!)
Here are the extras that ARE included:
* Disney on Broadway (All New to DVD)
- "Mary Poppins from Page to Stage": The story of Mary Poppins from book to Broadway as the creative team and cast prepare to take the long running show on tour. A very well-done documentary on the stage production of "Mary Poppins," detailing almost every aspect of the production that began in London. Especially interesting is how P.L. Travers did not want any "Americans" involved in the stage production, as she was truly not happy with what Disney did with her books. This feature takes you all over the globe: interviews with the 2 leads are held in NYC at Sardi's restaurant; an interview with one of the Sherman Brothers is filmed in Beverly Hills; interviews with the stage productions composers George Stiles & Anthony Drewe are held in England (they did a fantastic job of blending their compositions seamlessly with the Sherman Brothers' songs from the film). You'll also hear from Bob Crowley, the scenic and costume designer, detailing how he came up with the sets (inspired by the book's illustrations) and changes he made for the touring production. All in all, a very fascinating extra!
- "Step in Time": The Broadway cast of Mary Poppins performs the number "Step in Time" from the show. This is a nice glimpse into the stage production. Although it doesn't quite have the pizzazz of the filmed number (what a tough act to follow), the choreography, sets, and costumes work together to create a fantastic production. Especially effective is the use of costumes and make-up to create the illusion of the chimney sweeps are in black and white, making Mary Poppins in her red dress stand out even more.
- Step in Time - Downloadable MP3 featuring the Broadway cast of Mary Poppins singing "Step in Time," featuring Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins and Gavin Lee as Bert.
- Video Intro By Scenic & Costume Designer, Bob Crowley
- Bob Crowley's Design Galleries: Concept art, costume designs, set designs and set models for the Broadway musical
* Audio Commentary: with stars Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice and songwriter Richard Sherman. There are a few archival comments included from Walt Disney and others. Fantastic track that really adds to the enjoyment of the film. Especially interesting is the "Feed the Birds" number, where Sherman talks about Mary Poppins instilling social responsibility into the children by planting the idea of feeding the birds with tuppence, thus setting off the important string of events at the end of the film. It is refreshing to hear that so many years later, both Andrews & Van Dyke (as well as Dotrice) still have a fondness for this film and the experience of making it.
* Poppins Pop-Up Fun Facts: View fun-filled facts about the creation of the movie during viewing. Mirrors some of the information from the commentary track, but still enjoyable to learn some of the behind-the-scenes info as you are watching the movie.
* "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of Mary Poppins": The definitive behind-the- scenes look at how this unique and beloved film came into being.
* Movie Magic: A look at the special effect techniques used to bring the magical world of Mary Poppins to life. This one is interesting, but appears to be geared more towards the young ones and early teens. Doesn't really go very deep.
* The Gala World Premiere: Footage from the Red Carpet. What a feast this is; a few different rolls of film (mixing bw and color) have been edited together to recreate as much as possible of this magical evening. See Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Wynn, Cesar Romero, and so many more classic stars. Even Walt & his wife are on hand (it even appears that Walt is gently chastising the costumed Mickey character at one point).
* Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test for his role of the elder Mr. Dawes. On the commentary track, Karen Dotrice (Jane Banks) admits that during filming, she was not told that Dick Van Dyke was playing the elder Mr. Dawes. She thought it was just some old smelly man who was close to death!
* Trailers, Ads and More from the Original Release and Reissue of the Film
* Mary Poppins Still Art Galleries
Music & More
* Disney's Song Selection: Sing along to "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and any of the film's other memorable songs as the lyrics pop up on screen. Each song can be selected separately or while watching the film.
* Magical Musical Reunion: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and songwriter Richard Sherman reminisce about making Mary Poppins and the music that makes it so special.
* A Musical Journey with Richard Sherman: A delightful magical journey through some of the film's locations with co-composer Richard Sherman, who reveals surprising secrets about the music of Mary Poppins along the way.
* Bonus Short: "The Cat That Looked at a King": Live action and animation based on a chapter from P.L. Travers' sequel "Mary Poppins Opens the Door." Julie Andrews hosts this short done in the style of the whimsical chalk drawings from the movie "Mary Poppins." Vocal talents of Sarah Ferguson, Tracey Ullman, and David Ogden Stiers.
* Deleted Song: "Chimpanzoo": A reconstruction of a song that did not appear in the movie using original storyboard and concept art, accompanied by a new rendition of the song performed by co- composer Richard Sherman. Personally, I agree with the deletion of this number!
Specs: Video is original aspect ration of 1:66:1, and audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound with French & Spanish language tracks & subtitles. The picture, as in the 40th release, is fantastic. Colors bright, image sharp. The 5.1 mix is fantastic, especially during the musical numbers--all of your speakers will get full use! I read another review on here that only seemed to get front-speaker action, but I clearly heard music and effects loud and clear from my rear speakers, giving a very nice surround effect.
There are also sneak peaks into the next Tinker Bell installment as well as other upcoming DVD/Bluray releases (Monsters Inc and Pinocchio this Spring and Beverly Hills Chihuahua)."