I never cared for Mary Poppins as a kid, which is why I never watched the film before. I loved Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music though and I'm kind of interested in seeing Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel starring Emily Blunt, so I checked this one out.
Set in Edwardian London, the film tells the story of the Banks family. The parents, George (David Tomlison) and Winifred (Glynis Johns), advertise for a new nanny for their rowdy, neglected children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber). The children, not happy with the previous nannies, write their own advertisement for a kind and sweet nanny. All of a sudden, Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) arrives and, with the help of Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a chimney sweep and performer, uses music and adventure to improve the family's dynamic.
The plot is very simple so it's very easy for kids to understand but I didn't find it compelling enough to keep me, an adult, engaged or interested. Truth to be told, I was bored, so bored that's a miracle I finished the film. Sure, it's a story that delivers several messages, like the importance of family and imagination, especially at such a young age, but it was tedious.
Not even the characters were able to make me enjoy this. I'm blaming the plot again as the characters are pretty awesome and memorable. Though I was not a fan of the kids as they looked stupid from start to finish and they were kind of annoying too, I loved Mary Poppins. She is such a lovable governess and Julie Andrews gives such a sweet and charming performance, it's impossible not to like her. The standout, however, has to be Dick Van Dyke and his Bert. I wasn't crazy about his Cockney accent but he is so cheerful and fun, he brings so much energy and enthusiasm into the film, and his dancing and singing are fantastic.
|Buena Vista Distribution|
What I also liked about Mary Poppins is how the filmmakers were able to combine live-action and animation. They are combined wonderfully, especially considering this film was made in the 1960s. It does look old today but it still is quite charming and kind of magical.
As for the soundtrack, some songs are so catchy and memorable, but some, I just didn't care for them. Not to mention that some songs are completely unrelated to the story.