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Mary Poppins (G)
AFI Catalog; Disney Movies; Disney Wiki; IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TCM; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Disney+; Google Play; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu; YouTube

Caution: spoilers.

This came out in 1964 (11 years before I was born). It's based on a series of books which I've never read, by P.L. Travers. There are a few categories under which I could put this: musical, classic, fantasy, period... but, I've chosen family, because... well, actually I guess it's fairly arbitrary. *shrug* (I'll still link to it from a couple other sections, though.) Anyway... I saw it more than enough when I was a kid. But really, it is actually a movie that I wouldn't mind seeing... a number of times again in my life. Which I can't say for most movies. And if I happen to be watching it, even bits and pieces... well, it has a very fond, nostalgic feel to it. It's not something one can ever really outgrow. It's a fun story, with some interesting characters, special effects which to me don't look at all outdated, and most importantly, unforgettable songs it's impossible not to sing along to, even if only in your head.

The story, in the exceedingly unlikely chance you don't know it, is this: There are a pair of children, Jane and Michael Banks, who are constantly driving away nannies with all their troublemaking. Their parents, of course, love them, but have no time for them. Their mother, Winifred, is too involved with the suffragette movement, and their father, George (David Tomlinson), is too involved with his career as a banker. (Btw, I should mention the movie is set in 1910, though the first book was published in 1934, and the movie released in 1964.) When their latest nanny quits, the children write a letter advertising for a new nanny with the qualifications they desire, while George writes an advertisement for a much stricter nanny, and tears up the children's letter. However, much to his surprise, a nanny- Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews)- arrives in response to Jane and Michael's letter, instead.

And of course, she turns out to be rather magical, though she's constantly acting as if she doesn't want to do any of the fantastic things she does, then does them anyway, enjoys herself along with the children- and a chimneysweep/street performer/chalk artist/whatever, named Bert (Dick Van Dyke)- and later she denies to the children that anything happened. I don't really feel like describing any of the magical events of the movie, except to say that they're all quite fun, and it's a shame none of it can actually happen in real life. But, there is a bit of realism mixed in with the fantasy, including George getting fired. Though I think the most unlikely thing that happens in the movie is when he ends up getting not only rehired, but promoted. Yes, even more unlikely than people jumping into chalk drawings or having tea parties on the ceiling. Oh, drat, I just described a couple of magical events! Oh well...

Whatever, it can hardly be surprising that everything turns out well in the end, particularly George learning to appreciate his family more than his job. And I suppose that's about all there is to say. Great songs, great fun, and a tidy little life lesson, all tied up in a pretty package. Definitely one of the great classic movies of all time.

There was a sequel in 2018, Mary Poppins Returns.
(See also Mary Poppins Quits with Kristen Bell, and Saving Mr. Banks)

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