232. Mary Poppins

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Movie: Mary Poppins

Release Date: August 27, 1964

Director: Robert Stevenson

Starring: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Elsa Lanchester, Arthur Treacher. Reginald Owen, Ed Wynn.

Tag Lines: “It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Relevance: Julie Andrews was one of my mother’s favorite human beings in the world. She thought she was beautiful, a lovely human being and absolutely adored her singing voice. My mother couldn’t carry a tune to save her life, but she loved music, musicals and beautiful voices. To her, Ms. Andrews had one of the best. To her, she was angelic. Ms. Andrews also starred in my mother’s favorite movie of all time. That movie was not ‘Mary Poppins.’

It’s not that my mom did not like ‘Mary Poppins.’ She did. Very much so. It just was not ‘The Sound of Music.’ But there will be a lot more on that movie as I will be discussing it much later this year as part of this project. In fact, Julie Andrews appears on this list a total of four times. ‘Mary Poppins’ is her second appearance (For her first one see 278. 10.) And it is a movie that although I don’t recall exactly the first time I watched it, I have seen it hundreds of times throughout the years.

As a kid, I simply remember the music. Those songs bring back so many fond memories of my childhood. “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee” and “Step in Time” were played numerous times on our record player. And they always seemed to make me happy. As I grew older and watched the film, it was the dancing that I started to pay attention to. I was obsessed with “Step in Time” and used to “perform” that song in my room all of the time. My mother used to scream upstairs “What the hell are you doing? You’re gonna fall through the ceiling. Knock it off.” I can only imagine my “Step in Time” was a bit too loud and a bit too hard for my bedroom floor. In all fairness, I never did fall through the ceiling. There may have been a picture or two that fell off the wall, but no ceiling was harmed during those performances.

Like all kids do, I eventually grew up, but I never grew out of ‘Mary Poppins.’ As mentioned a few times on this blog, my mom was a huge Disney fan. She made sure that her children and grandchildren had the complete collection of all Disney films that were available. So of course, I owned ‘Mary Poppins.’ By this time I had a son of my own. As much as I still enjoyed the music and the dancing from the movie when I watched it with my son, it was the story of parenthood and being a father that I was most attracted to. I have always tried to be present in my son’s life, never take things too seriously and always, always laugh. Thank you for that lesson Mr. Banks. My son and I used to watch this movie a lot, that is until he turned twelve where all “singing movies” suddenly became stupid. Now at twenty-three, he just rolls his eyes when I mention this movie or sing one of the songs to him. If only I had a video of him dancing with the Dick Van Dyke and the penguins like he always used to do. Regardless, once he has a child of his own, I am gifting him the movie. Cue the eye-roll.

I can’t even begin to count how many times I have seen ‘Mary Poppins’ over the years. It is a movie that seems to have been a constant my forty-nine years of life. It is a movie that brings me pure joy and happiness every time that I watch it. And I am sure it will continue to do so until my time on this planet is through.

Today’s Thoughts: “As I expected. Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.”

‘Mary Poppins’ has so many iconic moments and songs, it is difficult for me to pick a favorite. Both Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke light up the screen. I can watch them together for hours. Pure joy. Pure happiness. Ms. Andrews looks and sounds lovely and Dick Van Dyke is the perfect comedian and the best actor to fill Bert’s shoes. I wish my performances of “Step In Time” were even half as good as his. That is a scene I can watch over and over again and never get tired of it.

I loved watching ‘Mary Poppins’ today. Not only did it bring me pure joy and make me smile the entire time, it reminded me of lovely memories of my mother. She really did love Julie Andrews. Throughout my life, every time that I saw or heard Ms. Andrews, I instantly thought of my mom. More so now than ever. My mom passed away a little over a month ago, so hearing Julie Andrews sing “Feed the Birds” today was very healing and exactly what I needed.

As I mentioned earlier, ‘Mary Poppins’ is a film that will be with me for the rest of my life. It is a classic, and rightfully so. I was even one of the first in line to see ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ which of course I loved. There is something about this character that I will always hold near and dear to my heart. Spit-spot.

“Goodbye, Mary Poppins, don’t stay away too long.”

Awards: Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Julie Andrews (winner), Academy Award for Best Film Editing, Cotton Warburton (winner), Academy Award for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects, Peter Ellenshaw, Hamilton Luske, Eustace Lycett (winner), Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman (winner), Academy Award for Best Music, Substantially Original Score, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman (winner), Academy Award for Best Picture (nomination), Academy Award for Best Director, Robert Stevenson (nomination), Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi (nomination), Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Color, Edward Colman (nomination), Academy Award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, Carroll Clark, William H. Tuntke, Emile Kuri, Hal Gausman (nomination), Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color, Tony Walton, Academy Award for Best Sound, Robert O. Cook (nomination), Academy Award for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment, Irwin Kostal (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Actress – Comedy or Musical, Julie Andrews (winner), Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical, Dick Van Dyke (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Original Score, Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman (nomination), BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles, Julie Andrews (winner), Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Robert Stevenson (nomination), National Film Registry (2013), New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, Julie Andrews (nomination), Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Musical, Bill Walsh, Don DaGradi (winner).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Disney +, DVD Availability.

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