Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical-fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, loosely based on P. L. Travers' book series Mary Poppins. The film, which combines live-action and animation, stars Julie Andrews in the role of Mary Poppins who visits a dysfunctional family in London and employs her unique brand of lifestyle to improve the family's dynamic. Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, and Glynis Johns are featured in supporting roles.
Mary Poppins is considered Walt Disney's crowning live-action achievement, and is the only one of his films which earned a Best Picture nomination during his lifetime. In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
When Jane and Michael, the children of the wealthy and uptight Banks family, are faced with the prospect of a new nanny, they are pleasantly surprised by the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins. Embarking on a series of fantastical adventures with Mary and her Cockney performer friend, Bert, the siblings try to pass on some of their nanny's sunny attitude to their preoccupied parents.
Why It Rocks
- A incredibly talented cast with Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Matthew Garber and Karen Dotrice.
- It has a brilliantly told story that's faithful to the original book.
- It has beautifully amazing songs such as Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Chim Chim Cher-ee and A Spoonful of Sugar.
- The special effects are dazzling by mid-60s standards, and the traditional 2D animation blends well with the live-action set pieces.
- Well-handed messages.
The film received universal acclaim from film critics. Rotten Tomatoes reports a 100% approval rating, based on 48 reviews with an average rating of 8.35/10. The site's consensus reads, "A lavish modern fairy tale celebrated for its amazing special effects, catchy songs, and Julie Andrews's legendary performance in the title role." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 88 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
Variety praised the film's musical sequences and the performances of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, in particular. Time lauded the film, stating, "The sets are luxuriant, the songs lilting, the scenario witty but impeccably sentimental, and the supporting cast only a pinfeather short of perfection."
Critic Drew Casper summarized the impact of Mary Poppins in 2011:
Disney was the leader, his musical fantasies mixing animation and truly marvelous f/x with real-life action for children and the child in the adult. Mary Poppins (1964) was his plum. ... the story was elemental, even trite. But utmost sophistication (the chimney pot sequence crisply cut by Oscared "Cotton" Warburton) and high-level invention (a tea party on the ceiling, a staircase of black smoke to the city's top) characterized its handling.