Mary Poppins (1964)
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|Movie Review by James |
February 22nd, 2019
Sometimes, a bit of magic is just what we need. With 1964's "Mary Poppins", we are given a fantastical adventure through the life an extraordinary woman. Based off the books by P. L. Travers, the movie is a complete oversight of what the books intended to give readers, but here, we are given a deep and unique vision that only Disney could pull off. The film is a technical masterpiece, although the special effects have aged quite a bit (this is only a nitpick), it's still a marvel to see what the filmmakers accomplished back then. On top of this, the cast, the crew, the music, all makes sense in a practically perfect way. "Mary Poppins" is a great film from Disney that must be enjoyed by all ages; it's entertaining not just for kids, but for adults as well. Plus, who needs a little magic in their lives?
The story focuses on a British family by the name of Banks, who seem to be having trouble with nannies, aka special servants, attending the needs of the children. Mr. Banks, the father (David Tomlinson), suggests that he would like a strict nanny to see that the children be taught right so that their future's be successful. The children on the other hand, would like someone sweet and nice despite their father's opinions. Enter Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews who won an Academy Award for her performance in this film) gets the job and teaches the children how to have fun and enjoy themselves as well, with a little bit of trickery along the way. They also meet Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a person of interest who has a variety of jobs, who also plays with the children too. To ensure that everyone is happy, Mary Poppins not only teaches the children how to have fun, but also their father as well.
"Mary Poppins" is a great film that only Disney could have pulled off. If there were any other studio, it would not have worked.
The story is well-written and has the charm and enchantment for kids, but also can invoke a serious side for adults. There is a sense of fun and excitement, as well as this deeper meaning of what it takes to balance both fun and work, and trying to main a family throughout any sort of trouble. Sure, it doesn't go into the much more darker territory of the books, but what screenwriters Don DaGradi and Bill Walsh did with the source material turned it into a fun and exciting film.
The direction from Robert Stevenson is great. Everything has balance, and there are no bad performances.
Speaking of which, every actor and actress in this movie is absolutely fantastic. Especially Andrews, who was unknown at the time. Plus, Van Dyke and Tomlinson deliver great performances, especially in a scene near the end of the film, where the characters are discussing the theme of breaking down and pulling yourself from the ashes.
The pacing can be a little slow, but it works well with the film's advantage of being very entertaining to say the least.
The costumes fit the time period of the early 1910s greatly, and the sets, the lighting, and the sound, all mix perfectly in a well-designed movie that looks amazing after nearly 50 years since its release.
The songs and music, written by the Sherman Brothers, fit perfectly for the film. The songs are so memorable, practically everyone knows them. From tunes like 'Feed the Birds' to 'A Spoonful of Sugar', the movie guarantees the viewer a great musical that will keep you humming to this day.
The only major criticism that the movie is the special effects. But as stated before, this is just a nitpick; they are still amazing to look at. In a world where everything is done on computers, these effects are great and are still interesting to learn how they pulled it off.
In conclusion, "Mary Poppins" is a very good film that is just wonderful. It is a great, wonderful, and magical experience whenever you watch it.
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