The original movie Mary Poppins was released in August 1964. That means I was 9-1/2 years old the first time I saw the magical nanny float down from the sky with her umbrella. For me, honestly, it was love at first sight…..
I didn’t know at the time (and in fact, I didn’t learn it until much later as an adult) that Mary Poppins was based on the first in a series of books written by P.L. Travers. It wouldn’t have mattered, because I simply loved everything about the movie. Even at the tender age of almost 10, I loved the music. In fact, we must have had an album of the soundtrack of Mary Poppins, because I can sing along every word of every song (well, maybe not Fidelity Fiduciary Bank). In fact, one of my go-to lullabies sung to Court and all of my grandchildren was not Stay Awake, which is the original movie’s lullaby, but Feed the Birds, which Mary Poppins sings to Michael and Jane before they make their unfortunate visit to Mr. Banks’ employer — Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. (My other oft-sung lullaby was Edleweiss, from Sound of Music. I guess I am a fan of Julie Andrews’ musicals.)
While I’m sure much has been written about the movie, I have not read a single article that mentions how children are reacting to Mary Poppins Returns. I think all of my nieces and nephews who have seen the movie have enjoyed it; however, I don’t anticipate that any of them will run out and buy the soundtrack, or even proclaim that it was their favorite movie of the year.
With all of the animation and special effects and computer-generated excitement in movies that kids watch these days, seeing a pretty woman gently floating down from the sky carrying an umbrella is probably fairly ho-hum…..
As for me, yesterday as Bec and I watched Mary Poppins Returns with her grands, the moment I saw the wind changing, knowing that the change would bring Mary Poppins to address all of the problems facing her beloved Michael and Jane Banks, my eyes filled up with tears. From that point on, there was scarcely a moment that I wasn’t either crying, about to cry, or secretly wiping my tears from having been crying and not wanting anyone to know.
And it’s not a sad movie. Well, at least not much of it. And not shockingly, Mary Poppins ends up saving the day, as one would expect. After all, she’s practically perfect in every way. I guess I just wish there was a Mary Poppins who would come to me when I’m sad or worried.
I wondered, too, if seeing Mary Poppins Returns without having seen the original Mary Poppins, makes a child enjoy it more or less, or does it not matter at all. As an adult watching the sequel, I loved hearing the snips of familiar instrumental music from the original in the background throughout the sequel. It also made my heart happy that some of the familiar themes were present. Mary Poppins had the scene with Ed Wynn as Uncle Albert, who’s inability to stop laughing made him float to the sky. Mary Poppins Returns offered us Meryl Streep as Mary Poppins’ cousin Topsy whose world turns upside down the second Wednesday of every month.
I’m not trying to write a movie review, though if I was, I would give Mary Poppins Returns two thumbs up. I’m just happy that I was able to see Mary Poppins save the Banks children once again.
Though it is true that in the movie Saving Mr. Banks, when Walt Disney suggests that Mary Poppins was sent to save the children, the nanny’s creator P.L. Travers sniffs and says, “You think Mary Poppins has come to save the children? Oh dear.”
Oh, dear indeed.