Monday, December 12, 2016

The Influence of Mary Poppins

Saturday night we watched Mary Poppins on TV, mostly because I did not recall ever having seen it before. I probably did when I was young, but I had no memory of it.

The first thing that came to mind was Harry Potter. Here we had wizards (Mary Poppin and the chimney sweep dude) and muggles (the parental units and the hired help).

The next thing that came to mind was Nanny McPhee. Obviously both of those stories were influence to some extent by Mary Poppins.

I could write a good paper comparing those two items with Mary Poppins, I suspect. Throw in the history of witches and warlocks, good and bad, parenting versus actually raising a child, and one could write an entire book about this movie with comparison to today's literature.

Not sure I could manage to match it with Tolkien, though. I would have to give that one some thought.

Mary Poppins, in case like me you were not aware, sat amongst the clouds waiting for the winds to blow. She magically appeared to become a nanny to two mischievous children (though their mischief was mild compared to today) and to retrain the family. Doesn't that sound like Nanny McPhee?

The chimney sweep, Bert, played by Dick Van Dyke, performed all kinds of feats and was rather a jack-of-all-trades sort of fellow, for he also was a one-man band and served as a sort of narrator to the audience.

Later in the film there was something about laughing and how it kept your feet from the floor, which seemed a rather good lesson for these trying times.

I knew most of the songs but I think that came from having the album or perhaps a toy jukebox I once had that played many Disney tunes. And then there was that wonderful word: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It means "exceptional" or "wonderful" but also, according to Wikipedia, "Atoning for educability through delicate beauty."

That in and of itself probably requires explaining, and looking at that particular definition gives me a headache! Dum diddle diddle!

Julie Andrews did not look at all like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, for Mary Poppins (she goes by her entire name all the time) has black hair and the change in features is magical, truly. I had no idea Dick Van Dyke was so talented, either.

The film was produced in 1964 and is loosely based on a book series, Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers (something I shall have to add to my reading list, I suppose).


  1. This movie is a favorite of mine. Always a joy to watch.

  2. Gasp! You'd never seen it before? I almost settled on Mary Poppins myself Saturday night, figuring that if I fell asleep, I'd seen it so many times before I wouldn't miss anything -- but then I saw PBS was airing Guys on Ice, which I'd never seen, so I watched that instead. It's hilarious, by the way. :D


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