Mary Poppins (film)

Mary Poppins (film)
Mary Poppins

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Produced by Walt Disney
Screenplay by Bill Walsh
Don DaGradi
Based on Mary Poppins by
P. L. Travers
Starring Julie Andrews
Dick Van Dyke
David Tomlinson
Glynis Johns
Karen Dotrice
Matthew Garber
Music by Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman (Songs)
Irwin Kostal
Cinematography Edward Colman
Editing by Cotton Warburton
Studio Walt Disney Productions
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date(s) August 27, 1964 (1964-08-27)
Running time 139 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million
Box office $102,272,727[1]

Mary Poppins is a 1964 musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, produced by Walt Disney, and based on the Mary Poppins books series by P. L. Travers with illustrations by Mary Shepard. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, with songs by the Sherman Brothers. It was shot at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

Julie Andrews won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Mary Poppins and the film also won Oscars for Best Film Editing, Original Music Score, Best Song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and Best Visual Effects, and received a total of 13 nominations.



The film opens with Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) perched in a cloud high above London in Spring 1910.[2] The action descends to Earth where Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a Cockney jack-of-all-trades is performing as a one-man band at a park entrance, where he suddenly senses that his good friend is about to return. After the show, he breaks the fourth wall and introduces the audience to the well-to-do but troubled Banks family, headed by the cold and aloof George Banks (David Tomlinson) and the loving but highly distracted suffragette Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns).

The Banks' latest nanny, Katie Nanna (Elsa Lanchester), quits out of exasperation after the Banks children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) run off in pursuit of a wayward kite. Mr. Banks returns home from his job at the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, and Mrs. Banks reveals the children are missing. A policeman (Arthur Treacher), arrives with the children, who ask their father to help repair their damaged kite, but he dismisses them and advertises for an authoritarian nanny-replacement. Jane and Michael draft their own advertisement asking for a fun, kind-hearted and caring person, but Mr. Banks tears up the paper and throws it in the fireplace. Unnoticed, the remains of the note float up the dark chimney.

The next day, a queue of elderly and disagreeable looking candidates await at the door. However a strong gust of wind blows the queue away and Mary Poppins floats down, held aloft by her magical umbrella, to apply. Mr. Banks is stunned to see that this calmly defiant new nanny has responded to the children's ad despite the fact he destroyed it. As he puzzles, Mary Poppins employs herself and begins work, saying that she will stay for a trial period of one week, before deciding if she will take a permanent position. The children face surprises of their own: Mary possesses a bottomless carpetbag, and makes contents of the children's nursery come to life and tidy themselves (by snapping her fingers).

The trio then meet Bert, who is a close friend of Mary, in the park at work as a screever, where Mary uses one of his chalk pavement drawings as a gateway to an outing in an animated countryside. While in the drawing, the children ride a Merry-Go-Round while Mary and Bert enjoy a stroll though the countryside, during which Bert dances at an outdoor bistro with four penguin waiters. Mary and Bert join the children on the Merry-Go-Round, from which the horses break loose and take their riders on a trip through the countryside. As they pass by a fox hunt, Bert manoeuvres to save an Irish-accented fox from the bloodhounds. Finally the quartet finds themselves in a horse race, which Mary wins. It is here that Mary first employs the nonsense word "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." The outing is interrupted by a rainstorm, which washes away the chalk drawing and returns the travellers to the park pavement.

That evening, the children ask Mary how long she'll stay with them. With a sombre expression, she replies, "I shall stay until the wind changes". The next day, they all visit Bert's jovial Uncle Albert, who floats whenever he laughs, and join him in a tea party in mid-air (though Mary finds it childish and ridiculous).

Mr. Banks grows increasingly irate with his children's stories of their adventures, but Mary effortlessly inverts his attempted dismissal of her services into a plan to take his children with him to the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, where he is employed. On the way there, as they pass the bank, the children see "The Bird Woman", and they want to feed the birds, but George will have none of it as he expresses his uninterest in what Mary Poppins says and orders his children to "come along" and not mention her name for the rest of the day. Upon arriving at the bank, Mr. Dawes—Mr. Banks' extremely elderly employer—aggressively tries to persuade Michael to invest his money in the bank to the point of actually snatching it out of his hand without waiting for his permission. When Michael protests, the other customers misunderstand, and start a run on the bank that forces the bank to suspend business. The children flee and wander into the slums of the East End of London. Fortunately, they run into Bert, now employed as a chimney sweep. He takes them safely home, explaining that their father does not hate them, but that he has problems of his own, and that unlike the children, has no-one to turn to but himself.

At home, a departing Mrs. Banks employs Bert to clean the family's chimney and mind the children. Mary Poppins arrives back from her day off and warns of the dangers of this activity, but is too late as the children are both sucked up the chimney to the roof. Bert and Mary follow them and lead a tour of the rooftops of London that concludes with a joyful dance with Bert's chimney-sweep colleagues. A volley of fireworks from the Banks' eccentric neighbour, Admiral Boom, who mistakes them for Hottentots, sends the entire gathering back down the Banks' chimney. Mr. Banks arrives home, forcing Mary to conclude the festivities. Banks then receives a phone call from work ordering him to return immediately for disciplinary action. As Mr. Banks gathers his strength, Bert points out that while Mr. Banks does need to make a living, his offspring's childhood will come and go in a blink of an eye, and he needs to be there for them while he can. The Banks children approach their father to apologize, and Michael gives Mr. Banks his tuppence in the hope that it will make things all right. Banks gently accepts the offering.

A somber and thoughtful Mr. Banks walks alone through the night-time streets, for the first time noticing several of the buildings around him, including the cathedral and steps on which the woman was sitting earlier. At the bank, he is formally humiliated and sacked for causing the first run on the bank since 1773 (it is stated that the bank supplied the money for the shipment of tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party). However, after being at a loss when ordered to give a statement, Mr. Banks invokes Mary Poppins' all-purpose word "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" to tweak Mr. Dawes. He gives Dawes the tuppence, tells the old man one of Bert's and Uncle Albert's jokes and raucously departs. Dawes mulls over the joke, finally "gets it" and floats up into the air, laughing.

The next morning, the wind has changed direction, and so Mary must depart. Meanwhile, the Banks adults cannot find Mr. Banks, and fear that he might have become suicidal. However, Mr. Banks, now loving and joyful, reappears with the now-mended kite and cheerfully summons his children. The greatly relieved Mrs. Banks supplies a tail for the kite, using one of her suffragette ribbons. They all leave the house without a backward glance as Mary Poppins watches from a window. In the park with other kite-flyers, Mr. Banks meets Mr. Dawes Jr., who says that his father literally died laughing. Instead of being upset, the son is delighted his father died happy, and re-employs Mr. Banks to fill the opening as partner. Her work done, Mary Poppins takes to the air with a fond farewell from Bert (who was selling kites), telling her not to stay away too long.

Production history

The first book was the main basis for the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins, a musical with mixed live-action and animation which premiered on August 27, 1964. It was the Sherman Brothers, who composed the music and song score, and who were also involved in the picture's development, who suggested that the setting be changed from the 1930s to the Edwardian era. Julie Andrews, who was making her movie acting debut after a successful stage career, got the prime role of Mary Poppins soon after she was passed over by Jack Warner and replaced with Audrey Hepburn for the role of Eliza Doolittle in his screen version of My Fair Lady, even though Andrews had originated the role on Broadway.[citation needed] Andrews later beat Hepburn for the Best Actress Awards in both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards for their respective roles.

Disney cast Dick Van Dyke in the key supporting role of Bert, thanks to his work on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Van Dyke also played the senior Mr. Dawes in the film. Although he is fondly remembered for this film, Van Dyke's attempt at a cockney accent is regarded as one of worst film accents in history, cited as an example by actors since as something that they wish to avoid. In a 2003 poll by Empire magazine of the worst film accents of all time he came second.[3][4] Van Dyke claims that his accent coach was Irish, who "didn't do an accent any better than I did".[5]

According to the 40th Anniversary DVD release of the film in 2004, Walt Disney first attempted to purchase the film rights to Mary Poppins from P. L. Travers as early as 1938 but was rebuffed because Travers did not believe a film version of her books would do justice to her creation. In addition, Disney was known at the time primarily as a producer of cartoons and had yet to produce any major live-action work. For more than 20 years, Disney periodically made efforts to convince Travers to allow him to make a Poppins film. He finally succeeded in 1961, although Travers demanded and got script approval rights. Planning the film and composing the songs took about two years. Travers objected to a number of elements that actually made it into the film. Rather than original songs, she wanted the soundtrack to feature known standards of the Edwardian period in which the story is set. She also objected to the animated sequence. Disney overruled her, citing contract stipulations that he had final say on the finished print. Much of their correspondence is part of the Travers collection of papers in the Mitchell Library of New South Wales, Australia. The relationship between Travers and Disney is detailed in Mary Poppins She Wrote, a biography of Travers, by Valerie Lawson. The biography is the basis for two documentaries on Travers, The Real Mary Poppins and Lisa Matthews' The Shadow of Mary Poppins.[6][7][8]

A number of other changes were necessary to condense the story into feature length. In the movie, there are only two Banks children, Jane and Michael. The satirical and mysterious aspects of the original book gave way to a cheerful and "Disneyfied" tone. Mary Poppins' character as portrayed by Andrews in the film is somewhat less vain and more sympathetic toward the children than the rather cold and intimidating nanny of the original book. Bert, as played by Van Dyke, was a composite of several characters from Travers' stories. Travers demanded that any suggestions of romance between Mary and Bert be eliminated, so lyrics were written for "Jolly Holiday" that clearly indicated that their friendship was purely platonic. (Some subtle hints of romance, however, did remain in the finished film.)

As mentioned above, Van Dyke played two roles in the film. Andrews did at least three: she provided the robin's (which actually employed a model of a male American robin, nesting with another adult male American Robin), whistling harmony during "A Spoonful of Sugar", and was also one of the Pearly singers during "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". David Tomlinson, besides playing Mr. Banks, also provided the voice of Mary's talking umbrella as well as numerous other voice-over parts (including that of Admiral Boom's first mate). During the "Jolly Holiday" sequence, the three singing Cockney geese were all voiced by Marni Nixon (Nixon would later play one of Julie Andrews' fellow nuns in The Sound of Music; she had also provided the singing voice for Deborah Kerr in "The King and I", Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and Natalie Wood in West Side Story).

Cast and characters

Audio-animatronic versions of Mary Poppins and Bert in The Great Movie Ride.

Mary Poppins

"Practically perfect in every way", Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews, winner of the Best Actress Oscar Award) comes down from the clouds in response to the Banks children's advertisement for a Nanny. She is not only firm in her use of authority, but kind and gentle as well (a major departure from the original books, in which the character was strict and pompous). She travels to help children everywhere when they are most in need.


Bert (Dick Van Dyke) is a Cockney; as well as being a jack-of-all-trades, and Mary's closest normal friend who is notable in that he is completely accustomed to her magic. Their interaction, such as in the song "Jolly Holiday", makes it clear they have known each other for a long time, and that this kind of story has repeated itself many times. When she sails away at the end of the film, he asks her not to stay away too long, this time, possibly showing that he is accustomed to having Mary come and go as she pleases.

Bert has at least four jobs throughout the film: a one-man band, a pavement chalk artist (or "screever"), a chimney sweep, and a kite seller. Bert also hints at selling hot chestnuts. His various street-vending jobs meet with mixed financial success, but he retains his cheery disposition and a bright red nose.

Bert also indirectly assists Mary Poppins in her mission to save the Banks family, as he plays a key role in helping the Banks children and Mr. Banks to understand each other better.

Mr. Banks

George Banks (David Tomlinson) is Mary Poppins' employer. He works at the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank in the City of London, and lives at 17 Cherry Tree Lane with his wife, Winifred, and their children. He is a driven and disciplined man (he could be considered a Type A personality in modern standards) who callously dismisses the "Votes for Women" movement and tends to treat his children, wife, and servants as assets rather than people — a fact clearly evidenced in his song "The Life I Lead". By the end of the movie, Mr. Banks' attitude towards his family, job, and Mary Poppins has changed dramatically. In contrast to what his children want, George wants a strict and authoritarian nanny that will give commands to "mold" Jane and Michael into nothing more than little obedient soldiers, something that his wife agrees with until and after the children show their ad for a new nanny.

Melodies in the score punctuate the children's need for their father's attention and love, and most of the dramatic tension in the film involves his journey from disconnected family autocrat to fully engaged family man.

According to the Special Edition Soundtrack bonus disc, Mary Poppins was George's own nanny when he was a child. Travers intended to have the script hint this strongly in a few places, but it was largely left out of the movie, except for the following words in Bert's opening song, "Can't put me finger on what lies in store ... But I feel what's to 'appen, all 'appened before ...!" and George's own statement to the elder Mr. Dawes that "Poppins" was "my nanny". However, in Banks' initial interview with Mary Poppins, there is little or no indication that the two have ever met before, and his description of her as "my nanny" could easily be meant in the same way as "my maid" or "my cook".

Mrs. Banks

Winifred Banks (Glynis Johns) is the wife of George Banks and the mother of Jane and Michael. She is more fully developed in the film than in the books. She is depicted as a member of Emmeline Pankhurst's suffragette movement and appears to be so dedicated to the women's cause to the extent that she, like her husband, neglects the children. Her main outfit is a blue and orange Edwardian-style dress with a white and blue sash that reads "Votes for Women" in black letters. She wears white gloves in the film (as did most Edwardian English women) and a stylish hat. Her song in the film is "Sister Suffragette", which she sings with the other two women of the household staff. She is mostly responsible for the primary duty which is "Posts, everyone!", a simple way to protect elegant and delicate household items (such as vases or pictures) from destruction when Mr. Binnicle fires the cannon on top of Admiral Boom's house next door. She is also given yellow daisies by her son Michael one morning as he and his sister are singing "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

She is more sensitive to the needs of the children than her husband is, but also finds herself starved for his attention. As with the children, it is clear she loves George very much, but he is too wrapped up in his view of the way things "ought to be" to return her love satisfactorily. Mrs. Banks was originally named "Cynthia", but this was quickly changed to the more "English-sounding" Winifred after some issues with the script.

Mrs. Banks' four "Votes for Women" sashes from the film have all survived and are in perfect condition. One can be seen being "pulled out" of Richard M. Sherman's "special musicians' trunk" on the Musical Journey seen on the 2004 DVD release.

Mrs. Banks and Mary Poppins never speak to each other in the movie (possibly to show that the "man" of the household had power, and would deal with the nanny), though Mrs. Banks does mention her frequently. In the book, they do speak to one another.

The Banks children

While the Banks family in the original novel had four children, only Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) appear in the film (the reason for this is that the other two children were infants who contributed almost nothing to the plot). Katie Nanna's stormy departure suggests that the children are impossibly undisciplined, and they do demonstrate some evidence of this in their own advertisement for a new nanny, as they promise not to "hide her spectacles so she can't see, put toads in her bed or pepper in her tea" while smiling at each other in remembrance of jokes on former nannies. Once Mary Poppins arrives, the children come across as mostly sweet and innocent, albeit a tad rebellious.

All they want is for their father to love them, and they have mistakenly interpreted his indifference to their needs as disliking them. They have tried to live up to his demands on them, which has only left them with shaky self-esteem. Those elements come together in a bit of dialogue early in the film, in which they explain that they did not run away from Katie Nanna, their kite took them away from her. They say that the kite is not very good, because they made it themselves. They suggest to their father that if he could help them with it, it would turn out better. Alas, at that point, Banks is too wrapped up in his philosophy, that a British household should be run like a British bank, to take this strongest of hints.

After inadvertently causing a run on the bank, the children give their father their tuppence, expressing the hope that it will make things right. At that moment, Mr. Banks finally understands, and his priorities take a 180-degree turn, leading to the film's happy resolution.

Minor characters

  • Ellen (Hermione Baddeley), the maid of the Banks residence. Although she is fond of the children she hates having to look after them, when there is no nanny available in the household.
  • Mrs. Brill (Reta Shaw), the cook of the Banks residence. She doesn't like intruders when she sees them. For example, in the musical number called "Step In Time", she sees too many chimney sweepers and screams the phrase, "THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN!"
  • Admiral Boom (Reginald Owen), the Banks's neighbour and a naval officer. He has his first mate, Mr. Binnacle, fire a cannon from his roof every 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. When those firings are about to happen, the attendants of the Banks shout "Posts, everyone!" and rush to keep fragile possessions from falling to the ground while the house rocks. The admiral is known for his punctuality. He also considers a group of mean nannies as "ghastly looking crew".
  • Mr. Binnacle (Don Barclay), Admiral Boom's first mate. He gets excited when he is ordered to give the cannon a double charge.
  • Constable Jones (Arthur Treacher), a police officer who convinces Mr. Banks that the kite pulled the Banks children away when he brought them back. He is a kindhearted man that knows his duties, but hates the way George treats his family and servants, as he mutters to himself before walking out the Banks' home in his first scene.
  • Katie Nanna (Elsa Lanchester), the disgruntled nanny who quits the Banks family. Mrs. Brill never liked her one bit, although Ellen begged her not to leave because then Ellen would have to watch over the children alone.
  • Mr. Dawes Sr. (Dick Van Dyke), the impossibly ancient director of the bank where Mr. Banks works; he often needs a little help when he moves clumsily and literally dies laughing toward the end of the film after Mr. Banks tells him a joke. (During the film's end titles, "Navckid Keyd" is credited as Mr. Dawes Sr; the letters rearrange themselves to spell "Dick Van Dyke.")
  • Mr. Dawes Jr. (Arthur Malet), the director's son and member of the board. Surprisingly, he does not mourn his father passing, as he is glad that he died happily.
  • Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn), a jolly, portly gentleman who loves to laugh uncontrollably and floats up every time he does so; it also happens to other characters in the movie.
  • The bird woman (Jane Darwell, in her final film appearance).
  • The parrot handle to Mary's umbrella (David Tomlinson, uncredited) who speaks at the end of the film.
  • The old crone in the alley (Betty Lou Gerson, uncredited) who sees the children and her only line is "Come with me my dears, Granny will hide you."


  1. Overture — Orchestral medley of several of the songs from the film, including "Feed the Birds", "A Spoonful of Sugar", "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".
  2. "Jolly Holiday" — A few bars of the song, played by Dick Van Dyke with his "one man band" gear.
  3. "Sister Suffragette"Glynis Johns, Hermione Baddeley and Reta Shaw, with non-singing interruptions by Elsa Lanchester. Initially heard in an a cappella rendition by Johns, just prior to singing the full, orchestra-accompanied song with the house staff; and a music-only version in the "Step in Time" sequence.
  4. "The Life I Lead"David Tomlinson (later reprised with Julie Andrews as "A British Bank" and with Dick Van Dyke as "A Man has Dreams".)
  5. "The Perfect Nanny"Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber
  6. "A Spoonful of Sugar" — Julie Andrews (the 2004 DVD release reveals that Andrews also performed the bird's whistling during this number)
  7. "Jolly Holiday" — Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, with Thurl Ravenscroft, Marni Nixon, Paul Frees and others
  8. "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" — Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke with J. Pat O'Malley and others
  9. "Stay Awake" — Julie Andrews
  10. "I Love to Laugh" — Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews and Ed Wynn
  11. "Feed the Birds" — Julie Andrews (Walt Disney's favorite song from the score, and the leadoff melody in the overture)
  12. "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" — Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson and other people at the bank
  13. "Chim Chim Cher-ee" — Performed several times with different lyrics by Dick Van Dyke; also performed by Van Dyke with Julie Andrews, Karen Dotrice, and Matthew Garber (won the Academy Award for Best Original Song)
  14. "Step in Time" — Dick Van Dyke
  15. "A Man Has Dreams" — David Tomlinson and Dick Van Dyke. This is a slower-paced rendition of "The Life I Lead" which incorporates a brief reprise of "A Spoonful of Sugar".
  16. "Feed the Birds" — Orchestral and choral reprise, played over Mr. Banks's solitary walk to the bank at night.
  17. "Let's Go Fly a Kite" — Glynis Johns, David Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke and others.
  18. Closing credits theme — Includes an instrumental reprise of "Spoonful of Sugar" followed by a choral reprise of "Let's Go Fly a Kite".

In 2004, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was ranked #36 in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Songs in American film History.

Deleted songs

A number of other songs were written for the film by the Sherman Brothers and either rejected or cut for time. Richard Sherman, on the 2004 DVD release, indicated that more than 30 songs were written at various stages of the film's development. No cast recordings of any of these songs have been released to the public, only demos or later performances done by the songwriters — with the exception of the rooftop reprise of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" and the "smoke staircase yodel" mentioned below.

  1. "The Chimpanzoo", was originally to follow "I Love to Laugh" during the Uncle Albert "ceiling tea party" sequence, but it was dropped from the soundtrack just before Julie Andrews and company were to record it. The fast-paced number was not unveiled to the public until Richard Sherman, aided by recently uncovered storyboards, performed it on the 2004 DVD edition. The re-creation suggests it was to have been another sequence combining animation and live action.
  2. "Practically Perfect" was intended to introduce Mary but instead the melody of the piece was used for "Sister Suffragette" (used to introduce Winifred (Mrs. Banks)). A different song with the same name was written for the stage musical.
  3. "The Eyes of Love", a romantic ballad, was intended for Bert and Mary, but according to Richard Sherman, Julie Andrews suggested privately to Disney that this song was not suitable. In response, "A Spoonful of Sugar" was written.
  4. "Mary Poppins Melody" was to be performed when Mary introduces herself to the children. Elements of the song later became part of "Stay Awake". The melody was the basis for a couple of other songs that were ultimately cut from the film.
  5. "A Name's a Name". Heard on a recording taken of a meeting between the Sherman Brothers and P.L. Travers, this song was originally intended for the nursery scene that later became "A Spoonful of Sugar." The melody was reused for "Mary Poppins Melody".
  6. "You Think, You Blink" was a short piece that Bert was to sing just before entering the chalk painting (and starting the "Jolly Holiday" sequence). In the film, Dick Van Dyke simply recites the lyric instead of singing it.
  7. "West Wind" was a short ballad to be sung by Mary. The song was later retitled "Mon Amour Perdu" and used in the later Disney film, Big Red.
  8. "The Right Side" was to be sung by Mary to Michael Banks after he gets out of bed cranky. It was recycled for the Disney Channel television series, Welcome to Pooh Corner as Winnie the Pooh's personal theme song.
  9. "Measure Up" was to accompany the scene in which Mary takes the tape measure to Jane and Michael.
  10. "Admiral Boom" was to be the theme song for the cannon-firing neighbor of the Banks Residence, but it was cut by Walt Disney as being unnecessary. The melody of the song remains in the film, and the bombastic theme is heard whenever Boom appears onscreen. One line from this song ("The whole world takes its time from Greenwich, but Greenwich, they say, takes its time from Admiral Boom!") is spoken by Bert early in the film.
  11. "Sticks, Paper and Strings" was an early version of "Let's Go Fly a Kite."
  12. "Lead the Righteous Life", an intentionally poorly-written hymn, was to have been sung by Katie Nanna (Elsa Lanchester) along with Jane and Michael prior to Mary Poppins' arrival. The melody was later reused for a similar song in The Happiest Millionaire
  13. "The Pearly Song" was not deleted per se but was instead incorporated into "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

The Compass Sequence, a precursor to "Jolly Holiday", was to be a multiple-song sequence. A number of possible musical components have been identified:

  1. "South Sea Island Symphony"
  2. "Chinese Festival Song"
  3. "Tim-buc-too" — elements of this were reused for "The Chimpanzoo" which was also cut
  4. "Tiki Town" — the melody was reused for "The Chimpanzoo"
  5. "North Pole Polka"
  6. "Land of Sand" — later rewritten as "Trust in Me" for the animated version of The Jungle Book
  7. "The Beautiful Briny" — later used in Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  8. "East is East" — another variation on the unused "Mary Poppins Melody".

Deleted scores and music

  • The "Step in Time" sequence ends with the chimney sweeps being scattered by an onslaught of fireworks fired from Admiral Boom's house. In the final film, the scene plays out with sound effects and no music. The DVD release included the original version of the scene which was accompanied by a complex instrumental musical arrangement that combined "Step in Time", the "Admiral Boom" melody (see above), and "A Spoonful of Sugar". This musical arrangement can be heard on the film's original soundtrack.
  • Andrews recorded a brief reprise of "Chim-Cheree" which was to have accompanied Mary, Bert, and the children as they marched across the rooftops of London (an instrumental reprise of "A Spoonful of Sugar" was used as a march instead; however, Andrews and Dick Van Dyke can still be seen and heard singing a reprise of "Chim-Cheree" in that sequence, just before the other chimney sweeps appear for the "Step in Time" number).
  • The robin Mary Poppins whistles with in "A Spoonful of Sugar" originally sang a lyric as well.
  • Andrews also recorded a brief yodel which breaks into the first line of "A Spoonful of Sugar" which was to have been used to "activate" the smoke staircase prior to the "Step in Time" number. Although cut from the film, footage of Andrews performing this exists and was included on the 2004 DVD. The DVD also indicates that an alternate version of the yodel performed by Dick Van Dyke may also exist.

Awards and honors

Academy Awards

The film received 13 Academy Award nominations (it shares this record with Gone with the Wind, From Here to Eternity, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Forrest Gump, Shakespeare in Love, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Chicago, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; only All About Eve and Titanic have received more nominations, 14 each) and won 5 awards.[9] This makes Mary Poppins the most Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated Disney film in history.


American Film Institute


This film was the #1 moneymaker of 1965, earning a net profit of $28.5 million.[17][18] The Sound of Music was #2 with $20 million; Goldfinger was #3 at $19.7 million; and My Fair Lady was #4 at $19 million. The film also received universal acclaim from film critics. The film received a 100% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[17]

Home media

Mary Poppins was first released in the early 1980s on VHS and laserdisc. In 1994, 1997, and 1999, it was re-released three times as part of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection. In 1998, this film became Disney's first DVD. In 2000, it was released on VHS and DVD as part of the Gold Classic Collection. In 2004, it had a 2-Disc DVD release in a Digitally Restored 40th Anniversary Edition as well as its final issue in the VHS Format. On January 27, 2009, the film was released on DVD again as a 45th anniversary edition, with more language tracks and special features.

The Cat That Looked at a King

In 2004, Julie Andrews appeared in a live-action/animated short that was produced by DisneyToon Studios for the 40th Anniversary DVD release of the 1964 film. Titled The Cat That Looked at a King, the film was based upon part of Travers's book Mary Poppins Opens the Door, and it could be seen as something of a sequel or follow-up to the movie. The film was offered to The Answer Studio, which is partly made up of former employees of Walt Disney Animation (Japan), to be their first project.[19] President Motoyoshi Tokunaga says that 20 artists/animators worked on the film for a period of three months.[19]

The film opens in the modern day with two British children looking at chalk drawings at the same location where Bert did his artwork in the original movie. (According to Julie Andrews, the set was re-created, down to the last detail, using the originals.) Andrews, dressed in modern clothes, greets the children and takes them into the chalk drawing where they watch the tale unfold. A cat (Tracey Ullman) comes into the presence of a king (David Ogden Stiers) who loves the facts and figures of the world more than anything else. Unfortunately, this includes his wife, the Queen (Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York). The Cat and the King challenge each other to three questions each: if the Cat wins, she gets the kingdom but if the King wins, he will become the smartest man in the universe. The Cat wins all her questions whilst the King wins none. When the King tells them he does not know who he is anymore, the Cat shows an image of him dancing with the Queen. She declines her prize and is given a brooch as a token of thanks by the Queen. The children and Andrews return to the park entrance, where Andrews denies that she took them into the painting, as she did in the film. The Prime Minister was also voiced by David Ogden Stiers.

Whether Andrews is playing a modern-day Mary Poppins or not is left to the viewer's imagination, although some sources identify Andrews' character as Mary Poppins[citation needed]. The shadow of Mary Poppins can also be seen when she looks down at the live action cat towards the end.

An orchestral reprise of "Feed the Birds" is heard to open the film and another reprise of Jolly Holiday is heard at the end. Quotes from the film such as Mary's catchphrase "Spit-spot!" and "I have no intention of making a spectacle of myself, thank you," are also featured. She also says, "A respectable person like me in a painting? How dare you suggest such a thing!" This parodies "A respectable person like me in a horse race? How dare you suggest such a thing!", which she said when Jane and Michael told her of their adventure in Bert's chalk picture in the film.

See also


  1. ^ Mary Poppins at Box Office Mojo Mary Poppins (1964) - Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "... It's grand to be an Englishman in 1910 / King Edward's on the throne; it's the age of men! ..." George Banks' opening song 'The Life I Lead'; King Edward VII of the United Kingdom died 6 May 1910
  3. ^ Staff writers (2003-06-30). "Connery 'has worst film accent'". BBC News. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  4. ^ "How not to do an American accent," BBC News online 21 July 2008, accessed 22 Sept. 2010
  5. ^ "Dick van Dyke Plays Not My Job". Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!. 2010-10-23. 
  6. ^ Lawson, Valerie, Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. Published by Aurum Press in the United Kingdom.
  7. ^ Matthews, Lisa, The Shadow of Mary Poppins. Australia, 2002.
  8. ^ Flanagan, Caitlin. "Becoming Mary Poppins". In The New Yorker, December 19, 2005. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
  9. ^ "The 37th Academy Awards (1965) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  10. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees
  11. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
  12. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Nominees
  13. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs Nominees
  14. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers Nominees
  15. ^ AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) Ballot
  16. ^ AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
  17. ^ a b Steinberg, Cobbett (1980). Film Facts. New York: Facts on File, Inc.. p. 25. ISBN 0-87196-313-2. 
  18. ^ When a film is released late in a calendar year (October–December), its income is reported in the following year's compendium, unless the film made a particularly fast impact (Steinberg, p. 17)
  19. ^ a b Desowitz, Bill (2004-10-27). "Japan’s New Answer Studio Builds on Animation's Past and Future". Animation World Magazine. AWN. Retrieved 2008-12-29. 

External links

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