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Mary Poppins

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Would Julie Andrews have been better in My Fair Lady? How bad is Dick Van Dyke’s cockney? Was casting the Bride of Frankenstein as an angry nanny an in-joke? And just how do those actors dance with animated characters? Tune in to this week’s show to find out!

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"I feel what’s to happen all happened before."

Anyone who watched 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks knows what a difficult time Walt Disney had getting the rights to P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins” novels so he could make the cinematic adaptation. It’s quite a story, but what you don’t get from watching that film is the incredible experience of watching Mary Poppins itself. Sure, at a cursory glance, it’s a very episodic film with seemingly disconnected sequences of the titular character as she nannies the Banks children, Jane and Michael. But digging deeper, there’s quite a bit more there. What it seemed ol’ Uncle Walt did was make a film that had something to say to just about everybody. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off our Musicals From the 60s series with Robert Stevenson’s 1964 hit Mary Poppins. 

We talk about the magic of this film and how our interpretations have evolved as we’ve grown up with it. We look at the casting which is practically perfect in every way, starting right at the top with Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and going all the way down to Elsa Lanchester as Katie Nana (and beyond). We touch on the fabulous effects scattered all through the film, how Disney was always pushing the envelope with cinematic tricks and how his goal was to fool people constantly where just when they think they figure out how they did it, he does something else to mislead. We chat about the many incredible songs and why they work so well, as well as touching on some of our favorites. Specifically, we look at “Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious” in our Deep Scene Dive and why this silly song about a nonsense word has lasting impact through to the climax. And we ponder the possibilities of an Aliens/Mary Poppins mashup as we struggle to add the movie to our Flickchart.

We have an absolutely delightful time with this film. It’s one for all ages (except for some grumpy Amazon reviewers). Definitely check it out, then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins.
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