Friday Oct 22, 2021

What would Mary Poppins Think?

Mary Poppins is the well-known beloved character from the Disney film of the same name. With the title character being played by Julie Andrews. It is a one of Disney’s favour films and is considered to be a classic of the film making companies long career and output. It features a novel use of a for runner of green screen and for large portion of the film the “real characters” find themselves in an animated world. This technique was to be used again by Disney in the film Bed knobs and Broomsticks. I

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Mary Poppins arrives at the Banks family household to help with the two children Jane and Michael. She is both a Nanny and Teacher. One does have to wonder what she would make of the technological advances in schools such as laptops and school dry wipe magnetic whiteboards. (Take a look at https://wedgewhiteboards.co.uk/  for some options available.) No doubt she would have rose to the challenge seeing as who she was practically perfect in everyway

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Throughout the film Mary Poppins uses her magical skills, which she denies she has, to ensure that the Banks family, not just the children, learn the true meaning of the family they have around them and to spend more quality time with each other, as it is time that will never come again. The children will grow up and move on and the parents, rather self-absorbed as they are in their lives will miss it. For example, Mrs Banks is heavily involved into the suffragette movement laudable though this is she doesn’t seem to spend much time with James and Michael, though she knows that she is doing it for Janes future. Mr Banks is far too concerned with making money for the Bank he works at, even cajoling Michael into depositing his money rather than blowing it on bird seed to help out a poor woman outside St Pauls.

Perhaps though the saddest the character is Mary Poppins herself. She arrives like a breath of fresh air and brings hope and light to the lives of the family, but, when they are reunited and come together and go off to the park her work is done.  She must leave with a rather wistful look in her eye. It is a theme explored and highlighted more with Emma Thompson’s Nanny Mcphee who says “When you do not want me but need me, I will stay. When you want me but do not need me, I must go”.  Mary cannot enjoy the fruits of her labours and though Nanny McPhee sort of sees the results, by helping Baby Aggies great grandchildren in her second film “and the Big Bang” Mary Poppins seems almost doomed to continue the existence of helping and then leaving. It’s almost as if she has to do a penance. It’s obviously that she does this countless amount of times as Burt says, “Comeback soon Mary Poppins”.  A sequel is final being released. Perhaps this will give her the chance of some happiness? Spit, spot.

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