Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-Ray Review
It’s hard to believe that 50 years ago, Walt Disney and the Disney creative team translated pages from P.L. Travers’ novel into cinema gold with the timeless tale of MARY POPPINS. Half a century later, this story remains relevant to children of all ages. Full of joy and heart, this musical can lift your spirits much like a kite floating to the highest heights and leaves you grinning as you hum your favorite tunes long after watching this silver screen gem.
Straightaway, viewers know this is a magical film as we see a woman with her carpet bag and umbrella floating into town on a cloud. Dick Van Dyke’s Bert kicks things off with a comical number that includes wacky instruments and a silly song, setting a lighthearted tone to the picture. Breaking the fourth wall, Bert pulls the audience into the film, allowing us to go on this special journey with the Banks family.
From snapping fingers to tidy up the nursery, jumping into sidewalk chalk drawings, floating up to the ceiling from laughter to leaping on roof tops with chimney sweeps, extraordinary nanny Mary Poppins, creates an enchanting world that captures our imaginations and hearts. Poppins is expertly played with charm and poise by the enchanting Julie Andrews. I wonder if this nanny position opened the eyes of filmmakers to have her take on the role of governess to the Von Trapp family in her follow up picture, THE SOUND OF MUSIC? Andrews and Van Dyke are a delightful duo, his comic relief and energy is a nice balance to the shipshape order that Andrews demands.
The only part of the film that pulls us away from the lively crescendo of non-stop entertainment and fun is the time in the bank. As key as this moment is for Jane and Michael Banks to experience with their hardworking father, it always feels too long. Probably because I found the elderly bankers to be frightening when I was a kid and that sensation hasn’t really escaped me. Luckily the film quickly jumps back to uplifting musical numbers after the financial sequence.
This is one of my all time favorite movies and with each viewing I find myself captivated with the activity on Cherry Tree Lane. The assorted characters add elements of whimsy to an already quaint yet fanciful world. Hats off to Mr. Disney and his crew for putting so much love and passion into this film, making it relevant for generations to come.
MARY POPPINS 50TH ANNIVERSARY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Audio (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1): The audio is crisp and clear; perfect for enjoying every musical number in MARY POPPINS.
Video (1.75:1): After 50 years, the colors and images are sharp and bright. Excellent Blu-Ray transfer.
Audio Commentary featuring Julie Andrews, Karen Dotrice, Richard Sherman & Dick Van Dyke: They all reminisce about the film and the fun they had creating the magical world of Mary. This is an entertaining commentary.
Becoming Mr. Sherman (14:01): This is a musical look at the making of SAVING MR. BANKS. Featuring Richard Sherman and Jason Schwartzman as they reflect on the music from MARY POPPINS.
Mary-Oke (7:58): All of the musical numbers from MARY POPPINS an animated sing-a-long format. “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Step In Time”, and “Chim Chim Cher-ee”,
Classic Bonus Features:
Disney on Broadway:
MARY POPPINS From Page to Stage (48:06): This is an overview of the Broadway adaptation of MARY POPPINS with producer/President Thomas Schumacher and performers Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee.
Step In Time (7:08): This featurette includes Broadway composer George Stiles introduction and showcases the theatrical version of the song from the movie.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of MARY POPPINS (50: 46): DIck Van Dyke and Julie Andrews along with historians provide a history of the making of this picture.
The Gala World Premiere (17:45): This feature showcases the live broadcast with television and radio interviews of attendees at the August 27, 1964 premiere of MARY POPPINS.
The Gala World Premiere Party (6:23): 16mm newsreel footage with radio broadcast for the audio of the party after the premiere.
Movie Magic (7:05): This feature looks at all of the special effects in the film.
Deconstruction of a Scene: Jolly Holiday (13:03): Viewers see the animation without the live action, live action without the animation and how the two combine together throughout this fanciful musical number.
Deconstruction of a Scene: Step In Time (4:52): This feature looks at the choreography, set design and rehearsals for this high energy musical number.
Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test (1:07): Dick Van Dyke did a test for the fiduciary bank character with full make-up.
Original Theatrical Teaser Trailer
Original Theatrical Trailer
Julie Andrews’ Premiere Greeting
Original TV Spot #1
Original TV Spot #2
1966 Re-Issue Trailer
1973 Re-Issue Trailer #1
1973 Re-Issue Trailer #2
Music & More (17:00): A Magical Musical Reunion Featuring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke And Richard Sherman.
Deleted Song: Chimpanzoo
Disney Song Selection
Bonus Short: The Cat That Looked At A King (9:52): This is a live-action/animated short featuring Julie Andrews as she reenacts jumping into the chalk drawing with two kids. They hear the story of a king and a talking cat.