Mary Poppins


2h 19m 1964
Mary Poppins

Brief Synopsis

Two banker's children lose their nanny due to her frustration with them. A change in the wind blows in an assertive nanny who matches the qualifications of the children and not the father. As she helps them magically explore the world around them the father grows increasingly disapproving of her methods, and must eventually deal with his own distance from his children.

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Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 26 Aug 1964
Production Company
Walt Disney Productions
Distribution Company
Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Burbank, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel "Mary Poppins" by P. L. Travers (London, 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 19m
Sound
Stereo (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.75 : 1

Synopsis

London banker George Banks advertises for a nanny in the Times when his wife, a suffragette, has difficulty finding a governess firm enough to handle their children, Jane and Michael. The children also write an advertisement, but Mr. Banks throws it into the fireplace. The next morning, a number of severe-looking women apply for the job, but a strong wind blows them away; Mary Poppins glides down from the sky on her umbrella, is interviewed by Mr. Banks, and decides to give the family a trial period. She gets the children to clean up the nursery, making the task enjoyable with her magic, and then takes them for a walk. They enter a picture of the countryside that her friend Bert has chalked on the sidewalk. After having tea served by dancing penguins, they ride on a merry-go-round, leave the carousel on their horses, and trot off to a fox hunt. When rain washes the sidewalk drawing away, Mary rushes the children home. The following day, Mary takes the children and Bert to visit her Uncle Albert, whose incessant laughter causes him to float in the air; soon they are all laughing and floating on the ceiling. Mr. Banks, meanwhile, refuses to believe his children's stories and wants to fire Mary, but adopts her suggestion that he bring his children to the bank and show them how he spends his day. Michael is to open an account, but instead he attempts to retrieve his money to buy birdseed from The Bird Woman, thus creating panic in the bank. The children escape, and Bert takes them home. Mary appears; and she, Bert, and the children travel across the rooftops of London. When they return home, their gaiety spreads throughout the household, and Bert points out to Mr. Banks how damaging his severity can be. When Banks is fired from his job, he tells chairman of the board Dawes a joke he learned from Michael, then leaves to take his children to fly kites in the park. Dawes, who has not laughed in 90 years, dies laughing at the joke, and Banks is offered a position on the board. Feeling that her job is complete, Mary opens her umbrella and flies away. Songs : "The Perfect Nanny" (Jane & Michael), "Sister Suffragette" (Mrs. Banks & chorus), "The Life I Lead" (Mr. Banks), "A Spoonful of Sugar" (Mary), "Pavement Artist, Chim Chim Cheree" (Bert), "Jolly Holiday" (Bert & Mary), "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" (Mary, Bert & chorus), "Stay Awake" (Mary), "I Love To Laugh" (Uncle Albert, Mary, Bert), "Feed the Birds" (Mary & chorus), "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" (Mr. Dawes, Sr., Mr. Banks & chorus), "Chim Chim Cheree" (Bert, Mary, Michael & Jane), "Step in Time" (Bert & chorus), "A Man Has Dreams" (Mr. Banks & Bert), "Let's Go Fly a Kite" (Mr. Banks, Bert & chorus).

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 26 Aug 1964
Production Company
Walt Disney Productions
Distribution Company
Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Burbank, California, USA
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel "Mary Poppins" by P. L. Travers (London, 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 19m
Sound
Stereo (RCA Sound System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.75 : 1

Award Wins

Best Actress

1964
Julie Andrews

Best Editing

1964
Cotton Warburton

Best Score

1964

Best Song

1964

Best Visual Effects

1964
Peter Ellenshaw

Best Visual Effects

1964
Eustace Lycett

Award Nominations

Best Art Direction

1964

Best Cinematography

1964

Best Costume Design

1964
Tony Walton

Best Director

1964
Robert Stevenson

Best Picture

1964

Best Sound

1964

Best Writing, Screenplay

1965

Articles

Frank Thomas (1912-2004)


Legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas, whose work ranged from such '30s classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to equally acclaimed modern hits like The Rescuers, died on September 8 in his home in Flintridge, California. He had been in declining health since suffering a brain hemorrhage several months ago. He was 92.

He was born on September 5, 1912 in Santa Monica, California. He showed an interest in art and drawing at a very young age, so it came as no surprise when he graduated from Stanford University in 1934 with a degree in art. Soon after, he began work for Walt Disney Studios and did his first animation for the short Mickey's Elephant in 1936, and was one of the key animators for the studios' first, feature-length animated picture, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). His memorable creations of the seven dwarfs offered an emotional sweep and humorous detail to animated characters that audiences had never experienced before, and his career was set.

Thomas' work from this point on would be nothing short of the high watermarks in Disney animation that is justly cherished the world over: the title character in Pinocchio, (1940); Thumper teaching Bambi to skate in Bambi (1941); the wicked stepmother in Cinderella (1950), the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (1951), the terrific fight sequence between Captain Hook and Peter Pan in Peter Pan (1953); the Lady and Rover falling in love over a dish of spaghetti and meatballs in Lady and the Tramp (1955); the three good fairies in Sleeping Beauty (1959); Baloo, Mowgli and Kaa in The Jungle Book (1967); and his final work of Bernard and Bianca in the underrated The Rescuers (1977).

Thomas retired from Disney in early 1978, ending a near 44-year relationship with the studio. With longtime friend, and fellow Disney collaborator Ollie Johnston, they went on to author many fine books about the art of animation, most notably Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life (Hyperian Press, 1978) and The Disney Villain (Hyperion Press, 1993). He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jeanette; sons Thomas, Doug and Gregg; daughter Ann Ayers; and three grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole
Frank Thomas (1912-2004)

Frank Thomas (1912-2004)

Legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas, whose work ranged from such '30s classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to equally acclaimed modern hits like The Rescuers, died on September 8 in his home in Flintridge, California. He had been in declining health since suffering a brain hemorrhage several months ago. He was 92. He was born on September 5, 1912 in Santa Monica, California. He showed an interest in art and drawing at a very young age, so it came as no surprise when he graduated from Stanford University in 1934 with a degree in art. Soon after, he began work for Walt Disney Studios and did his first animation for the short Mickey's Elephant in 1936, and was one of the key animators for the studios' first, feature-length animated picture, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). His memorable creations of the seven dwarfs offered an emotional sweep and humorous detail to animated characters that audiences had never experienced before, and his career was set. Thomas' work from this point on would be nothing short of the high watermarks in Disney animation that is justly cherished the world over: the title character in Pinocchio, (1940); Thumper teaching Bambi to skate in Bambi (1941); the wicked stepmother in Cinderella (1950), the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland (1951), the terrific fight sequence between Captain Hook and Peter Pan in Peter Pan (1953); the Lady and Rover falling in love over a dish of spaghetti and meatballs in Lady and the Tramp (1955); the three good fairies in Sleeping Beauty (1959); Baloo, Mowgli and Kaa in The Jungle Book (1967); and his final work of Bernard and Bianca in the underrated The Rescuers (1977). Thomas retired from Disney in early 1978, ending a near 44-year relationship with the studio. With longtime friend, and fellow Disney collaborator Ollie Johnston, they went on to author many fine books about the art of animation, most notably Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life (Hyperian Press, 1978) and The Disney Villain (Hyperion Press, 1993). He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jeanette; sons Thomas, Doug and Gregg; daughter Ann Ayers; and three grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

She seemed so solemn and cross.
- Mrs. Banks
Never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint.
- George Banks
It's grand to be an Englishman in 1910 / King Edward's on the throne; it's the age of men.
- Mr. Banks
Just as I thought. "Mary Poppins, pratically perfectly in every way."
- Mary Poppins
In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and - SNAP - the job's a game.
- Mary Poppins
It's 6:03 and the heirs to my dominion are scrubbed and tubbed and adequately fed. And so I'll pat them on the head and send them off to bed. Ah, lordly is the life I lead.
- Mr. Banks

Trivia

The author of the "Poppins" books, P.L. Travers, approved heartily of the casting of 'Andrews, Julie' after hearing her only on the telephone. Andrews granted the interview from her bed after the delivery of her daughter, Emma Walton.

Travers was a pill about details in the script, driving many of the Disney writers to distraction about Poppins minutiae. After seeing the final film, she devised a list of changes she wanted. Her requests went unheeded after Walt himself pointed out that although she had SCRIPT approval, she didn't have FINAL DRAFT approval. Among the things that Travers disliked was the Sherman Bros. score. She wanted the only music in the movie to be period pieces such as "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay."

Julie Andrews was left hanging in mid-air during one particularly long camera set up. The stagehands unwittingly lowered her wire harness rather rapidly. "Is she down yet?" called a grip. "You bloody well better believe she is!" fumed Andrews.

The opening shot of Mary Poppins sitting on a cloud contains a gag originally used in Disney's "Dumbo." While Poppins checks her make-up, her carpetbag slides "through" the cloud. She catches it repeatedly just before it falls to oblivion. The stork delivering Dumbo does the same thing with his bundle.

The film was shot entirely indoors.

Miscellaneous Notes

Winner of the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Screenplay of a Musical, 1964.

Voted One of the Year's Ten Best Films by the 1964 New York Times Film Critics.

Released in United States Summer August 27, 1964

Re-released in United States Fall 1989

Re-released in United States 2001

Released in United States March 1985

Released in United States 2013

Julie Andrews makes her screen debut.

Released in USA on video.

The 2001 scheduled re-release will contain subtitled "sing-along" sequences.

Released in United States Summer August 27, 1964

Re-released in United States Fall 1989

Re-released in United States 2001

Released in United States March 1985 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (The Fabulous Fifty-Hour Filmex Fantasy Marathon) March 14-31, 1985.)

In its first theatrical release, the film grossed $44,000,000 worldwide. At the time (1964), it was Disney's top-grossing film.

Released in United States 2013 (Cinema's Legacy)