Animation / Classic / Comedy / Fantasy / Family / Musical
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins
Dick Van Dyke as Bert aka Mr. Dawes Senior
David Tomlinson as Mr. Banks
Glynis Johns as Mrs. Banks
Hermione Baddeley as Domestic, Ellen
Reta Shaw as Domestic, Mrs. Clara Brill
Karen Dotrice as Jane Banks
Matthew Garber as Michael Banks
Elsa Lanchester as Katie Nanna
Arthur Treacher as The Constable
Reginald Owen as Admiral Boom
Ed Wynn as Uncle Albert
Jane Darwell as The Bird Woman
Arthur Malet as Mr. Dawes Junior
James Logan as Bank Doorman
Mary Poppins trailer
This Walt Disney film is full of songs and entertaining stories as well as animation. Mary Poppins arrives to the Bank’s house to take care of the children, knowing they are in need of help. She quickly reorganizes their life with her magical powers.
The film opens with Mary Poppins, perched on a cloud high in the sky applying makeup. Down below, we are introduced to the Banks family. The Banks are a wealthy family that live in a large house, employ cleaners and cooks, and have two children that are constantly scaring their nannies away. Mr. Banks is a busy banker, while Mrs. Banks remains occupied in the Suffragette Movement. Their latest nanny, Katie Nanna, leaves the house furiously because the children, Jane and Michael, have been far too unruly for her. However, they only behave in such a way as to receive attention from their constantly absent parents. Banks advertises for a new nanny in the newspaper, hoping to find a woman strict enough to handle his children. The kids also construct their own advertisement, wishing for a nanny with kindness and imagination. Their father tears it up and throws it away. It goes up the chimney, and finds itself in the hands of Mary Poppins.
The next day, several applicants for the nanny position arrive at the house, but are blown away by a gust of freak wind. Mary Poppins descends from the skies, parachuting downward with her umbrella. She is quickly chosen as the children’s new caretaker, and begins work promptly. However, she tells the family that she will only work a trial run, and will not be permanent.
She surprises them with her bottomless purse, and then causes their nursery to clean itself with the snap of her fingers. Next she takes the kids to her friend Bert, a sidewalk chalk artist. The four of them jump into one of his pictures, entering an animated countryside. After dining with penguins, they hop aboard a merry go round. The horses on the ride break loose and begin to gallop across the countryside, passing through a fox hunt. After, they enter a horse race, which Mary wins. It is during this time that the nonsense word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is employed. Sadly, their outing is ended when rain washes away the sidewalk drawing, causing them to return to the wet London street.
Later, Mary takes the children to visit Bert’s Uncle Albert, who floats whenever he laughs. Not long after, everyone is giggling incessantly, suspending in the air enjoying a tea party. Mary finds it all childish and ridiculous, and orders them to come down so they can go home. They all become grounded again when they think of “something sad”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Banks is irritated by the children’s outlandish stories, and refuses to believe them. He wishes to fire Mary, but is swayed to instead follow her suggestion of taking them to work with him at the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank so they know what the real world is like. On the way, they pass by “The Bird Woman”, but Mr. Banks discourages the children from congregating around her. When they enter the bank, Mr. Banks’ employers forcefully encourage Michael to invest his tuppence. However, Michael wishes to alternatively buy birdseed from “The Bird Woman”. They take the money out of his hand, without his permission, and Michael protests. Other customers misunderstand what is going on, and start a run on the bank, temporarily closing it. The children are chased away by the Bank Guard, but Bert, now employed as a chimney sweep, comes across them and takes them home. Mary Poppins appears at the house after her day off as the children get sucked up into the chimney. Bert and Mary join, and together they dance on rooftops with other chimney sweeps. After a bit of singing and dancing, one by one they all jump down the chimney into the Banks’ house.
When Mr. Banks arrives home, the gaieties of the chimney sweeps come to a halt, and they quickly scatter out of the house. He expresses anger at Mary, blaming her for all of his misfortunes. Right then he receives a call from the bank. He travels to the bank, and can only mutter the word “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” when asked to give his statement. Mr. Banks is consequently fired, and departs. Dawes, his boss, mulls over the joke, finally understanding it and laughing until he floats up into the air.
The following morning, Mr. Banks is in a terrific mood and offers to take the children kite flying. Mrs. Banks supplies one of her suffragette ribbons to use as a tail, and the family goes off together to the park. While there, they run into the bank managers. They offer Mr. Banks a position because he made the main board director laugh so hard that he died happily. Back at the house, Mary Poppins flies away with her umbrella, as the wind has changed and she has completed her job.