Disney Animated Marathon: Mary Poppins (1964)

Hmmm, a puzzling choice for movie #19 in the Disney Animated Marathon!

Screenplay By: Don DaGradi & Bill Walsh
Directed By: Robert Stevenson

Okay, maybe this isn’t a puzzling choice for a marathon about animated features, I never knew Mary Poppins had an entire animated section. Moving on from my usual state of constant befuddlement I am fully prepared to upset some people with what I have to say about Mary Poppins. Well, maybe not upset, wait, yeah, definitely upset, although maybe if you read carefully you won’t be as upset as I think, but you probably will. If I do one thing well it is upset people, or something wittier.

Anyways, I was pretty bored with Mary Poppins, but I don’t put that on the movie as much as I do on the lack of chemistry between myself and the film. Some movie I watch and think, “wow, this is bad,” other movies I watch and my reaction is more along the line of “hmmm, this isn’t working for me.” Mary Poppins is the latter, it’s not a film that I found a whole lot wrong with from a technical standpoint, yet it is a film that I failed to connect with for any number of reasons. It’s hard to peg down exactly why this is, usually I am taken by whimsical fantasy tales, but no matter how hard I tried the characters, music and story of Mary Poppins left me disinterested above any other emotion. Is disinterested even an emotional state, I think it is, but I’m a moron so who the hell knows?

If I ended my review at this point you’d see my star rating and go “huh, I know you is a crazy fool Billy boy, but what were you smoking for this one?” Luckily I caught myself before I ended the review (I almost did end it though, even writing about Mary Poppins is leaving me rather disinterested). I wasn’t left completely cold by Mary Poppins, and what did work left a good enough impression for me to finally say “The movie wasn’t interesting to me, but it did some things right, enough so that I can see why others love it, even if I only like it by the slimmest of margins.” I am speaking of the costume design and the animated section. Both speak for themselves, but I like talking for other people so I’ll break it down for you quick like. The costumes were pretty darn cool, it isn’t often that costumes catch my eye, but the ones on display in Mary Poppins caught the left and the right eye in their varied flamboyancy yet simple design. The animation was directed by Hamilton Luske, and that right there should tell you why I liked it and why, uh, I, uh, I said liked already, right? Anyways, before my brain shuts down, the animation was clean and uncluttered yet distinctively the style of Luske, and that appeals to me, like a lot.

Despite my lack of interest in Mary Poppins I’m going to slightly recommend it. Maybe I’m crazy, anyone who uses as many quotes as I did in this review probably is, but I can see why others would love this film and even though I wasn’t interested I don’t have anything to complain about from the technical side. Maybe when you watch Mary Poppins it will grab your attention, or maybe it already has, and I think I just had my first senior moment involving a thought in my head vanishing the moment my fingers went to hit the key strokes. This is getting ugly, and if you know me you know we began from a position of already existing ugly, it’s time I grabbed my umbrella and flew away from this burg before anything bad happens, so uh, yeah, that’s it about Mary Poppins.




3 responses to “Disney Animated Marathon: Mary Poppins (1964)

  1. the thing that baffles me about Mary Poppins is that Julie Andrews is really hot in it. yet if i put on Sound of Music she does nothing for me. She obviously suited darker hair

  2. mcarteratthemovies

    McG, perhaps it was the off-putting Dutch Boy haircut that didn’t blow up your skirt? I’d say brunette is the color of choice for Andrews, though.

    Bill, I have to say (as much as it pains me) that I agree with you now about “Mary Poppins.” I loved it as a child in that way children do — of not idolizing the few good things and suppressing the bad — but as an adult the movie lost some of its appeal. Now I look to “The Sound of Music” as my go-to Julie Andrews musical, and that film is one that’s aged much better.

  3. Ross – For some reason I’ve never thought of her as attractive either way. She’s not ugly, but she doesn’t do much for me.

    M – My wife loves The Sound of Music, but I found myself feeling the same about it as I did about Mary Poppins.

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