For Hicksflicks.com, Dec. 13, 2013

Like "The Wizard of Oz," Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" (1964) is one of those movies that everyone sees as a child … or should.

Julie Andrews in her first film is dazzling, and she deservedly won the best-actress Oscar. The songs are engaging, the story — about a magical nanny who arrives to care for a pair of somewhat neglected children — is whimsical, and all the trappings are delightful.

And although Dick Van Dyke has long been vilified for his cartoony cockney accent, he makes up for it in charm and ability. (Hey, a spoonful of sugar … you know.)


I also love the choreography in this one, especially the rooftop dance of the chimney sweeps.

This is a wonderful live-action film from the Disney studio, which was, at this point in time, better respected for its animated features, most of which became genuine classics. And "Mary Poppins" deservedly made a star of Andrews, who had already conquered Broadway.

This 50th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray reissue is, of course, timed to coincide with the release of the Disney feature "Saving Mr. Banks" next week (Dec. 20), which is about the making of "Mary Poppins," with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers (the author of the book).


But cynicism aside, if you haven't shared "Mary Poppins" with your children, now's a great time to do so.