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Mary Poppins Blu-ray Review

Mary Poppins Blu-ray

“Mary Poppins” is one of Disney’s finest films.

With “Saving Mr. Banks” set for a wide release on Friday, Disney has wisely released “Mary Poppins” on Blu-ray for the first time to tie into this event. So, how does this tale of a magic nanny changing the lives of the Banks family hold up in its 50th anniversary? Unsurprisingly well.

Unless you were deprived of the experience of seeing “Mary Poppins” as a child, it’s safe to say that many people grew up on this film in the past few decades. Between the whimsical humor, the catchy songs, the “Step In Time” musical number, the sequences of Dick Van Dyke dancing with animated penguins, and the beloved characters, it was simply a joyful and enchanting movie to see at a young age. As an adult, the movie becomes even richer as the story (and themes) about childhood, adulthood, innocence, imagination, family, and, yes, even the banking industry take on much more meaning and significance. In other words, ‘Poppins’ is the type of movie that makes an impression on you no matter what age you are.

As spectacular as the production is, it’s the performances that make you buy into the film version of P.L. Travers fantastical story. Julie Andrews gives her very best performance as the charming, adorable, and crafty title character who takes her job very seriously. While much has been said about Dick Van Dyke’s accent, it’s easy to look past its flaws thanks to his highly energetic and entertaining role as the jack of all trades Bert. His other performance as the elderly bank manager Mr. Dawes is amusing as well. Really, the entire ensemble cast is great here as everyone from Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber to David Tomlinson and Ed Wynn shine in their respective roles.

Of course, I can’t end this review without talking about the music. Rarely has there been a musical with so many classic songs that get stuck in your head time and time again such as “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Step in Time,” “Let’s Go Fly A Kite,” “Jolly Holliday,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” They’re just flat out great songs that have stood the test of time.  

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.66:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has never looked better thanks to the crystal clear colors both in the live-action and animated sequences.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD. How does it sound? The songs and musical numbers sound so much more lively with this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious DTS audio track.

Extras:
* DVD copy and digital copy.
* Disney trailers.
* Song selection, pop-up facts, a Mary-Oke sing-along option, a Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test, a premiere greeting from Julie Andrews, 2 trailers, 3 re-issue trailers and 2 TV spots for “Mary Poppins.”
* Commentary by Julie Andrews, Richard and Robert Sherman, Dick Van Dyke, and Karen Dotrice. It should be noted that they aren’t all in the same room and that they comment on different scenes at different times. Discussions range from cast and crew members, set experiences, songs, etc. Well worth listening to.
* “The Cat That Looked At A King”- A short live-action/animated film featuring Julie Andrews and a story about a King and Queen.
* A deleted song called “Chimpanzoo.” Note: This is not a deleted scene, but rather a song being sung over storyboards. It’s easy to see why it was cut.
* “A Magical Musical Reunion Featuring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Richard Sherman”- The title says it all.
* “Deconstruction of a Scene”- A look at the various stages of production for the “Jolly Holiday” and “Step In Time” sequences.
* Footage from “The Gala World Premiere” and “The Gala World Premiere Party.”
* “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of Mary Poppins”- A near hour-long documentary containing cast and crew interviews, film clips, stories about the production, discussions about adapting the books to film, footage of Walt Disney, casting, the music, and much more. Great extra.
* “Movie Magic”- A featurette about the special f/x in the film.
* “Mary Poppins From Page To Stage”- Another thorough documentary. This one covers the production of the Broadway musical adaptation.

* “Step In Time”- A featurette narrated by Broadway Composer George Stiles.
* “Becoming Mr. Sherman”- A featurette for “Saving Mr. Banks” that contains actor Jason Schwartzman (soon to be seen in “Saving Mr. Banks”) interviewing“Mary Poppins” song composer Richard Sherman. A solid extra.

Overall Thoughts: They just don’t make musicals like this anymore (I wish they did). If you have never seen “Mary Poppins” or are looking to revisit the film again, you can’t go wrong with this snazzy new Blu-ray edition.

December 18, 2013 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | ,

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