Mary Poppins Reviews
It is not focussed on children but mostly on the grown-ups around them. Mary Poppins appears out of nowhere and leaves just as fast, dumping the children who got attached to her. Some of the songs seem completely unrelated to the story (the woman feeding the birds, etc...) and are quite sad, Mrs. Banks has almost no part of the story, Mr. Banks has way too much, but he seems a deranged character. There are too many song and dance numbers, some very loud, most overlong. Some scenes are irrelevant to the plot development (if there is any) and there is a lot of banking and old men, none in the least entertaining.
The only part I liked was the one with the animation, which I just discovered, was the one the author (PL Travers) hated most. Actually, she hated the whole movie, but for reasons different from mine. Some may object that this movie got Oscars, to which I can just add that Oscars do seem to be distributed randomly, or for politically correct reasons, now and in the past.
Sadly, upon re-watching this film again as an adult, there are two big problems that undermine this classic Disney musical.
First, the film has a pace that is a bit too slow. The runtime of the film is noticeably too long for what it is and therefore, spending less time holding onto some of the scenes would have been beneficiary for the viewing experience.
Second, I really do not like the film's message and definition for what makes a perfect person. The word 'Perfect' is one without a definition. It is a loose and open word, just like the word 'normal', meaning that both words are interpreted as something completely different between one person to another. The film tries to nail home a definition for 'perfect' by constantly stroking the ego of its titular character, who herself gleefully enjoys every single compliment made to her, even when she is being strict. Gag me.
Kids will need to take the film's message with a grain of salt and treat it more as a referential life lesson, NOT as a set-in-stone message.
Despite those two nagging issues, I can't deny the rest of the work that was put into the film. The music/score, the songs, the vocal performances (most notably Julie Andrews), the visuals, the dance choreography, the animation, and just the sheer eccentricity of the film are all exceptional. They all work in tandem to create a road trip musical that manages to put a smile onto my face more than once and it reminds us all about the whimsical, magical moments we had when we were children. Those moments stemmed from the days we used our imaginations to create fantastical adventures of our own...and still do!
Disney has too many great moments to count from its rich filmography and this film is home to a few of those moments. With that said, its slow pace and obnoxious presentation of a flawed message keep it from being a great film, but at least a good one.