There is a new Mary Poppins movie coming out in December and it’s causing much excitement in our house. I can’t remember which came first for me, the movie or the book. One thing is certain- both were on the scene for a few years before I either saw the movie or read the book. My book shows a copyright date of 1962, two years before the movie that is referred to on the book jacket was released.
I remember reading the book many times and seeing the movie many times over the years and although books made into movies can be annoying for a book lover, I never had any complaints about this one.
“Anything can happen if you let it.” -Mary Poppins
Whether it was in movie or book form, I’ve loved Mary Poppins for as long as I can remember. I had paper dolls, which I actually still have somewhere in my possession packed away for safe keeping.
If you aren’t familiar with paper dolls, they were dolls in paper form. (( know, duh!) You bought a book, similar to a coloring book or magazine, and the pages were filled with clothes with tabs on them that you dressed the paper dolls in. The paper dolls were usually on the cover- made of a heavier paper stock, so they wouldn’t get damaged from play.
Some came with the outfits perforated, making it much easier to remove them from the page. The ones that were not perforated needed to be cut out by hand. When I was too young to cut them out myself, I remember sitting next to my mother, impatiently waiting for her to cut out each piece outfit. I’m sure I drove my mother crazy, hovering around and asking if the next dress was cut out yet. I loved those paper dolls and spent many happy hours re-enacting the movie and adding adventures of my own!
“First of all, I would like to make one thing clear: I never explain anything.” -Mary Poppins
There were so many fun scenes and songs in the original movie and I had a hard time deciding which to share. When I settled on Step in Time, a song performed by the chimney sweeps and led by Bert, played by the very talented Dick Van Dyke, I was hard pressed to find a video clip that I liked. Then I stumbled onto this one, which while including the song and dance number, is actually an interview with the key people responsible for its creation.
I found this video to be an interesting look behind the scenes. I knew that Dick Van Dyke did not have formal dance training but it’s when you see some of the moves that you can fully appreciate his natural talent. Add to this the fact that he was around 37ish years old moving like that is pretty impressive! I admit that trying to recreate the scene left me worn out with my legs tangled in knots!
While watching the movie with 9 year old CJ and 3 year old Beej recently, the following exchange between Bert and the children struck me in a way that I hadn’t given much thought before.
You know, begging you pardon, but the one who my heart goes out for is your father. There he is in that cold, heartless bank day after day, hemmed in by mounds of cold, heartless money. I don’t like to see any living thing caged up.
Father in a cage?
They makes cages in all sizes and shapes, you know. Bank-shaped some of ’em, carpets and all.
There might be some people who think that Mary Poppins is dated but I find it to be timeless. After all, I look around and see so many parents who are so busy with their own lives, whether it’s careers or causes, that they sometimes forget about their own Janes and Michaels.
My little (okay, at the age of 9, CJ is not quite as little anymore) guys loved the movie. In a world of super heroes and fast paced, action packed movies, I wasn’t sure how it would float. Needless to say, it was a winner. In fact, not long after watching it, CJ referred to the following joke, which appealed to his 9 year old sense of humor. I won’t be including the punchline…..just because.
“Speaking of names, I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.”
We look forward to the release of Mary Poppins Returns, and while it might be nice to have Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke reprise their roles as Mary and Bert, I’m not sure it would have the same energy with them at the ages of 83 and 92. Anyway, Mary Poppins is magical so I wouldn’t expect her to age.
On a slightly ironic Mary Poppins themed note, my car’s CD player is on its last legs and there are five CD’s trapped inside. Of those five, currently only one will play and that’s, you guessed it- the Mary Poppins soundtrack.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the wonderful Mary Poppins author and a “Spit spot. And off we go!”
“I cannot summon up inspiration; I myself am summoned.” -P.L Travers