I watched Mary Poppins this weekend in preparation for Saving Mr. Banks. I popped in my twenty year old video cassette into the VHS, nestled under my blanket, and took a trip down memory lane.
I love Mary Poppins. She’s the practically perfect nanny who swoops in with the wind and saves the Banks. Particularly Mr. Banks, who rediscovers his more childlike side. Julie Andrews is a darling, Dick van Dyke is hilarious, and practically every musical number is memorable. As a kid, I felt like I was right there alongside Jane and Michael, getting my spoonful of sugar and learning to appreciate family.
P. L. Travers was really ruffled at the Disney’s take on Poppins. She found the movie Poppins to lack all the dignity and class that her character had. In her mind Disney took her story and gutted it.
I think there’s something to be said about Disney’s take. In elementary school, I decided to read Travers’ book and I remember feeling disappointed by who Mary Poppins was. She was mean. The Poppins I grew up with was a refreshing breeze of positivity. I think this was the first time I preferred the movie to book. I forever compartmentalized Disney’s Poppins from Travers’ Poppins.
In any case I look forward to Saving Mr. Banks, even though it’ll be a Disney-fied version of a relationship that went sour.