"Wind's in the east, mist comin' in, like somethin' is brewin', and 'bout to begin..."
Describe Mary Poppins? She's "practically perfect in every way," of course.If that's too much of a mouthful for you, she's also a magical nanny, who literally flies into the life of the Banks family of London, England, circa 1910. When most people hear the name they think of Walt Disney's 1964 movie starring Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert.It has been adapted to a musical theater adaptation; this version replaces some of the less stageable aspects of the original film (as in the penguins and Uncle Albert's floating) with elements of the original books by P. L. Travers.The film was nominated for multiple Oscars, including a win for Julie Andrews as Best Actress, and is now considered a childhood staple on both sides of the Pond.The movie Saving Mr. Banks focuses around the long Development Hell the film underwent as Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tried getting the rights from PL Travers (Emma Thompson). It was released in December 2013 for Oscar Bait purposes, eventually earning a nomination for Best Score (and losing to Gravity).
Just a Spoonful Of Tropes'll Make the Article Go Down, the article go down, the article go down:
Adapted Out: In the books, Mr. and Mrs. Banks had five children (Jane, Michael, John, Barbara, and Annabelle) and three servants (Mrs. Brill, Ellen, and Robertson Ay). In both the film and stage show, only Jane and Michael appear and the servants are different between the two (Ellen in the movie and Robertson Ay in the musical accompany Mrs. Brill).
Adorkable: Bert has his moments of endearing awkwardness, mostly around Mary Poppins.
Almighty Janitor: Bert, despite being a variety job man that includes chimney sweeper, chalk painter, etc. Seems to be one of the most well connected people in the movie. The upper class seem to respect him, he is an associate of Mary, and is implied to have some magic at his disposal.
Ash Face: Mary Poppins and the children get covered in soot when they're sucked up the chimney. Bert, naturally as a chimney sweep, is already covered in soot as is.
In addition to playing Mr. Banks, David Tomlinson voices Mary Poppins's umbrella. He also voiced some of the animated characters in the chalk drawing scene.
Julie Andrews whistled for the robin and was one of the female pearlies during "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
In the musical, depending on the production, the actress who plays Miss Andrew also plays either Queen Victoria or the Bird Woman.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted when Mary goes up the chimney and - along with the others - winds up with an Ash Face. She actually runs with it, using some black makeup to darken her face some more.
But Now I Must Go: Mary Poppins will stay until the wind changes, which happens around the time the family she is tending to develops into better people. After that, she quietly leaves, without so much as a goodbye.
In the stage show, she does say goodbye to Bert and gives him a kiss on the cheek.
Character Development: Mary Poppins' presence seems to cause character development. After she works for the Bankses, all four members of the household gain a new perspective to some degree, but the most drastic change would be Mr. Banks' transformation from aloof and distant patriarch to concerned and loving family man.
Neologism: "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", although there is some dispute about whether the movie invented the word or merely popularized it. note But if you say it loud enough, it doesn't matter, because you'll always sound precocious.
Richard Sherman has mentioned the song and the purpose of it was inspired by summer camp memories he and Robert had, where they would have contests to come up with words longer than antidisestablishmentarianism. He and Robert decided to put different parts of words together, getting the "atrocious" and "precocious" rhyme early on. note And it is so rococo-co-cious.
Pragmatic Adaptation: The film brings together highlights from the original Mary Poppins book, while taking elements of the sequels.
The stage adaptation does this with the entire Mary Poppins book series as well as the film.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mr. Banks to Mr. Dawes Sr. when he informs him that when it comes down to it, an old man who sits alone in a bank is nothing compared to the love of a man's children.
Brought back in the musical, but Mr. Banks instead talks about the importance of people over profits. There's one twist though: Mr. Banks doesn't loose his job in the end. Instead, the offer he turned down, which lead him to be suspended from his job in Act 1, ruined the rival bank. The one he did approve went through and the bank is to make a fortune from it. After Winifred arrives to support him, he gets promoted to Senior Manager at twice... triple... quadruple his current salary. He accepts the job on the condition that his family comes first.
Shoo Out the Clowns: Starting when Mr. Banks is called to the bank to be fired for his kids starting the run on the bank and Mr. Banks confides to Bert at the awful prospect of losing his dreams and unable to support his family while Bert reminds him that his children will only be around a short time as well, so he must treasure their love as well.
Speaks Fluent Animal: Mary can talk to animals. She uses it to her advantage to free Miss Andrew's lark Caruso from his cage.
A Storm Is Coming: Used at the beginning to indicate trouble in the Banks family. At the film, it's also used at the end to indicate that all is well, now.
When You Coming Home, Dad?: And yes, Mr. Banks learns to have fun with his kids by the end. In a heartwarming twist (likely not included in any other version of this Trope), the kids get an aesop on the subject as well; just because their parents aren't around as much as they'd like doesn't mean they don't love them. And also that being a grown-up and providing for a family is very hard, and you shouldn't be too hard in judging them.
Bert: Me, I was told when I was small, "Just learn a trade!" So, I learned them all.
The film provides examples of:
Adult Fear: The sequence when Jane and Michael flee the bank in a panic and wander into the East End slums where they are grabbed by a dark stranger. Fortunately, the scariness is instantly dispelled when the dark man is revealed to be their trusted friend, Bert.
Digital Destruction: The 2004 DVD release featured an "Enhanced Home Theater Mix" audio track, which tampered the audio quite a bit, with nearly all of the sound effects replaced, and a few bits of new music added where there originally wasn't any. (Obvious examples include the wind when Mary Poppins is sitting on a cloud, the "Poof!" noise when the character jump into the chalk drawing, the thunder and lightning before it starts raining on the chalk drawing, and the fireworks following the "Step in Time" number.) Sadly, this version was also used whenever ABC Family aired the movie. Fortunately, Disney released a new DVD in 2009 with the new sound effects gone.
Dish Dash: The Banks household scrambles to keep their furnishings from falling over every time Admiral Boom fires his cannon.
Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: In "Supercalifragilisticexpalidocious" (even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious), one large cartoon woman plays a percussion instrument by slamming it on her diminutive husband's head.
Mary Poppins: ♪Better use it carefully, or it can change your life.♪
Husband: For example... Mary Poppins: Yes? Husband: Once I said it to me girl, and now me girl's me wife. Wife slams instrument on Husband's head. Husband: And a lovely thing she is, too.
Dream Ballet: Performed by Bert and Mary in the middle of "Jolly Holiday". Even his cane and her parasol get in on the act!
Expospeak Gag: Variant. No expospeak as such, but as it's a kid's movie this line has the same effect as one:
Tradition, discipline, and rules Must be the tools Without them, disorder! Catastrophe! Anarchy! In short, you have a ghastly mess!
Later, this expospeak is heard again with a few different words that still mean the same thing:
Tradition, discipline, and rules Must be the tools Without them, disorder! Chaos! Moral disintegration! In short, you have a ghastly mess!
Forced Meme: About a dozen of them in-universe during the "Step in Time" number. These include "Step in time" itself, "Kick your knees up," "Flap like a birdie," "Mary Poppins," "Votes for women," "It's the master," and (hilariously) "Aahhh!"
Four-Temperament Ensemble: Mary Poppins is melancholic, Bert is sanguine, Winifred Banks is phlegmatic, and George Banks is choleric.
Get Thee to a Nunnery: The "go fly a kite" joke is often lost on modern audiences. The phrase was once used as a family-friendly version of "Go fuck yourself," but is almost never used this way today. (Which, of course, is why Constable Jones apologizes after using it on the telephone.)
Gilded Cage: Bert references this to Jane and Michael when they question their father's love for them. Stating that his job is cold, heartless and difficult but he faces it every day for his family's sake.
Girly Skirt Twirl: Taken Up to Eleven during the dance scene on the roof, when Mary twirls so hard she goes flying for a few seconds (although the flying bit isn't focused on the skirt, because it's part of the choreography).
Late to the Punchline/Parental Bonus: Watch it as a kid and you'll get a thoroughly entertaining movie. Watch it again twenty years later and you'll suddenly be able to understand a whole host of jokes and subplots that you couldn't possibly have gotten as a kid, either for want of experience or vocabulary, or simply because the adults were talking too fast.
Mr. Dawes, Sr. takes a minute to get the wooden leg joke.
But at least he realized that there was actually something to get there, as opposed to the other bankers thinking Mr. Banks had gone mad.
Long List: All the things Michael's tuppence could do for England.
George Banks: You see, Michael, you'll be part of: railways through Africa...
Mr. Dawes Sr.: Exactly!
George: Dams across the Nile...
Dawes: The ships, tell them about the ships!
George: Fleets of ocean greyhounds...
Dawes: More, tell them more!
George: Majestic, self-aggrandizing canals...
Dawes: How it fires the imagination!
George: Plantations of ripening tea...
Love Epiphany: When facing the senior partners, Mr. Banks is at a loss for words until he discovers his son's tuppences in his pocket and he finally understands the most important thing in his life should be his family and not this cold bank.
Never My Fault: Mr. Dawes Sr. and the rest of the Senior Partners fail to realize it was their actions which led to the run on the bank, not Michael nor his sister nor father, as it was Mr. Dawes Sr. who took Michael's money by force.
Noble Bigot: George and Winifred display mild sexist attitudes toward each other, with George speaking of his wife as if she is one of his many "subjects"; while Winifred, in her Straw Feminist song "Sister Suffragette", proclaims: "Though we adore men individually, we agree that, as a group, they're rather stupid."
One Steve Limit: Minor aversion. One of the female names rattled off in the penguin scene is "Jane." Presumably Bert isn't referring to Jane Banks (a good thing, too, since, given the context, the reference would be more than a little creepy).
There's also Bert and Uncle Albert, though if he's Bert's actual uncle it's possible he was named after him.
The book states that Bert's real name is Herbert.
Panty Shot: Mary Poppins flashes her pink bloomers while dancing on the rooftop, much to the delight of the (male) chimney sweeps. Mrs. Banks, too, hikes up her dress while singing feminist propaganda, causing a female character watching to shriek in horror.
Parrot Expo-what?: Mr. Banks' initial inability to say, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
Jane: Mary Poppins taught us the most wonderful word! Michael: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Mr. Banks: What on earth are you talking about, supercal— super— or whatever the infernal thing is? Jane: It's something to say when you don't know what to say. Mr. Banks: Yes, well, I always know what to say.
And later, as he sings "The Life I Lead" again:
Mr. Banks: (singing) These silly words, like... (stops singing) Superca... Superca... Superca... Mary Poppins: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Mr. Banks: Yes, well done. You said it.
He eventually comes around when he is discharged from the bank and Mr. Dawes, Sr., asks him if he has anything to say:
Mr. Banks: (giggling hysterically) Just one word, sir. Mr. Dawes, Sr.: Yes? Mr. Banks: Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious! Mr. Dawes, Sr.: What? Mr. Banks: Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins was right, it's extraordinary! It *does* make you feel better! (giggles some more)
Perfectly Cromulent Word: George Banks spends much of the movie confused by "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", but by the end catches on with it, particularly during his dismissal from the bank.
One bit of political incorrectness survives in the film, in which Admiral Boom uses the now derogatory term "Hottentots", as in "We're being attacked by Hottentots!" But let's face it, you just used Google to figure out what that term meant.
On the other hand, the rough and tough chimney sweeps express a lot of sympathy for the women's suffrage cause in 1910 Britain.
Positive Discrimination: All over the place. Mary Poppins is "practically perfect in every way," while Bert has no magical powers at all, and also takes care of most of the slapstick. Mrs. Banks is much more sympathetic than Mr. Banks, and more reasonable too. Jane is clearly wiser and more competent than her brother. And you'll also notice that Mary and Jane are always the ones at the head of the carousel horse race...although that has more to do with the positions of characters on the carousel when the operator let them off.
Pretty in Mink: Mrs. Banks wears an ermine muff to one of her suffrage rallies. The muff does double duty as Mrs. Banks uses it to discreetly carry extra "Votes for Women" sashes.
Pungeon Master: Uncle Albert. When in the right mood, he can not think about anything without it being a pun.
Random Events Plot: Quite a lot of the movie's run time is random loosely connected mini adventures that the children and Mary go on, with subtle bits of character development to move the main relationships along. Though of course, not all tropes are bad, as it doesn't affect the great quality of the movie at all.
Really Gets Around: Bert is a male example. Just listen to his song with the penguins! The jealous look on Mary's face during most of the song pretty much confirms it.
Refuge in Audacity: Mary Poppins hires herself. With, no less, the implication that Mr. Banks is the one who needs to impress her!
Mary Poppins uses the wind to literally blow the competition away to leave the nanny spot open for her.
Reverse Psychology: Mary Poppins owns this trope. She gets herself hired by interviewing her employer, gets the children to sleep by singing a lullaby about staying awake, and tricks Mr. Banks into taking the kids to work with him by acting like it's his idea.
Babysitter from Hell: Miss Andrew, literally. There's a good reason why she's known as the "Holy Terror." After Mary Poppins returns, she puts Miss Andrew inside a large birdcage and basically sends her to hell.
Birdcaged: Miss Andrew, much like in the book "Mary Poppins Comes Back"
Cut Song: Temper Temper eventually was cut from the stage musical, due to complaints by parents and that the producers of the Dutch production of Poppins didn't like the idea of the kids being put on trial. The slightly tamer nightmare-inspired "Playing The Game" replaced the song when the US tour began and the changes have been reinstated to the Broadway production as well as future productions of the show.