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.Disney is currently filming Saving Mr. Banks, focused around the long Development Hell the film underwent as Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) tried getting the rights from PL Travers (Emma Thompson), set to be released in December 2013 for Oscar Bait purposes.
Just a Spoonful Of Tropes'll Make the Article Go Down, the article go down, the article go down:
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."
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 the movie, they have two of each.
Adorkable: Bert has his moments of endearing awkwardness, especially toward Mary during their duet.
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.
Banister Slide: Mary Poppins and the children before going out to the park. She also inverts this physically by going up the banister at one point.
The British Empire: The film, of course, takes place when it was at its height. In "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank", the bankers describe the glories of the Empire in an attempt to appeal to Micheal's patriotism. One of the verses is based off a line from a 1903 book called Living London: "It is not possible to realise without much thought the industrial power that is wrapped up in money London. Railways through Africa, dams across the Nile, fleets of ocean greyhounds, great canals, leagues of ripening corn – London holds the key to all of these, and who can reckon up what beside."
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.
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.
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 is also used whenever ABC Family airs the movie. Fortunately, Disney released a new DVD in 2009 with the new sound effects gone.
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.
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.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: One of the requirements in Jane and Michael's letter is that said nanny should "never smell of barley water" - implying one of their past nannies was rather fond of the bottle.
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.
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.
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.
The lyricist mentioned on the 40th anniversary DVD that he started mashing words together to see what sounded interesting and sesquipedalian. note And it is so rococo-co-cious.
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.
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)
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.
"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.
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.
Scenery Porn: Almost definitely spot-on as far as the sights of London go.
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.
Westminster Chimes: In the score during the rooftop scene, between orchestral reprises of "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Feed the Birds".
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.
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.
Eleven O'Clock Number: "Step In Time". The stage musical is especially impressive in that Bert climbs up the wall and tap dances across the ceiling.
Joker Jury: The toys who put the children on trial in "Temper, Temper".
Remake Cameo: Dick Van Dyke reprised the role of Mr. Dawes Sr. in at least one stage production.
Villain Song: The stage version not only throws in a villain (Miss Andrew, George's former nanny who was featured in the Poppins books) but also gives her a two-part song, "Brimstone and Treacle". She's presumably sent to hell in a giant birdcage when Mary returns.