YMMV / Mary Poppins

The books

  • Base-Breaking Character: Mary Poppins' strict and pompous behavior has won over some readers, who feel thankful that her personality doesn't taste like diabetes, and turned away others, who find her unreasonably heartless.
  • Sequelitis: The books seem to get less creative as the series progresses, at least to some readers.

Disney's movie and play

  • Adaptation Displacement: How many of you can actually say that you saw the movie with prior knowledge that it came from a book?
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • There are also who think Mary Poppins is an irresponsible, dangerous, abusive drunk. She supernaturally "blows" the competition away for the job, then takes her charges to play with a homeless man. After giving them cough medicine. That tastes like rum to her.
    • Some people think she gives off a cold and dismissive feeling and would not actually be very successful with real children, like she was in the movie, in real life.
    • Given how dismissive she is of everyone she meets, except when they fall about praising her, Mary Poppins is some kind of high-functioning sociopath.
      • And yet, Pamela Travers (the author of the books) thought the Mary Poppins of the film was too nice. Fans of the books often agree with her.
    • Time Lady of Gallifrey. Seriously, she pulls a six-foot lamp out of her bag, right there in the film.
    • Some people insist that Burt is actually a Crazy Homeless Person.
      • On the opposite end, people are split if Bert is totally mundane if charming, or if he's of the same breed of magical that Mary is (albeit in a much lesser capacity). The musical seems to support the latter.
    • Post-Character Development, Winifred Banks makes a "Votes For Women" sash into a tail for the kite. Some viewers believe this means she'll give up the suffragette movement to spend more time around the house, while others interpret this action as her supporting the cause while spending more time with her family.
  • Awesome Music: Often held as the greatest collection of songs the Sherman brothers ever wrote.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Among people who've both seen the movie and read the books, opinions seem split over whether the movie's less conceited and condescending portrayal of Mary Poppins seems too sweet or easier to warm up to than her literary incarnation.
  • Chaotic Good: Mary Poppins is a benevolent force of chaos in her charges' too-ordered lives.
  • Ear Worm: Practically every song.
    • Chim chiminey chim chiminey chim chim cheree, a sweep is as lucky as lucky can be! Chim chiminey chim chiminey chim chim cheroo...
    • Just...A... Spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go dow-own, the medicine go down! Just a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down, in the most de-liiiiiiiight-fullllll waaaaaaaay!
    • Feed the birds, tuppence a bag. Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag! Feed the birds, that's what she cries, while overhead her birds fill the skies!
      • Famously, this song was a favorite of Walt Disney. Whenever he visited the Sherman brothers, he would say "play it". They would already know he meant "Feed the Birds" and play it for him. Even at his funeral.
    • Let's! Go! Fly a kite! Up! To! The highest height! Let's! Go! Fly a kite, and send! It! Soaring!
    • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious. If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious....
    • I love to laugh! Loud and long and clear! I love to laugh! It's getting worse every year...
    • Step in time! Step in time! Step in time! Step in time! Never need a reason, never need a rhyme! Step in time! You step in time!
    • Heck, even Mr. Banks' song, "The Life I Lead", is catchy!
    • Interestingly, the first song of the movie, "Sister Suffragette", is one that practically no one seems to remember.
    • From the musical: I'm Practically Perfect in every way. Practically Perfect, that's my forte. Uncanny nannies are hard to find. Unique yet meek, unspeakably kind.
    • Also from the musical: Anything can happen if you let it. Life is out there waiting, so go and get it. Grab it by the collar, seize it by the scruff. Once you've started living life, you just can't get enough.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Miss Andrew, the anti-Poppins, seems to be this in the stage version. In the film version Mrs Banks is extremely beloved by fans.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Mary Poppins could be an angel or even some kind of goddess, given her "perfection" and the fact that she comes from the sky. Also, note the religious overtones of "Feed the Birds."
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • It's always fun looking up what the child actors of yesteryear are doing now, isn't it? You're in for an unpleasant shock when you find that Matthew Garber (Michael) died from hepatitis at the age of 21.
    • Also in-universe, his smiley, bright future is going to come to a crashing halt in a few years time thanks to World War One.
    • Mrs. Brill's suggestion to check the river for Mr. Banks' corpse, the morning after he loses his job, might feel harder to watch for viewers who learned that P.L. Travers' mother attempted to drown herselfnote , traumatizing the seven-year-old.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke disagreed on the radio talk show Hollywood Spotlight Microphone over the possibility of Mary Poppins getting a Broadway adaptation. Van Dyke strongly supported the possibility, while Andrews felt that it wouldn't work, as the film's effects seemed hard to recreate on-stage. Both have seen the stage production since.
  • Lawful Evil: While technically there isn't a villain in the film, Mr Dawes Sr comes closest to one. As the elderly boss of a successful bank, Mr Dawes Sr and his many colleagues (one of which is his own son), have high regards for investment. Dawes Sr badgered Michael about the importance of money, ultimately swindling the poor boy and ending up firing George Banks for his sons unruly behaviour. Ironically when Dawes Sr dies of laughter, his colleagues appear again during the end, except a lot more relieved.
    • The musical plays this straight with Miss Andrew in a lift from the second book. She has a strict code rooted in the Victorian style of child-rearing, believing children should be seen and not heard and punishing them with Brimstone and Treacle. In the show, Winifred hires her as a replacement for the recently departed Mary Poppins, but things go south as soon as George leaves at the mere sight of her (his upbringing scarred him for life and affected how he raised his own kids). After seeing her for the first time, Jane and Michael run away. Thankfully, Mary Poppins returns and helps them give Miss Andrew (both metaphorically and literally) a taste of her own medicine, with Mary caging her up as her lark once was and sending her away (in the original Broadway and West End productions, she is Dragged Off to Hell).
  • Memetic Badass: Mr. Dawes Sr. became this among Italian Youtube Poopers, it all started with this (title roughly translates in 'Old Man Dawes will kick your ass!').
  • Memetic Mutation: Through the joy of Manipulative Editing, this trailer makes Mary Poppins look like a horror movie.
  • Narm Charm: Dick Van Dyke's accent. Dick van Dyke's accent was the result of his trying, and failing, repeatedly, to do a good Cockney accent. When it turned out he could only do a bad Cockney accent, he decided to make it hilariously bad. But it's part of what makes his character charming.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Watch the movie again after having seen Saving Mr. Banks and try not to cry at all the scenes involving Mr. Banks' Character Development, the ending, and the scenes which have more resonance now that the reason and meaning behind them is made clear. Just try. Heck, even the innocuous not-quite-Villain Song "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" becomes outright disturbing when you remember Colin Farrell (maybe?) trying to sing it while drunk.
  • Signature Scene: The twenty-minute long animated sequence is probably the most famous part of the film. Ironically, P.L. Travers hated that scene and ordered Walt Disney to remove it after the film's premiere.
  • Special Effect Failure:
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The WHOLE animated sequence, but particularly "Jolly Holiday" and the scene with the barn animal choir.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The play fell victim to this after "Temper, Temper" disappeared in favor of the Lighter and Softer "Playing The Game".
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Invoked with Mr. Banks, whose views are seen as backwards.
    • Winifred mentions the Sufragettes engaging in acts that, while not violent, would probably be seen as hideously disruptive, especially given violent protests in The New '10s.
    • With all the talk about climate change and pollution, it would seem to be quite weird to see Bert proud at the London Skyline.
    • Admiral Boom uses the then-contemporary term "Hottentots" for the Khoi peoples of Namibia, which has since become a racial slur.
  • Wangst: Really, Uncle Albert, feeling upset about your guests having to leave soon is one thing, but having a crying fit about it is another thing altogether.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Didactic?: Some critics and academics have argued that the film encapsulates the societal shift of its time, with Mr. Banks representing the passing of the stuffy 1950s and Mary Poppins representing the arrival of the carefree 1960s. Thomas Schumacher has stated that the contrast between generations is represented in the stage musical by the character's outfits. George Banks, Miss Andrew, and most of the adults represent the older up-tight Victorian era while Mary Poppins, Bert, Mrs. Corry, Northbrook, and a few others represent the much looser Edwardian era.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MaryPoppins