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Awesome / Mary Poppins

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The books

  • When Miss Andrew first appears, in Mary Poppins Comes Back, she criticizes everyone and everything in the Banks household. After Miss Andrew calls Mary Poppins an "impertinent, incapable and totally unreliable" "young person" unsuitable for raising children, Mary Poppins decides to make her regret doing so. She frees Miss Andrew's pet lark from captivity, then allows him to lock Miss Andrew in the birdcage. The lark proceeds to lift the cage and its passenger up into the air, then let both of them fall to the ground. Miss Andrew becomes so traumatized, she takes the next taxi out of Cherry Tree Lane.
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  • In Mary Poppins Opens the Door, Mary Poppins returns to the Banks children by bursting out of a firecracker lit on Guy Fawkes' Day.

The 1964 film
A supercalifragilisticexpialidocious victory.

  • Awesome Music:
    • Every song The Sherman Brothers wrote for the film, particularly "Feed The Birds", which became Walt Disney's favorite song.
    • Try to find someone born after 1960 who doesn't at least start smiling and nodding, if not outright singing along, when you launch into "Let's Go Fly A Kite". Go on. We'll wait.
  • Michael Banks has a few moments: When he stands up to the president of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, and when the children are running through the docks and encounter Bert, he immediately tries to protect Jane before they realize who they've run into.
  • Mary Poppins' exercising a black belt in Politeness Judo.
    Mary Poppins: Oh riders, would you be so kind to let me past?
    Jockey: Certainly ma'am.
    (Mary passes both jockeys, who look at each other shocked like "Did that really just happen?")
  • "Step in Time", the chimney sweeps dance number on the rooftops of London. Jaw-dropping choregraphy and stunts, catchy song... you name it.
    • Mary dances a bit with Bert and some chimney sweeps, then spins around in the air for about 10 seconds, without any sign of vertigo thereafter.
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    • When Admiral Boom engages in a fireworks war with the 'hottentots' (the dancing chimney sweeps). They duck left and right, but Mary just strolls calmly back to the Banks' chimney, as if daring the fireworks to hit her.
    • And then, when a firework zooms towards Bert, he uses his sweep as a bat, and hits the firework, sending it right back at Admiral Boom.
      Admiral Boom: A fine hit sir! Very well hit! (Ducks)
  • Mary Poppins pulling an excellent Batman Gambit on Mr. Banks, first by getting him to agree to take the children to the bank, and telling the children about the bird woman, so they'd want to feed the birds, and the resulting events at the bank result in Mr Banks first getting fired, then reconnecting with his children.
  • After having gotten humiliated by his employers, George Banks decides he should say something after all.
    Mr. Dawes Sr.: Confound it, Banks! Have you anything to say?!
    George Banks: Just one word, sir...
    Dawes: Yes?
    Banks: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
    Dawes: What?
    Banks: Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious! Mary Poppins was right, it's extraordinary! It does make you feel better! (laughs)
    Dawes: What are you talking about, man? There's no such word!
    Banks: Oh yes! It is a word! A perfectly good word! Actually, do you know what there's no such thing as? It turns out, with due respect, when all is said and done, that there's no such thing as YOU!
  • Dick Van Dyke's performance is superb throughout the entirety of the film, but there are a few specific points where, in the middle of a song, he suddenly starts reciting, and imbues his lines with such pathos, it almost makes you feel like there's an entirely separate story behind each of them:
    Bert: (in the middle of an otherwise cheerful street performance) Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin. Can't put me finger on what lies in store... But I fear what's to happen all happened before.
    Bert: (giving a breathtaking description of the Chimneys of London) When there's hardly no day / Nor hardly no night / There's things half in shadow... And half way in light.
    Bert: You've got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone... Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve... And all too soon they've up and grown, and then they've flown... And it's too late for you to give.
    • Arguably Bert plays just as great a role as Mary does in the mending of the Banks family; he makes Jane and Michael see how difficult their father’s life is, and he makes Mr. Banks see that he's been focusing too greatly on his work rather than his children.
    • On the subject of Dick Van Dyke's performance, there's his alarmingly convincing portrayal of Mr. Dawes Sr. It was so good that not only did most of the audience not know it was him, but even some of the cast didn't realize it until The Reveal at the end of the closing credits.
  • Julie Andrews full stop. Having come from a Broadway background, she was one of the few actresses at the time who was allowed to sing without dubbing. She was one of the very few things that PL Travers liked about the film. She became one of a handful of people to win an Oscar for their first film. In short, she really was practically perfect in every way.

The musical

  • Towards the end of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," the cast spells it out, physically and verbally.
  • Adapting the Miss Andrew scene from Mary Poppins Comes Back mentioned above, Mary returns and goes even further than her literary counterpart with Miss Andrew's demise. She doesn't just get a taste of her own medicine (literally and figuratively), but once Mary Poppins turns the bird cage gigantic, she gets Dragged Off to Hell whilst trapped inside.
  • During Step in Time, Bert tap dances on the ceiling, literally going "over the rooftops."


  • As part of a TV special for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, Derek Hough led a troupe in a recreation of the Step in Time number. At the climax, Dick Van Dyke made a surprise appearance and, at 90 years old, got right back into the dancing with the rest of the group.


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