Follow TV Tropes


Heartwarming / Mary Poppins

Go To

The books

  • Jane's description of the Bird Woman's and the birds' nightly activities, which ends with the Bird Woman tucking tired birds underneath her skirt the way a mother hen tucks her chicks in her nest.
  • The day that Mary Poppins leaves the Banks family for the first time, she gives Jane a letter signed, "Au revoir." When Jane asks Mrs. Brill the cook what "Au revoir" means, Mrs. Brill answers, "...I think, Miss Jane dear, it means 'To Meet Again'."
  • The fact that Arthur Turvy's maid, Topsy Tartlet, genuinely enjoys his quirks provides a heartwarming contrast with the maids of the other human relatives of Mary Poppins that the Banks children meet, especially after Arthur and Topsy become Happily Married.note 
  • After the birth of Annabel, Mr. Banks sternly reminds Mrs. Banks now hard it will become to support a fifth child, but proceeds to joyously tell Admiral Boom of the new arrival.
  • Mary Poppins wears a locket containing a portrait in Mary Poppins Comes Back. She forbids the Banks children from seeing the portrait until after the chain breaks, on the night she leaves again. The portrait shows Mary Poppins smiling while the Banks children gather around her.
  • Since the first chapter of Mary Poppins Opens the Door takes place on Guy Fawke's Day, P.L. Travers begins the book by explaining who Guy Fawkes was, and what people in England do to honor this holiday. She then laments how World War II has put a hold on Guy Fawke's Day celebrations, but confidently expresses hope that the traditions will become revived once the war ends.
  • On New Year's Day, Michael asks Mary Poppins if he and the other kids will live Happily Ever After, like the literary characters they met at the party the night before. Mary Poppins doesn't give a definite yes or no answer, but seems to believe in the chance that they will find it.
  • At the end of Mary Poppins Opens the Door, the Banks children swear that they will never forget their lessons and experiences with Mary Poppins.
  • Andrew talking (barking?) Miss Lark into adopting Willoughby and not insulting him.

The movie

  • There's something very sweet about how when Mrs Banks hears that Katie Nana has lost the children - and the nanny seems to view it more as an annoyance - she immediately thinks of the children's safety. And when they come home, she's just so relieved to see them. A wonderfully loving mother she is.
  • Jane and Michael's advertisement song was a very heartwarming moment. They were just so sweet! (except maybe that part about toads, pepper, and stolen glasses!)
    • Although George dismisses them coldly and rips up the paper, Winifred gently calls him on it. She sees the good in her children, even when they misbehave.
    "They were only trying to help. After all, they're only children."
  • The song "Let's Go Fly A Kite" is a very heartwarming song.
    Jane: (On their mended kite) However did you manage it?
    Mr. Banks: With tuppence for paper and string, you can have your own set of wings...
    • And when he starts singing to everyone, and everyone even the staff start singing. Then Mrs Banks uses her Suffragette Scarf to make the tail and all four go skipping off happily together, as Mary Poppins watches, looking sad for a moment, but then smiles.
  • Jane and Michael giving Mr Banks the tuppence as an apology for the trouble at the bank, and hope it will "make everything alright". The Unshaved Mouse describes the power of this moment perfectly:
    "George is profoundly moved by this, and as he stares in awe of the two tiny coins in his hand, the music reprises the theme of Feed the Birds. A tiny act of kindness, with immense power."
    • Also notice his heartful "thank you" to them. Rather than being frustrated at them for being silly kids and not cold, rational adults, he realizes that even though they have no way to fix the problem, they've made a sacrifice to try and help by giving up the money that was theirs, and when he thanks them for it, it seems completely genuine.
    • As the reprise plays, we see a shot of Mary from the top of the stairs. She smiles proudly, knowing the children have learned the lesson she was hoping for.
  • Mr Banks' epiphany moment in the bank, where he realises he has been so focused on his work and appearing respectable, he hasn't been there for his children... so he skips down the street, umbrella inside out, hat ripped and flowerless, to make a kite for him and his family to fly together.
    • It's also a moving Call-Back to the beginning. When Constable Jones referred to Jane and Michael as his "valuables", he was confused, but now, he understands that they are very valuable indeed.
      • What's best about it is how it's preceded by an absolutely ridiculous ritual that the bank workers give him as part of being fired, and Banks seems to internally realize just how stupid this is and has no idea what to even say to it...until he looks down at the tuppence and finally remembers... Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Then not only has he come to realize the value of his family, but also how frivolous his work seems in comparison.
    Banks: 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!
  • Mr and Mrs Banks' reunion after his dismissal. No more proof is needed: these two are Happily Married.
  • Mrs. Brill and Ellen, the Banks family's cook and parlormaid, respectively, being legitimately worried when they see Mr. Banks summon Mary Poppins to see him with the intent of dismissing her. Made double in Ellen's case, as previously she only saw it as a nuisance because it would mean she would have to look after the children herself without a nanny in the house.
  • Somewhat sad, but also heartwarming that the head of the bank died laughing at a joke. The way Dawes Sr. was living his life was apparently very miserable. For him to finally find some honest to goodness joy and happiness again in his last moments of living is good.
    Dawes Jr: Capital bit of humor. Wooden leg names Smith. . . or Jones, whatever it was. Father died laughing!
    George Banks: I'm so sorry, sir! note 
    Dawes Jr: Oh no, nonsense! Nothing to be sorry about. Never seen him happier in his life. (puts a boutonnière on Banks) He left an opening for a new partner. Congratulations.
    Banks: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much, indeed!
    • One more detail: The bank partners, too, are flying kites. Mr. Banks isn't the only one who learned a lesson about work/life balance—suggesting that the bank may be a friendlier place to work now. As the sequel shows, Mr Dawes Jr. certainly takes the lesson to heart.
  • "All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles look down as she sells her wares. Although you can't see them, you know they are smiling, each time someone shows that he cares."
    • Not only is that scene wonderful in itself, but later, when Mr Banks takes the children to the bank, we do meet the lady. She is sweet, gentle and smiling, the birds seem to adore her, and Michael's first reaction is to go use the tuppence he has saved up from his allowance to buy food and feed the birds. In fact, him insisting on it even in the bank is what inadvertently causes the riot: he starts to yell at the bankers to give his money back, and everyone else concludes they want nothing to do with a bank that won't give its clients the money they put in.
      • The song was one Disney's favourite and he would often ask that it be played.
  • There is also the profoundly relieving moment when Jane and Michael get lost in the East end slums, and run into a dark man who seems to abduct them, only to turn out to be their good trusted friend, Bert. Instantly, the fearful atmosphere turns into a caring one as the worldly wise chimney sweep reassures them that their father certainly does not hate them, but is a lonely soul who could use their help.
    • When Bert first grabs Jane's arm, and before they realise it's their friend, Michael immediately leaps in to protect his sister by trying to pull her free and shouting at Bert to leave her alone.
  • Mary and Bert's duet, particularly if you like them as a couple.
    • Even if you don't, seeing Bert's disappointment with Mary gently letting him down before he resumes his cheerfulness, just as happy to remain friends, it's refreshing and sweet to see.
    • Mary's response to Bert singing her praises? "It's a jolly holiday with you, Bert."
  • Mary Poppins rarely gets involved in any of the songs or dances — except for those which Bert is involved with, such as "Jolly Holiday" and "Step In Time". Whether you see it as friendly or romantic, it's still sweet.
  • At the end when Mary leaves the Banks family, Bert is the only one to see her departure, as he says goodbye and asks her not to stay away for too long. Mary looks back at him and smiles before flying away.
  • An example that occurred during filming: Karen Dotrice fell ill for a few days with a bad fever. While she was recuperating, Walt Disney went to sit with her, bringing her an enormous teddy bear as a get-well present. It became her favorite toy for years.
  • A real-life example: Walt Disney, who knew that the song "Feed the Birds" was the heart of the whole movie, wanted one of his favorite actresses—Academy Award winner Jane Darwell—to play the Bird Woman. Darwell was already in her eighties, virtually retired from acting, and in rather poor health, so she which point Disney personally traveled to her rest home to request her presence in the film. She was so taken aback by Walt's kindness that she agreed to take the role, which ended up being her last screen appearance.note 
  • Julie Andrews was the first and only choice for the role of Mary, Walt Disney having seen her on the stage. Julie turned the role down because she was pregnant at the time, but Walt simply said they'd put the production on hold to wait for her. She ended up winning Best Actress at the Oscars for it.
  • Another real-life example: P.L. Travers initially hated the movie, but after a while, her hostile feelings cooled and she eventually declared that, while she still felt it wasn't a proper adaptation of her book, it was still a good movie in and of itselfnote . When Cameron Mackintosh approached her about producing a stage adaptation (this time with Travers having a lot more influence over the project), she allowed the songs from the film to be featured in it, ultimately giving the project her blessing in her last will and testament.
    • The report from a friend who watched it with her said that there were a couple of moments in the film that genuinely excited her too.

The musical

  • In the first act, Neleus laments about missing his father Poseidon. Fortunately, he's reunited with him towards the end of Act II.
  • After "Anything Can Happen," Michael and Jane proclaim that their trip to the stars (in the aforementioned song) was the best adventure yet. They ask Mary Poppins if they would return soon. She says that they won't return for a long time note , but gives Michael her telescope to watch the stars "until [they] return."
    • Shortly thereafter, Michael tells Mary Poppins that he loves her. Mary remarks that he is a fine boy who will grow up into fine man. Noticing she has become oddly kind, Michael presses her about this in a sweetly funny moment:
    Michael: Oh, Mary Poppins, it makes me anxious when you talk like that.
    Mary Poppins: Like what?
    Michael: All gentle and kind and not a bit like you. Be cross, Mary Poppins! Do be cross again!
    Mary Poppins: (stern) Is that the thanks I get for the trouble I've taken?!
    Michael: That's better!