24 movies Guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy

December 11th - Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins  Poster

Year : 1964

Director: Robert Stephenson

Starring: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson.

Mary Poppins

Christmas day without fail Mary Poppins will be on TV (usually before the Queens speech - i.e. the time when everyone has a post dinner snooze).

The film is set in London in 1910. Two young children (Jane and Michael) live in large house in the city looking over the park. The parents are both too busy to pay attention to the children - their mother is a suffragette and the father is a city banker. When their nanny resigns a new nanny is sought and Mary Poppins is installed as the new nanny. Mary Poppins is no ordinary nanny though - oh no she has magical powers and she ain't afraid to use them. Everyday tasks are transformed - i.e. putting toys away can be done by clicking her fingers, and trips to the park turn into magical adventures on steam horses, and if they ever get bored they can just pass the time trying to place Bert's accent. But soon the wind changes direction and so does life in the household.

Probably the best Disney live action film it combines a super story with some great songs and some stunning special effects (the mixing of the live action and the animation still looks absolutely superb). The cast is pretty near perfect Julie Andrews, David Tomlinson etc, even Dick Van Dyke finds the right level (in spite of his accent) - thankfully even the kids are not too annoying (not always a given in Disney films). Where it leaves most other Disney films behind is that the film has not been allowed to go over board with sweetness, all be it that the original books had Mary Poppins as a very stern and forthright nanny, and Disney have skilfully found the common ground between the two. An all round great family movie and a very welcome Christmas tradition.

By the way the advice given to young Michael to frugally, fruitfully, prudently etc etc invest his tuppence in the bank rather than buying a bag of bird food has turned out to be rather prudent. Had Michael invested his two pennies in the bank in 1910 the resultant added interest (after decimilisation, taking inflation into account and assuming no Tax would have to be declared on the initial savings interest) would have seen his investment grow, in real terms, to a hefty £2.32 by 2007. The price of a bag of bird food in London in 2008 is £1.50 leaving the now 104 year old Michael a net benefit of £0.82 pence after purchasing the bird food. A profit not to to be sneezed at. That's good business.

Mary Poppins has flown into place at December 11th on our Films guaranteed to make you feel Christmassy (UK edition).

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