70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on 23 April 2005
This is one of those films that has stood the test of time and is still entertaining now as it was 40 years ago. Everyone knows the tale of the magical nanny that blows in on the east wind and into the lives of the Banks family of 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Jane and Michael Banks have had a succession of strict nannies as well as a very strict father and a mother who is always out with her fellow suffragettes. Mary Poppins brings magic and fun into the children's lives, something that has been sorely lacking prior to her arrival.
Julie Andrews stars as the nanny and Dick Van Dyke as the lovable cockney Bert, (just forgive his dreadful accent) who always seems to be around at the right time for an adventure. The children find themselves having outings such as jumping into a chalk picture into a cartoon world, having a tea-party on a ceiling and dancing across the rooftops of London. Stuffed to the gills with songs such as 'Spoonful of Sugar', 'Chim Chim Cheree', 'Feed the Birds' and 'Jolly Holiday', this will have you tapping your foot throughout.
This 40th anniversary edition is on 2 discs and features lots of extras such as a documentary, commentary, footage of the premieres etc. The quality of print is very high, the colours have never looked so vibrant and the picture is razor sharp. Wonderful stuff.
61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2013
Most prospective buyers will know about the film itself (one of Disney's all-time classics) but will be keen to know as much as possible about the Blu Ray release. In terms of review I have given the title 4 stars because of the film (one of my favourites) and the generally good specs for the release but have dropped a star as this release seems to fall slightly short of the USA release. I hope therefore that the following is of help should you be considering buying this title.
Firstly the UK release does not appear to be the same as the USA version and I will update on this point once I have the USA version when it is released in December (yes I will get both!). For now I can report that for the 50th release Disney has given the film some restoration work. Promised is a 'full digital restoration' and the picture quality from the trailer at least ([...] certainly looks good - you can view this trailer in 1080p and I am certainly encouraged by how clean it looks. Viewing the Blu Ray and I find the picture OK (considering the age) with good sharpness but a fair bit of grain too although most who know this title intimately say this is to be expected (and good!).
Audio is OK with a DTS-HD Audio 5.1 track (USA release is 7.1) being available (as will as other languages in DD 5.1) but very little activity from the rear surrounds. For the technically minded this is an MPEG-4 AVC release with an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 (original aspect ration 1.75:1). Note that there is a very small black border to the left and right hand side of the image - this is strange and have not seen this before apart from when viewing 1.33:1 films. Not sure why Disney has done this as the original 1.75:1 would suggest we should have slight borders top and bottom unless my maths is out. This is the same on both the UK and USA release. The audio is a strange one as we clearly do not have the 7.1 lossless track that the USA release has. I have added in the comments a few more thoughts on this so I won't repeat now but just point out that if you are after the best version of this classic film possible this UK release may not be the one.
There are a lot of extras but most of these have been present on past releases of DVD's etc., I have detailed below what I have found from various sources but have pasted up a copy of the rear cover if you want to see for yourself what is included. Note these extras are substantial - 2 of the features alone are close to 1-hour long each! Some of the special features are quite recent with HD footage for the stage show and the new film based on the author of the book. Brilliant footage from the premiere too with a very young Julie Andrews being interviewed alongside Walt Disney! A list of the special features as follows:
Mary-Oke: Spoon Full Of Sugar, Supercalafragilisticexpealidocious, Step In Time, Chim Chim Cher-Ee
Disney's Song Selection: "A Spoonful Of Sugar", "Jolly Holiday", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "I Love To Laugh", "Feed The Birds", "Chim Chim Cher-Ee", "Step In Time", "Let's Go Fly A Kite"
Sing-Along With The Movie
Mary Poppins From Page To Stage
Step In Time
Deleted Song: Chimpanzoo
A Magical Musical Reunion Featuring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke And Richard Sherman
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making Of Mary Poppins
The Gala World Premiere, The Gala World Premiere Party
"The Cat That Looked At A King" From "Mary Poppins Opens The Door" By P.L Travers
Movie Magic, Deconstruction Of A Scene: Jolly Holliday, Deconstruction Of A Scene: Step In Time
Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test
Original Theatrical Teaser Trailer, Original Theatrical Trailer
Julie Andrews' Premiere Greeting, Original TV Spot #1, Original TV Spot # 2
1966 Re-Issue Trailer, Re-Issue Trailer #1, 1973 Re-Issue Trailer #2
The rear cover scan confirms the audio/sound format for the release.
Overall it is a very good release and especially so considering the relatively low price. Can't help feel though that we have an inferior offering compared to the USA release so I intend to get this and do a proper comparison. Perhaps a 4.5 stars would have been appropriate but going with a 4 until I see if the USA one is what we should have had in the UK (will have to wait until 10th December when it is released). I suspect we have a cut-down 1-disc release with everything squeezed down to fit the single disc but I will confirm once I have the USA version.
Update: I now have the USA release and have taken a quick look (and listen). In terms of picture quality I can not tell any difference as they both look exactly the same. The USA release does have the DTS 7.1 HDMA track though, to be honest, I can't tell much of a difference to the UK one but will have another listen later. The USA version does not have the same foreign languages as the UK one and it is here, I suspect where we have lost out with the lossless track in order to accommodate the additional tracks. Extras seem to be the same as well. You do get the DVD with the USA release if this is important to you (and a digital download code). Overall there is not much in it - if you want the lossless track then the USA release is the one to go with and will be the one I keep out of the two of them. The USA release is zone free for the Blu Ray so it should work with all UK players. Have not checked the DVD and will not bother with the digital download.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2006
Mary Poppins is undoubtedly among the most terrific stories ever told on celluloid for children. It has it all: comedy, music, values, colours, dreams all packed in 2 hours together with the beautiful Julie Andrews. If you wacthed it when you were young the memory will stay with you for the rest of your life, if you didn't you still have the chanche to come back in time and enjoy it for the first time. GO AND GET A COPY.
Someone wrote that they found it boring, lacking in plot and full of cheesy music. My opinion is that you would have liked it as a kid, but growing up you simply lost your capability of astonishment.
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
This is one of Disney's best films and, from viewing one of the documentaries on the bonus disc, one of his personal favourites. The film beats the stage musical into a cocked hat - I don't think that Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke can be bettered in the musical numbers - the highlights of course being "It's a Jolly Holiday with Mary", "Superfraga(you know the rest)" and "Step in time". This is not just a kids film, it is a bone fide fabulous musical.
The "pop up" facts available on this version are interesting, if not a bit distracting (save them for your second viewing) and the karaoke option is great fun! All the extras, in fact, are very much worth seeing.
I thoroughly recommend this version if you are a Poppins fan!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2002
Everything about Mary Poppins is brilliant. The music is legendary and it is certainly no surprise that songs such as A Spoon Full of Sugar have become household whistling tunes!
The best part has to be the trip Mary takes the children to the country. But forget wearing wellingtons and wrapping up in duvet-thick coats - the country is animated with a host of loveable animal characters that each contribute to a fanastic musical sequence. Also, don't miss 'Feed the Birds' - the whole song is just excellent and from the little ornament of St Paul's Mary starts singing with at the start of the song to wher she tucks in the now sleeping children while finishing the number can get you quite emotional and is a classic.
You never forget the film's different scenes and at the end where Mary leaves the Bank's house on Cherrytree Lane, you really are downhearted that she's leaving.
Just enjoy the film.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This 40th Anniversary Edition on Mary Poppins is a credit all the re-releases that have both boggled (with odd cuts/features) and enhanced our experiences. Packed with extras and the restored film, its a bargain!
The first thing you'll notice, if like me you've been stingy enough to stick to your VHS version when it was on TV, is that the sheer clarity makes it appear like it was filmed yesterday. Bright, bold colours, not a single defect in clarity, it could easily pass as a new release. Theirs no 'cell' shake like on original features too, were it would appear as if the screen was a bit shakey at times.
If you've taken an interest into this film (and you've never seen it) then it's likely you've gathered the storyline by now, so I won't pound on with what happens. But as far as Disneys go, this is on level with Bed Knobs and Broomsticks when it comes to superior technicality and animation.
I have to admit, this is the first time i've seen the film for over 10 years, and it's never looked so good. As a kid, we hammered the video it was so magical, and as an adult you only appreciate the work that's been put in it further. The merging of cell animation with the acting is truly seamless, and entertaining in its own right because is just so clever. Though this is actually a rare Disney in that the animation is spread through the film - its only used for a few scenes in the first half of the film. And perhaps this allowed Disney to concentrate their time better on producing such tight and accurate merges with the actors, from Dick van Dyk seemingly dancing around the penguins (while they dance around him) to the incredible horse chase scene. But in an of the instances, most credit goes to the actors for their sheer ability to percieve how they're going interact with the animation, in the latter stages of production. This must have been incredibly time consuming, but it was worth it, because this is something no computer generated film can copy. The combining of art and acting.
The dance scenes are perfect as usual - in time, and incredibly (almost cringingly!) impossible, as the chimney sweepers smoothly dart about all over the place. The musical score ties in nicely, and gives the extra edge to the animated sequences.
Favourite scene? Has to be Berts (Dick van dyk) and May Poppins (Julie Andrews) jolly outing as they group enter the summery animated world. The way they interact with their surroundings is truly amazing, from Bert picking a bunch of cell animated flowers and giving them to Mary, to the general composition and landscape, to which both actors ramble about in the perfect directions that don't look un-real at all. You may think I'm hapring on about this theme, but it has to be seen, thought of, and the realised that this is film making at its creative peak.
This 2 disc edition contains fantastic extras that explain in great detail how the many wonderful effects were created, and a fab commentary in the film too. I can't recommend this DVD enough. I had to laugh though at the only 1 star review for this film.. why not check it out for yourself!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2005
I loved Mary Poppins from beginning to end. Everything about it is brilliantly done. The songs are a joy to hear, and not only the ones sung by Julie Andrews, but also those by the rest of the cast. The magic performed by Mary Poppins is consistent with her calm and self-assuredness; she is both in control as well as brings joy into the childrens' lives - and ours. And simple though the special effects may seem today, they are totally engaging. I also particularly enjoyed the animated panorama of London.
On the technical side, this set is wonderful: the extras include the songs performed by Julie Andrews, with lyrics, pop-up facts about the movie which you can enable or disable as you wish, an interactive game, but the best extra is the documentary about the making of Mary Poppins, which shows some deleted scenes as well as some of the methods used in filming. That was quite interesting. To all these I must add the vibrant colours, which are a feast to the eyes.
This is a thoroughly engaging movie, and I warmly recommend it.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 9 August 2004
In this film, the Banks family suffer from the typical problems of a family in 1910. Mr George Banks (David Thomlinson) is too wrapped up in his work at the bank to notice his children, Jane and Michael, who always seems to be in trouble. He thinks that his life is perfect and at one. Then Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) shows up and proves him wrong.
From jumping through chalk pavement pictures to bringing life to the Banks household, Mary Poppins is the best nanny.
The animated sequence is pure Disney (I like the cute Irish fox, myself.) The penguin dance is particularly memorable.
And you'll be all over the ceiling as you laugh with funny Uncle Albert (Ed Wyn)!
Julie Andrews is brilliant as Mary Poppins. She has a great voice and some of the musical numbers are quite moving.
Now, there have been many criticisms about Mr Van Dyke's attempt at cockney, but I'd suggest not to take it too seriously. Compared to some people I've heard, his is a noble attempt.
Taken altogether, this classic Disney is little more than just a children's movie. It's a film for the family and one of Disney's best live-action flicks!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This blu-ray release of Mary Poppins is a bit hard to judge at first. The opening credits and first couple of scenes had me wondering if they'd bothered to do any sort of restoration for the blu-ray. However, I realised that this was because there are a lot of composite shots in the opening. As the film progressed there was a dip in quality whenever a special effect was on screen. So, I dug out my DVD and did a comparison. The DVD is a LOT worse, and that dip in quality is just a noticeable. I think the blu-ray emphasizes the difference because the rest of the film looks so brilliant. I can honestly say, this IS the best this film has ever looked.
Close-ups are lovely and clear and the upgrade to a DTS 5.1 tracks is amazing. The songs have never sounded as good.If you're a fan, and you're ok with the limitations of film in the 60's, then you should be very happy with this blu-ray.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Inventive and enthused with quality all thru it, Mary Poppins holds up well over forty years since its release. The story is based on the Mary Poppins books written by Pamela Travers, and what a crackerjack story this adaptation turns out to be.
Mother & Father Banks advertise for a nanny to tend their rowdy children. The children, after being less than impressed with previous holders of the post, decide to write their own advertisement. But Father Banks tears it up and puts it on the fire place ready for burning. The torn paper mysteriously floats up the chimney and finds its way to Mary Poppins who glides down from the sky with her umbrella to fill the vacancy. It's evident from this point that Mary is no ordinary nanny, and all she comes into contact with will have their lives changed for ever.
Mary takes the children on a series of delightful journeys that take in meeting an array of interesting people and animals, and it's thru these wonderful escapades that we the audience live vicariously thru. The film has all the hallmarks of a Disney classic, wonderful songs from Richard & Robert Sherman, animation fusing delightfully with live action, colour to dazzle the eyes, and of course a charming and career making performance from Julie Andrews. Much has been made of Dick van Dyke's woeful cockney accent, and in truth it's almost cringe inducing, but his performance is so brim full of gusto and effervescent fun, we should surely let it go in the name of splendid entertainment values.
The restoration job done on the 40th anniversary DVD does the film proud, and it's hopefully opened up the film to be seen more by the modern day audience, because Mary Poppins is an ode to joy, an ode to good behaviour, and basically an ode to being practically perfect--just like Mary herself actually.