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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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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.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 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
Audio Commentary
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.
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2005
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!
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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.
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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.
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on 20 November 2013
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.
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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!
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The Banks family is in need of a new nanny for Jane and Michael. Fortunately, one arrives on the wind in the form of Mary Poppins. She's everything the kids want, fun and magical. But while she's taking them to chalk painting countrysides and tea parties on the ceiling, their father is less then happy. Can he be made to see beyond the end of his nose?
Ok, so this movie is really little more then an excuse for song and dance numbers. It's still great! The plot is paper thin, and you loose site of it in the middle of some of their fantastic scenes. Of course, part of that is because the movie is based on a book that is really nothing but short stories. Still this movie is more about fun then anything else. And it has that in spades. What kid wouldn't have fun imaging that they get to do all the things that Jane and Michael do in this movie?
It's said that Walt Disney poured everything he had learned into making this film, and it shows. Many of the special effects hold up remarkably well today. There were some I still hadn't figured out until watching this special edition. And the music! Any fan of Disney knows these songs by heart. And you can't help but find yourself humming "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Jolly Holiday," "Let's Go Fly a Kite," or "Chim Chim Cher-ee" for days after seeing it.
Those wanting to own a great DVD of this film won't be disappointed in this two-disc set. Disc one features the movie in all its wide screen glory. I can't see how it's ever looked better. The soundtrack has many different options, but the Home Theater mix will blow you away. It's fantastic. There is also a commentary track featuring Julie Andrews, Dick van Dyke, Karen Dubice (Jane), and Richard Sherman. Sprinkled in are archive comments from others, including Disney himself. Also included are some pop up facts to read along with while watching the movie. Disc two features a new documentary on the film, a deleted song, and more on the music with Julie, Dick, and the composers. And be sure to check out the animated "The Cat That Looked at a King," a tale adapted from one of the later books in the series.
One thing that comes through loud and clear in this set is how much fun everyone had making it and how much they respect Walt Disney. The fact that this film has lasted 40 years is testament to his genius. With this set, it'll be enjoyed by generations to come.
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on 22 November 2013
Amazing remaster this Disney classic has never looked so good picture full 1080p jumps out the screen and super5.1 DTS sound perhaps with it being a 50th anniversary Disney could have given the packaging a bit more umph!!! Also loaded with all the extras from the 2 disc DVD release,but not mentioned and my heart sank as it is not noted on the extras but thank god it is there the fantastic audio commentary with Julie Andrews,Dick Van Dyke,& Richard Sherman is there check the audio section on the blu ray plus this little lot enjoy -

Sing-Along With the Movie
Mary Poppins From Page To Stage - Disney's Song Selection
Step In Time
A Magical Musical Reunion Featuring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke And Richard Sherman
Deleted Song: Chimpanzoo
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making Of Mary Poppins
The Gala World Premiere
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
Publicity (8 Trailers*)
A Musical Journey With Richard Sherman
The Gala World Premiere Party
Becoming Mr. Sherman - Mark,Wallasey,Wirral.22/11/13.
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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.
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