Directed by Robert Stevenson, Mary Poppins is an American musical fantasy which was released in 1964 and was produced by Walt Disney. The Sherman Brothers composed and wrote the songs for the movie and the screenplay was done by Don DaGardi and Bill Walsh. The whole movie is based on a book by the name of Mary Poppins written by P.L Travers.
The movie has a combination of animation as well as live action where Julie Andrews is featured as a debut in the role of Mary Poppins. The film is about the visit of this Mary Poppins to a dysfunctional family situated in London. There she employs her distinctive brand of the lifestyle in order to improve the dynamic of the family. In supporting roles, Dick Van Dyke, Glynis Johns and David Tomlinson were featured.
The movie was shot entirely at the studios of Walt Disney situated in California and the London scenes which were used in the movie were painted backgrounds. The collaborative effort of the cast and the crews were amazing and it led the movie to be nominated for 13 Academy awards and one of them included award for Best Picture too. The movie had a sequel released by the name of Mary Poppins Returns in the year 2018.
Among all of the nominations, the movie won five of the awards, one of which was bagged by Julie Andrews for the Best Actress; the others include Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Original song and Best Original Music Score. The movie was also selected for preservation by the Library of Congress since it was termed as significant in terms of aesthetical, cultural and historical aspects.
The character of the protagonist was played by Julie Andrews; she is Mary Poppins who is a magical woman of loving nature. She comes down from the clouds as a response from the children of the Banks family when they were searching for a nanny and advertising for it. The character of Mary Poppins is strict when it comes to the utilization of her authority but she is also gentle as well as kind. This characteristic is not present in the book on which the movie is based upon; in the books, the character is overtly pompous and firm.
Dick Van Dyke got the role of Bert to play in the movie; Bert is the character who is a close friend and apprentice of Mary Poppins. It is Bert who is completely accustomed to the magic that Mary Poppins has. Through the play interactions that take place between Mart and Bert, it can be assumed that both of them have known each other for a long period of time. The interactions also imply that the similar kind of story has occurred several times before and the Banks family is not the only ones who get to see the magic of Mary Poppins.
Throughout the film, the character of Bert is seen to have four jobs; it includes a chimney sweep, a chalk artist of the pavements, one man band and also a kite seller. It is important to mention that Van Dyke also played the role of Mr. Dawes Sr. who is the old director of a bank; in fact it is the same bank where Mr. Banks works. During the credits at the end of the film, the anagram of Van Dyke is shown only to scramble later to reveal the actual name for the role played by him.
The character of George Banks was played by Davis Tomlinson in the movie of Mary Poppins of 1964. Mr. Banks is the employer of Mary Poppins and also the father of the Banks children, Jane and Michael. The Bank in which George works is the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank which is situated in London. From the movie it can be deduced that Mr. Banks is a disciplined man.
The character of Mrs. Banks or Winifred Banks is played by Glynis Johns; this character gets easily distracted and is also a member of the Emmeline Pankhurst’s “Votes for Women” movement. Travers at first thought of naming the mother of the Banks children as Cynthia but then he changed his mind into a name that sounds more English which is why the name Winifred was chosen.
There is several other casts who were a part of the film and are important for the plot of the movie.
One of the maids who worked in the residence of the Banks family is Ellen and her role was played by Hermione Baddeley.
The daughter of Winifred Banks and George Banks, Jane was played by the young actress Karen Dotrice. She is also the first child of the Banks and thus elder sister to Michael Banks.
The young actor of the time, Matthew Garber played the role of the youngest son of the Banks family whose name was Michael Banks. He is the younger brother of Jane Banks in the movie.
The movie had a disgruntled nanny who is seen to quit the work at the Banks family abruptly; this character is named as Katie Nanna and it was played by Elsa Lanchester.
The role of the police officer by the name of Constable Jones was played by Arthur Treacher.
Reginald Owen had the role of Admiral Boom to play; he is the neighbor of Mr. Banks who is eccentric in nature and also a naval officer.
Apart from the above mentioned characters, there is several more like Ed Wynn as Uncle Albert, Reta Shaw as Mrs. Brill, the cook; Don Barclay is Mr. Binnacle, first mate of Admiral Boom; Marjorie Bennett as the character of Miss Lark, she is the owner of a dog which runs away frequently. Arthur Malet plays the role of Mr. Dawes Jr.; Jane Darwell is the “Bird Woman”; Marjorie Eaton as Miss Persimmon; James Logan as the doorman and Alma Lawton as Mrs. Corry, an old shopkeeper and mother of two daughters.