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Mary Poppins

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Produced by Walt Disney
Written by Bill Walsh
Don DaGradi
P. L. Travers (Books)
Starring Julie Andrews
Dick Van Dyke
Karen Dotrice
Matthew Garber
David Tomlinson
Glynis Johns
Hermione Baddeley
Ed Wynn
Music by Songs:
Richard M. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman
Irwin Kostal
Cinematography Edward Colman
Editing by Cotton Warburton
Studio Walt Disney Studios
Distributed by Buena Vista Distribution
Release date(s) August 27, 1964 (1964-08-27)
Running time 139 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $6 million
Gross revenue $28,500,000

Mary Poppins is a 1964 Disney musical film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, produced by Walt Disney, and based on the Mary Poppins books series by P. L. Travers with illustrations by Mary Shepard. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson and written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, with songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. It was shot at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.



The film begins with Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) perched in a cloud high above London in Spring 1910. The action descends to earth where Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a Cockney jack-of-all-trades is performing as a one-man band at a park entrance, where he suddenly senses that his good friend is about to return. After the show, he breaks the "Fourth wall" and introduces the audience to the well-to-do but troubled Banks family, headed by the cold and aloof Mr. Banks (David Tomlinson) and the loving but highly distracted suffragette Mrs. Banks (Glynis Johns).

The Banks' latest nanny, Katie Nanna (Elsa Lanchester), quits out of exasperation after the Banks children, Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber) run off in pursuit of a wayward kite. Mr. Banks returns home from his job at a bank, and Mrs. Banks reveals the children are missing. A policeman arrives with the children, who ask their father to help repair their damaged kite, but he dismisses them and advertises for an authoritarian nanny-replacement. Jane and Michael draft their own advertisement asking for a fun, kind-hearted and caring person, but Mr. Banks tears up the paper and throws it in the fireplace. Unnoticed, the note's remains float up the chimney.

The next day, there is a queue of old and disagreeable nanny candidates waiting at the door. However, a strong gust of wind literally blows the queue away, and Mary Poppins floats down with her umbrella to apply. Mr. Banks is stunned to see that this calmly defiant new nanny has responded to the children's ad despite the fact he destroyed it. As he puzzles, Mary Poppins employs herself and begins work.

The children face surprises of their own: Mary possesses a bottomless carpetbag, and makes contents of the children's nursery come to life and tidy themselves (by snapping her fingers). The trio then meet Bert in the park at work as a screever, where Mary uses one of his chalk pavement-drawings as a gateway to an outing in an animated countryside, before rain washes out the drawings. The next day, they all visit Bert's jovial Uncle Albert, who floats whenever he laughs, and join him in a tea party in mid-air (though Mary finds it a little childish). that evening, the children ask Mary how long she'll stay with them. With a sombre expression, she replies, "I shall stay 'until the wind changes.'"

Mr. Banks grows uncomfortable with his children's stories of their adventures, but Mary effortlessly inverts his attempted dismissal of her services into a plan to take his children with him to the bank where he is employed. Mr. Dawes, Mr. Banks' extremely elderly employer, aggressively tries to persuade Michael to invest his money in the bank to the point of snatching it out of his hand without waiting for his explicit permission. When Michael protests, the other customers misunderstand, and start a run on the bank that forces the bank to suspend business. The children flee and wander into the slums of the East End of London. Fortunately, they run into Bert, now employed as a chimney sweep. He takes them safely home, explaining that their father does not hate them, but that he has problems of his own, and that unlike the children, has no-one to turn to but himself.

At home, a departing Mrs. Banks employs Bert to clean the family's chimney and mind the children. Mary Poppins arrives back from her day off and warns of the dangers of this activity, but is too late as the children are both sucked up the chimney to the roof. Bert and Mary follow them and lead a tour of the rooftops of London that concludes with a joyful dance with Bert's chimney-sweep colleagues. A volley of fireworks from the Banks' eccentric neighbour, Admiral Boom, who thought London was being attacked by Hottentots, sends the entire gathering back down the Banks' chimney. Mr. Banks arrives home, forcing Mary to conclude the festivities. Banks then receives a phone call from work ordering him to return immediately for disciplinary action. As Mr. Banks gathers his strength, Bert points out that while Mr. Banks does need to make a living, his offspring's childhood will come and go in a blink of an eye, and he needs to be there for them while he can. The Banks children approach their father to apologize, and Michael gives Mr. Banks his tuppence in the hope that it will make things all right. Banks gently accepts the offering.

A sombre and thoughtful Mr. Banks walks alone through the night-time streets. At the bank, he is formally humiliated and sacked for causing the first run on the bank since 1773 (it is stated that the bank supplied the money for the shipment of tea destroyed in the Boston Tea Party). However, after being at a loss when ordered to give a statement, Mr. Banks invokes Mary Poppins' all-purpose word "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" to tweak Mr. Dawes. He gives Dawes the tuppence, tells the old man one of Uncle Albert's jokes and raucously departs. Dawes mulls over the joke, finally "gets it" and floats up into the air, laughing...

The next morning, the winds have changed direction, and so Mary must depart. Meanwhile, the Banks adults cannot find Mr. Banks, and fear that he might have become suicidal. However, Mr. Banks, now loving and joyful, reappears with the now-mended kite and cheerfully summons his children. The greatly-relieved Mrs. Banks supplies a tail for the kite, using one of her suffragette ribbons. They all leave the house without a backward glance as Mary Poppins watches from a window. In the park with other kite-flyers, Mr. Banks meets Mr. Dawes Jr., who says that his father literally died laughing. Instead of being mournful, the son is delighted his father died happy, and re-employs Mr. Banks to fill the opening as partner. Her work done, Mary Poppins takes to the air with a fond farewell from Bert, telling her not to stay away too long. After the credits roll, the letters for the name for the person who played Mr. Dawes Sr., rearrange themselves to spell Dick Van Dyke.

Production history

The first book was the main basis for the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins, a musical with mixed live action and animation which premiered on August 27, 1964. It was the Sherman Brothers, who composed the music and song score, and who were also involved in the picture's development, who suggested that the setting be changed from the 1930s to the Edwardian era. Julie Andrews, who was making her movie acting debut after a successful stage career, got the prime role of Mary Poppins soon after she was passed over by Jack Warner and replaced with Audrey Hepburn for the role of Eliza Doolittle in his screen version of My Fair Lady, even though Andrews had originated the role on Broadway. Andrews later beat Hepburn for the Best Actress Awards in both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards for their respective roles.

Disney cast Dick Van Dyke in the key supporting role of Bert, thanks to his work on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Van Dyke also played the senior Mr. Dawes in the film. Although he is fondly remembered for this film, Van Dyke's attempt at a Cockney accent (lapsing out of it at times) was nonetheless widely ridiculed and is still frequently parodied. It is still often cited as one of the worst attempts at a British accent by an American actor,[1] a fact acknowledged with good humour by Van Dyke himself on the 2004 DVD release of the film.

According to the 40th Anniversary DVD release of the film in 2004, Walt Disney first attempted to purchase the film rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers as early as 1938 but was rebuffed because Travers did not believe a film version of her books would do justice to her creation. In addition, Disney was known at the time primarily as a producer of cartoons and had yet to produce any major live action work. For more than 20 years, Disney periodically made efforts to convince Travers to allow him to make a Poppins movie. He finally succeeded in 1961, although Travers demanded and got script approval rights. Planning the film and composing the songs took about two years. Travers objected to a number of elements that actually made it into the movie. Rather than original songs, she wanted the soundtrack to feature known standards of the Edwardian period in which the story is set. She also objected to the animated sequence. Disney overruled her, citing contract stipulations that he had final say on the finished print. Much of their correspondence is part of the Travers collection of papers in the Mitchell Library of New South Wales, Australia. The relationship between Travers and Disney is detailed in Mary Poppins She Wrote, a biography of Travers, by Valerie Lawson. The biography is the basis for two documentaries on Travers, The Real Mary Poppins and Lisa Matthews' The Shadow of Mary Poppins.[2][3][4]

A number of other changes were necessary to condense the story into feature length. In the movie, there are only two Banks children, Jane and Michael. The satirical and mysterious aspects of the original book gave way to a cheerful and "Disneyfied" tone. Mary Poppins' character as portrayed by Andrews in the film is somewhat less vain and more sympathetic toward the children than the rather cold and intimidating nanny of the original book. Bert, as played by Van Dyke, was a composite of several characters from Travers' stories. Travers demanded that any suggestions of romance between Mary and Bert be eliminated, so lyrics were written for "Jolly Holiday" that clearly indicated that their friendship was purely platonic (some subtle hints of romance remain, however).

As mentioned above, Van Dyke played two roles in the film. Andrews did at least three: she provided the robin's whistling harmony during "A Spoonful of Sugar", and was also one of the Pearly singers during "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". David Tomlinson, besides playing Mr. Banks, also provided the voice of Mary's talking umbrella as well as numerous other voice-over parts (including that of Admiral Boom's first mate). During the "Jolly Holiday" sequence, the three singing Cockney geese were voiced by Marni Nixon. (Nixon would later play one of Julie Andrews' fellow nuns in The Sound of Music; she also provided the singing voice for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.)

Cast and characters

Audio-animatronic versions of Mary Poppins and Bert in The Great Movie Ride.

Mary Poppins

"Practically perfect in every way". She comes down from the clouds in response to the Banks children's advertisement for a Nanny. She is not only firm in her use of authority, but kind and gentle as well (a major departure from the original books, in which the character was strict and pompous).

She was played by Julie Andrews, who won a Best Actress Oscar award for the role.


Bert, portrayed by Dick Van Dyke, is a jack-of-all-trades and Mary's closest normal friend who is notable in that he is completely accustomed to her magic. Their interaction, such as in the song "Jolly Holiday", makes it clear they have known each other for a long time, and that this kind of story has repeated itself many times. When she sails away at the end of the film, he asks her not to stay away too long.

Bert has at least four jobs during the movie: a one-man band, a sidewalk chalk artist (or "screever"), a chimney sweep, and a kite seller. Bert also hints at selling hot chestnuts. His various street-vending jobs meet with mixed financial success, but he retains his cheery disposition.

Bert also indirectly assists Mary Poppins in her mission to save the Banks family, as he plays a key role in helping the Banks children and Mr. Banks to understand each other better.

Mr. Banks

George Banks, played by David Tomlinson, is Mary Poppins' employer and the film's antagonist. He appears to have a bad case of OCD having to go through the same song and dance daily, then getting really annoyed when something interrupts his routine. He works at the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank in the City of London, and lives at 17 Cherry Tree Lane with his wife, Winifred, and their children. He is a driven and disciplined man who callously dismisses the "Votes for Women" movement and tends to treat his children, wife, and servants as assets rather than people — a fact clearly evidenced in his song "The Life I Lead". By the end of the movie, Mr. Banks' attitude towards his family, job, and Mary Poppins has changed dramatically. In contrast to what his children want, George wants a strict and authoritarian nanny that will give commands to "mold" Jane and Michael into nothing more than little obedient soldiers, something that his wife agrees with until and after the children show their ad for a new nanny. He often hurts his head in the fireplace when he tries to look for the paper he ripped earlier because of distractions.

Melodies in the score punctuate the children's need for their father's attention and love, and most of the dramatic tension in the film involves his journey from disconnected family autocrat to fully engaged family man.

According to the Special Edition Soundtrack Bonus Disc, Mary Poppins was George's own nanny when he was a child. Travers intended to have the script hint this strongly in a few places, but it was largely left out of the movie, except for the following words in Bert's opening song, "Can't put me finger on what lies in store. .. But I feel what's to 'appen, all 'appened before. ..!" and George's own statement to the elder Mr. Dawes that "Poppins" was "my nanny". However, in Banks' initial interview with Mary Poppins, there is little or no indication that the two have ever met before, and his description of her as "my nanny" could easily be meant in the same way as "my maid" or "my cook".

Mrs. Banks

Mrs. Winifred Banks, played by Glynis Johns, wife of George Banks and the mother of Jane and Michael. She is more fully developed in the movie than in the books. She is depicted as a member of Emmeline Pankhurst's suffragette movement and appears to be so dedicated to the women's cause to the extent that she, like her husband, neglects the children. Her main outfit is a blue and orange Edwardian-style dress with a white and blue sash that reads "Votes for Women" in black letters. She wears white gloves in the film (as did most Edwardian English women). Her song in the movie is "Sister Suffragette," which she sings with the other two women of the household staff. She is mostly responsible for the primary duty which is "Posts, everyone!", a simple way to protect elegant and delicate stuff from destruction when Mr. Binnigal fires the cannon. She is also given yellow daisies by Michael Banks in one morning.

She is more sensitive to the needs of the children than her husband is, but also finds herself starved for his attention. As with the children, it is clear she loves George very much, but he is too wrapped up in his view of the way things "ought to be" to return her love satisfactorily. She only refers to him by his name and "dear," which was common among Edwardian wives. (George addresses his wife by her name only, common among Edwardian husbands.) Mrs. Banks was originally named "Cynthia," but this was quickly changed to the more "English-sounding" Winifred after some issues with the script; however, some alternate universe fan fiction stories have her name as Cynthia.

Mrs. Banks' four "Votes for Women" sashes from the movie have all survived and are in perfect condition. One can be seen being "pulled out" of Richard M. Sherman's "special musicians' trunk" on the Musical Journey seen on the 2004 DVD release.

Mrs. Banks and Mary Poppins never speak to each other in the movie, though Mrs. Banks does mention her frequently. In the book, they do speak to one another.

The Banks children

While the Banks family in the original novel had four children, only Jane and Michael appear in the movie. They were played by Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber. Katie Nanna's stormy departure suggests that the children are impossibly undisciplined, and they do demonstrate some evidence of this in their own advertisement for a new nanny, as they promise not to "hide her spectacles so she can't see, put toads in her bed or pepper in her tea" while smiling at each other in remembrance of jokes on former nannies. Once Mary Poppins arrives, the children come across as mostly sweet and innocent.

All they want is for their father to love them, and they have falsely interpreted his indifference to their needs as disliking them. They have tried to live up to his demands on them, which has only left them with shaky self-esteem. Those elements come together in a bit of dialogue early in the film, in which they explain that they did not run away from Katie Nanna, their kite took them away from her. They say that the kite is not very good, because they made it themselves. They suggest to their father that if he could help them with it, it would turn out better. At that point, Banks is too wrapped up in his philosophy, that a British household should be run like a British bank, to take this strongest of hints.

After inadvertently causing a run on the bank, the children give their father their tuppence, expressing the hope that it will make things right. At that moment, Mr. Banks finally understands, and his priorities take a 180-degree turn, leading to the film's happy resolution.

Minor characters

  • Ellen, the maid of the Banks residence. She hates having to look after the children, when there is no nanny available in the household. (Hermione Baddeley).
  • Mrs. Brill, the cook of the Banks residence. She doesn't like intruders when she sees them. For example, in the musical number called "Step In Time", she sees too many chimney sweepers and screams the phrase, "THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN!" (Reta Shaw)
  • Admiral Boom, the Banks's neighbor and a naval officer. He has his first mate, Mr. Binnacle, fire a cannon from his roof every 8:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M. When those firings are about to happen, the attendants of the Banks shout "Posts, everyone!" and rush to keep fragile possessions from falling to the ground while the house rocks. The admiral is known for his punctuality. He also considers a group of mean nannies as "ghastly looking crew". (Reginald Owen)
  • Mr. Binnacle, Admiral Boom's first mate. He gets excited when he is ordered to give the cannon a double charge. (Don Barclay)
  • Constable Jones, a police officer who convinces Mr. Banks that the kite pulled the Banks children away when he brought them back. (Arthur Treacher)
  • Katie Nanna, the disgruntled nanny who quits the Banks family. Mrs. Brill never liked her one bit, although Ellen begged her not to leave because then Ellen would have to watch over the children alone. (Elsa Lanchester)
  • Mr. Dawes Sr., the elderly director of the bank where Mr. Banks works; he often needs a little help when he moves clumsily and literally dies laughing toward the end of the film. (Dick Van Dyke)
  • Mr. Dawes Jr., the director's son and member of the board. (Arthur Malet)
  • Uncle Albert, a jolly, portly gentleman who loves to laugh uncontrollably and floats up every time he does so; it also happens to other characters in the movie. (Ed Wynn)
  • The bird woman. (Jane Darwell, in her final film appearance)
  • The fox whom Bert saves in the animated sequence. (Voice played by Dallas McKennon)


In 2004, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was ranked #36 in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Movie History.

Deleted songs

A number of other songs were written for the film by the Sherman Brothers and either rejected or cut for time. Richard Sherman, on the 2004 DVD release, indicated that more than 30 songs were written at various stages of the film's development. No cast recordings of any of these songs have been released to the public, only demos or later performances done by the songwriters — with the exception of the rooftop reprise of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" and the "smoke staircase yodel" mentioned below.

  • "The Chimpanzoo", was originally to follow "I Love to Laugh" during the Uncle Albert "ceiling tea party" sequence, but it was dropped from the soundtrack just before Julie Andrews and company were to record it. The fast-paced number was not unveiled to the public until Richard Sherman, aided by recently uncovered storyboards, performed it on the 2004 DVD edition. The re-creation suggests it was to have been another sequence combining animation and live action.
  • "Practically Perfect" was intended to introduce Mary but instead the melody of the piece was used for "Sister Suffragette" (used to introduce Winifred (Mrs. Banks)). A different song with the same name was written for the stage musical.
  • "The Eyes of Love", a romantic ballad, was intended for Bert and Mary, but according to Richard Sherman, Julie Andrews suggested privately to Disney that this song was not suitable. In response, "A Spoonful of Sugar" was written.
  • "Mary Poppins Melody" was to be performed when Mary introduces herself to the children. Elements of the song later became part of "Stay Awake". The melody was the basis for a couple of other songs that were ultimately cut from the film.
  • "A Name's a Name". Heard on a recording taken of a meeting between the Sherman Brothers and P.L. Travers, this song was originally intended for the nursery scene that later became "A Spoonful of Sugar." The melody was reused for "Mary Poppins Melody".
  • "You Think, You Blink" was a short piece that Bert was to sing just before entering the chalk painting (and starting the "Jolly Holiday" sequence). In the film, Dick Van Dyke simply recites the lyric instead of singing it.
  • "West Wind" was a short ballad to be sung by Mary. The song was later retitled "Mon Amour Perdu" and used in the later Disney film, Big Red.
  • "The Right Side" was to be sung by Mary to Michael Banks after he gets out of bed cranky. It was recycled for the Disney Channel television series, Welcome to Pooh Corner as Winnie the Pooh's personal theme song.
  • "Measure Up" was to accompany the scene in which Mary takes the tape measure to Jane and Michael.
  • "Admiral Boom" was to be the theme song for the cannon-firing neighbor of the Banks Residence, but it was cut by Walt Disney as being unnecessary. The melody of the song remains in the film, and the bombastic theme is heard whenever Boom appears onscreen. One line from this song ("The whole world takes its time from Greenwich, but Greenwich, they say, takes its time from Admiral Boom!") is spoken by Bert early in the film.
  • "Sticks, Paper and Strings" was an early version of "Let's Go Fly a Kite."
  • "Lead the Righteous Life", an intentionally poorly-written hymn, was to have been sung by Katie Nanna (Elsa Lanchester) along with Jane and Michael prior to Mary Poppins' arrival. The melody was later reused for a similar song in The Happiest Millionaire
  • "The Pearly Song" was not deleted per se but was instead incorporated into "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious".

The Compass Sequence, a precursor to "Jolly Holiday", was to be a multiple-song sequence. A number of possible musical components have been identified:

  • "South Sea Island Symphony"
  • "Chinese Festival Song"
  • "Tim-buc-too" — elements of this were reused for "The Chimpanzoo" which was also cut
  • "Tiki Town" — the melody was reused for "The Chimpanzoo"
  • "North Pole Polka"
  • "Land of Sand" — later rewritten as "Trust in Me" for the animated version of The Jungle Book
  • "The Beautiful Briny" — later used in Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • "East is East" — another variation on the unused "Mary Poppins Melody".

Deleted scores and music

  • The "Step in Time" sequence ends with the chimney sweeps being scattered by an onslaught of fireworks fired from Admiral Boom's house. In the final film, the scene plays out with sound effects and no music. The DVD release included the original version of the scene which was accompanied by a complex instrumental musical arrangement that combined "Step in Time", the "Admiral Boom" melody (see above), and "A Spoonful of Sugar". This musical arrangement can be heard on the film's original soundtrack.
  • Andrews recorded a brief reprise of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" which was to have accompanied Mary, Bert, and the children as they marched across the rooftops of London (an instrumental reprise of "A Spoonful of Sugar" was used as a march instead; however, Andrews and Dick Van Dyke can still be seen and heard singing a reprise of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" in that sequence, just before the other chimney sweeps appear for the "Step in Time" number).
  • The robin Mary Poppins whistles with in "A Spoonful of Sugar" originally sang a lyric as well.
  • Andrews also recorded a brief yodel which breaks into the first line of "A Spoonful of Sugar" which was to have been used to "activate" the smoke staircase prior to the "Step in Time" number. Although cut from the film, footage of Andrews performing this exists and was included on the 2004 DVD. The DVD also indicates that an alternate version of the yodel performed by Dick Van Dyke may also exist.

Awards and honors

Academy Awards

The film received 13 Academy Awards nominations and won 5 awards[5]. This makes Mary Poppins the most Oscar-nominated Disney film in history.



American Film Institute recognition

Box office performance

This film was the #1 moneymaker of 1965, earning a net profit of $28,500,000.[6][7] The Sound of Music was #2 with $20,000,000; Goldfinger was #3 at $19,700,000; and My Fair Lady was #4 at $19,000.000. The film received a 100% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 100 out of 100 on Metacritic.[6]

Home video releases

Mary Poppins was first released in the Early 1980s on VHS and laserdisc. In 1994, 1997 and 1999, it was re-released three times as part of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection. In 1998, this movie became Disney's first DVD. In 2000, it was released on VHS and DVD as part of the Gold Classic Collection. In 2004, it had a 2-Disc DVD release in a Digitally Restored 40th Anniversary Edition. On January 27, 2009, the film was released on DVD again as a 45th anniversary edition, with morre language tracks and special features.

The Cat That Looked at a King

In 2004, Julie Andrews appeared in a live-action/animated short that was produced by DisneyToon Studios for the 40th Anniversary DVD release of the 1964 film. Entitled The Cat That Looked at a King, the film was based upon part of the P.L. Travers book Mary Poppins Opens the Door and could be seen as something of a sequel or followup to the movie. The film was offered to The Answer Studio, which is partly made up of former employees of Walt Disney Animation (Japan), to be their first project.[8] President Motoyoshi Tokunaga says that 20 artists/animators worked on the film for a period of three months.[8]

The film opens in the modern day with two British children looking at chalk drawings at the same location where Bert did his artwork in the original movie (the set was recreated, down to the last detail using the originals, according to Julie Andrews). Andrews, dressed in modern clothes, greets the children and takes them into the chalk drawing where they watch the tale unfold. A cat (Tracy Ullman) comes into the presence of a king (David Ogden Stiers) who loves the facts and figures of the world more than anything else. Unfortunately, this includes his wife, the Queen (Sarah, Duchess of York). The Cat and the King challenge each other to three questions each: if the Cat wins, she gets the kingdom but if the King wins, he will become the smartest man in the universe. The Cat wins all her questions whilst the King wins none. When the King tells them he does not know who he is anymore, the Cat shows an image of him dancing with the Queen. She declines her prize and is given a brooch as a token of thanks by the Queen. The children and Andrews return to the park entrance where Mary declines that she took them into the painting, as she did in the film. The Prime Minister was also voiced by David Ogden Stiers.

Whether Andrews is playing a modern-day Mary Poppins or not is left to the viewer's imagination, although some sources identify Andrews' character as Mary Poppins. The shadow of Mary Poppins can also be seen when she looks down at the live action cat towards the end.

An orchestral reprise of Feed the Birds is heard to open the film and another reprise of Jolly Holiday is heard at the end. Quotes from the film such as Mary's catchphrase "Spit-spot!" and "I have no intention of making a spectacle of myself, thank you" are also featured. She also says "A respectable person like me in a painting? How dare you suggest such a thing!" which parodies "A respectable person like me in a horse race? How dare you suggest such a thing!" which she said when Jane and Michael told her of their adventure in Bert's chalk picture in the film.


  • The Penguins from Mary Poppins can regularly be seen on the TV Show Disney's House of Mouse. They reappear in 1988's Disney/Amblin film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, serving patrons at the Ink & Paint Club (one of the many character-related anachronisms in the film, which was set in 1947, seventeen years before the release of Mary Poppins).
  • The bird that perches on Mary Poppins' finger while she sings "A Spoonful of Sugar" is an American robin, which is a species of thrush. In London a robin would be a European robin, which is a much smaller bird from the flycatcher family.
  • In a poll conducted by Channel 4 (UK TV channel) in 2003, Mary Poppins was voted the 5th best musical of all time[9].
  • Mary Poppins, Bert, and the penguins appear at the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as costumed characters.
  • At the world premiere of the film, a fundraiser was held for the opening of California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.
  • In The Little Mermaid the Animated Series, the penguins also appear as sea circus animals who end up being Spot the Whale's friends.

In popular culture


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

First of all I would like to make one thing quite clear. … I never explain anything.
Storm signals are up at number 17. Bit of heavy weather brewing there.

Mary Poppins is a 1964 animated film about a magic nanny, played by Julie Andrews, who comes to work for a cold banker's unhappy family.

Directed by Robert Stevenson. Written by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, based on the novel by P. L. Travers.
It's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


Mary Poppins

Perhaps it's a witch!
  • [reading her own tape measure] As I expected. "Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way."
  • In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap! [snaps her fingers] The job's a game.
  • Close your mouth please, Michael, we are not a codfish.
  • [after Bert's failed attempt to jump into a chalk drawing] Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?
  • You know, you can say it backwards, which is docious-ali-expi-listic-fragi-cali-repus, but that's taking it a bit too far, don't you think?

Mr. George Banks

Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts.
  • [singing] It's grand to be an Englishman in 1910
    King Edward's on the throne; it's the age of men.
  • [singing] It's 6:03 and the heirs to my dominion are scrubbed and tubbed, and adequately fed. And so I'll pat them on the head, and send them off to bed. Ah, lordly is the life I lead.
  • [singing] A man has dreams of walking with giants
    To carve his niche in the edifice of time
    Before the mortar of his zeal
    Has a chance to congeal
    The cup is dashed from his lips
    The flame is snuffed a-borning
    He's brought to wrack and ruin in his prime.
  • [singing] A British bank is run with precision
    A British home requires nothing less
    Tradition, discipline and rules
    Must be the tools
    Without them: disorder, catastrophe, anarchy
    In short, you have a ghastly mess!
  • Kindly do not attempt to cloud the issue with facts.

Mrs. Banks

  • Oh, George, you didn't jump into the river. How sensible of you!
  • [singing] Our daughters' daughters will adore us and they'll sing in grateful chorus, "Well done, sister suffragettes."
  • [singing] Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid.


Winds from the east... Mist comin' in... Like something's a brewin', about to begin... Can't put me finger on what lies in store... But I feel what's to 'appen, all 'appened before...
  • [singing] You've got to grind, grind, grind, at that grindstone
    Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve
    And all too soon they've up and grown
    And then they've flown
    And it's too late for you to give.
  • [singing] Winds from the east... Mist comin' in... Like something's a brewin', about to begin... Can't put me finger on what lies in store... But I feel what's to 'appen, all 'appened before...!
  • [about his chalk drawings] Not Royal Academy, I suppose. Still better than a finger in the eye, ain't they?
  • Here we are, 17 Cherry Tree Lane. Home of George Banks, Esq. [hears yelling inside] Hello, hello, hello. Admiral's right, heavy weather brewing at number 17 and no mistake.
  • What did I tell ya? There's the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it? But the birds, the stars, and the chimney sweeps.
  • [last lines] Goodbye, Mary Poppins, don't stay away too long.


  • Jane: [singing] If you don't scold and dominate us, we will never give you cause to hate us, we won't hide your spectacles so you can't see, put toads in your bed or pepper in your tea.
  • Admiral Boom: [observing the long queue of want-to-be nannies] Ghastly looking crew, I must say!
  • Mr. Dawes: While stand the banks of England, England stands — whoa, whoa...! [Mr. Dawes stumbles over his own cane] When fall the banks of England... ENGLAND FALLS! [Mr. Dawes falls backward and the rest of the Board of Directors have to catch him]
  • Uncle Albert: A friend of mine went to buy some long underwear. The shopkeeper asked him, 'How long do you want it?' And my friend said, 'Well, from about September to March'.
  • Old Crone: Come with me, my dears. Granny'll hide you!


You know, you can say it backwards, which is
but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?
Just that spoonful of sugar to 'elp the medicine go down
Admiral Boom: Time Gun ready?
Mr. Binnacle: Ready and charged, Sir.
Admiral Boom: Three minutes and six seconds.
Mr. Binnacle: Aye, aye, sir.
Bert: [to the audience] What he's famous for is punctuality. The whole world takes it's time from Greenwich. But Greenwich they say, takes it's time from Admiral Boom. [calling up to the admiral] What cheer, Admiral?
Admiral Boom: Good afternoon to you, young man. Where are you bound?
Bert: Number 17. Got some parties who want to see it.
Admiral Boom: Enter that in the log.
Mr. Binnacle: Aye, aye, sir.
Admiral Boom: A word of advice, young man. Storm signals are up at number 17. Bit of heavy weather brewing there.
Bert: Thank you sir! Keep an eye skinned.

[Mrs. and Mr. Banks are talking about their previous nanny]
Mrs. Banks: She seemed so solemn and cross.
George Banks: Never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint.

Jane: [reading the ad she and Michael wrote] Wanted: a nanny for two adorable children.
George Banks: Adorable — well that's highly debatable, I must say.
[Jane continues reading while singing alone.]
Jane: If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition. Rosy cheeks, no warts...
Michael: That's the part I put in!
Jane: Play games all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty; very sweet and fairly pretty...
George Banks: Jane, of all the ridiculous... [Mrs. Banks silences him.]
Jane: Take us on outings, give us treats. Sing songs, bring sweets. Never be cross or cruel, never feed us castor oil, or gruel. Love us as a son and daughter, and never smell of barley water...
Michael: I put that in too!
Jane: If you won't scold and dominate us, we will never give you cause to hate us. We won't hide your spectacles so you can't see, put toads in your bed, or pepper in your tea. Hurry, Nanny! Many thanks! Sincerely...
Michael and Jane: Jane and Michael Banks.

[Watching Mary Poppins's first arrival as she's floating down from the sky.]
Michael: Perhaps it's a witch!
Jane: Of course not! Witches have brooms.

[As George puts his head down in the fireplace, to look for his children's ad, which he ripped up, and is now mended in Mary Poppins' hand.]
Mary Poppins: I beg your pardon, are you ill?
George Banks: I hope not.
Bert, what utter nonsense. Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple?

Bert: I'll do it myself.
Mary Poppins: Do what?
Bert: A bit of magic.
Michael: A bit of magic?
Bert: It's easy. You think. You wink. You do a double blink. You close your eyes...And jump.
[Nothing happens]
Jane: Is something supposed to happen?
Mary Poppins: Bert, what utter nonsense. Why do you always complicate things that are really quite simple? [sighs] Give me your hand please, Michael. Don't slouch. One, two...
[They jump into the sidewalk drawing.]

[After they get into the painting and their clothes have magically transformed.]
Bert: Mary Poppins, you look beeeeautiful.
Mary Poppins: Do you really think so?
Bert: I cross my heart you do, like the day I met ya.
Mary Poppins: You look fine too, Bert.
But cream of the crop, tip of the top.
It's Mary Poppins, and there we stop.

Bert: [singing] It's true that Mavis and Sybil have ways that are winning
And Prudence and Gwendolyn set your heart spinning
Phoebe's delightful, Maude is disarming.
Penguins: Janice, Felicia, and Lydia.
Bert: [singing] Charming!
Cynthia's dashing
Vivian's sweet
Stephanie's smashing
Priscilla a treat.
Penguins: Veronica, Millicent, Agnes, and Jane.
Bert: [singing] Convivial company, time and again
Dorcas and Phyllis and Glynis are sorts
I'll agree are three jolly good sports
But cream of the crop, tip of the top.
Bert and the Penguins: It's Mary Poppins, and there we stop.

Horseman: View hallo!
Horse: Oh, yes, definitely. A view hallo.
Fox: View hallo?
[The horseman blows a trumpet, causing his dogs to go charge at the Fox.]
Fox: Faith and begora, it's them redcoats again!

Gentleman: There probably aren't words to describe your emotions.
Mary Poppins: On the contrary, there's a very good word. [to Bert] Am I right Bert?
Bert: Tell 'em what is it.
Mary Poppins: Right. Iiiiit's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Mary Poppins: You know, you can say it backwards, which is dociousaliexpilisticfragicalirupus, but that's going a bit too far, don't you think?
Bert: Indubitably.
As a matter of fact, since you hired Mary Poppins, the most extraordinary things seem to have come over the household

Mary Poppins: [singing] So if the cat has got your tongue, there's no need for dismay
Just summon up this word and then you've got a lot to say
But better use it carefully or it could change your life...
Busker: For example...
Mary Poppins: Yes?
Busker: One night I said it to me girl, and now me girl's me wife.
[Wife hits him with tambourine]
Busker: Ow! And a lovely thing she is, too.

Mrs. Banks: As a matter of fact, since you hired Mary Poppins, the most extraordinary things seem to have come over the household.
Mr. Banks: Is that so?
Mrs. Banks: Take Ellen for instance. She hasn't broken a dish all morning.
Mr. Banks: [uninterested] Really. Well, that is extraordinary.

George Banks: Shut the window. That bird is giving me a headache.
Ellen: [to the bird] Quiet! You're giving the master a headache.
[The bird chirps one last time and Ellen shuts the window.]

Jane: Good morning, father. Mary Poppins taught us the most wonderful word.
Michael: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
George Banks: What on Earth are you talking about? Superca — Super — or whatever the infernal thing is.
Jane: It's something to say when you don't know what to say.
George Banks: Yes, well, I always know what to say.

George Banks: Have this piano repaired. When I sit down to an instrument, I like to have it in tune.
Mrs. Banks: But George, you don't play.
George Banks: Madam, that is entirely beside the point!

Bert: Reminds me of me brother. Got a nice cushy job in a watch factory.
Uncle Albert: In a watch factory? What does he do?
Bert: He stands about all day and makes faces.
Uncle Albert: [laughs] He makes faces in a watch factory!

Bert: Speaking of names, I know a man with a wooden leg named Smith.
Uncle Albert: What's the name of his other leg?
Everyone: [laughs]

Bert: Uncle Albert, I got a jolly joke I save for just such an occasion. Would you like to hear it?
Uncle Albert: I'd be so grateful.
Bert: Well it's about me granddad, see, and one night he had a nightmare. So bad, he chewed his pillow to bits. To bits. The next morning, I says, "How do you feel, Granddad?" He says, "Oh not bad, a little down in the mouth." [laughs] I always say there's nothing like a good joke.
Uncle Albert: And that was nothing like a good joke.

George Banks: [As they arrive at the bank where George works] We must be on our best behavior.
Michael: But I thought it was your bank.
George Banks: Well, I'm one of the younger officers, so in a sense it is. Sort of.

Michael: I want it (my money) to feed the birds.
Mr. Dawes Sr: Fiddlesticks, boy. Feed the birds and what have you got? Fat birds.

Bert: Bert will look after you. Like I was your own father. Now who's after you?
Jane: Father is.
Bert: What?

[Jane and Michael have just told Bert that the run on the bank is their fault.]
Bert: You know, begging you pardon, but the one who my heart goes out for is your father. There he is in that cold, heartless bank day after day, hemmed in by mounds of cold, heartless money. I don't like to see any living thing caged up.
Jane: [sadly] Father? In a cage?
Bert: They makes cages in all sizes and shapes, you know. Bank-shaped some of 'em, carpets and all.

Mary Poppins: [singing] Chim Chiminy, Chim Chiminy, Chim Chim Cher-ee
When you're with a 'sweep, you're in glad company.
Bert: [singing] Never was there a more happier crew
Than them what sings Chim Chim Chiree Chim Chiroo! Chim Chim Chiminy Chim Chim Chiree Chim Chiroo...

Mr. Banks: Just a moment, Mary Poppins. What is the meaning of this outrage?
Mary Poppins: I beg your pardon?
Mr. Banks: Will you be good enough to explain all this?
Mary Poppins: First of all I would like to make one thing quite clear.
Mr. Banks: Yes?
Mary Poppins: I never explain anything.

Bert: [singing] You're a man of high position, esteemed by your peers. And when your little tykes are crying, you haven't time to dry their tears...And see their thankful little faces smiling up at you...'Cause their dad, he always knows just what to do...
George Banks: [caught off guard by this new knowledge] ...Well, look — I...
Bert: Say no more, Gov'ner. [singing] You've got to grind, grind, grind at that grindstone...Though childhood slips like sand through a sieve...And all too soon they've up and grown, and then they've flown...And it's too late for you to give — just that spoonful of sugar to 'elp the medicine go down — medicine go down — medicine go down. [speaking again] Well, so long, Gov'ner. Sorry to have troubled you.
[Bert exits, whistling "A Spoon Full of Sugar"]

Mr. Dawes Jr: In 1773, an official on this bank unwisely loaned a large sum of money to finance a shipment of tea to the American colonies. Do you know what happened?
George Banks: Yes, sir, I think I do. As the ship lay in Boston Harbor, a party of the colonists dressed as red Indians boarded the vessel, behaved very rudely, and threw all the tea overboard, making the tea unsuitable for drinking. [jokingly] Even for Americans.
Mr. Dawes Jr: Precisely. The loan was defaulted. Panic ensued within these walls. There was a run on the bank.
Mr. Dawes Sr.: From that time to this, sir, there has not been a run on this bank... UNTIL TODAY. A run, sir, caused by the disgraceful conduct of your son, do you deny it?

[George Banks has just been discharged]
Mr. Dawes Sr.: Well, Banks — have you anything to say for yourself?
George Banks: Well, sir, they say that when you have nothing to say, all you can say is...
(He feels something in his pocket, takes it out, and looks at it: Michael's tuppence. He starts to laugh.)
Mr. Dawes Sr.: Confound it, Banks! I said do you have anything to say!
George Banks: Only one thing, sir...
Mr. Dawes Sr.: Eh?
George Banks: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

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