Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
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Released from the Disney Vault in celebration of its 50th Anniversary, this beloved classic shines like never before on Blu-ray with an all-new digital restoration. Winner of five Academy Awards(R), including Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Best Visual Effects, Mary Poppins is a movie experience your family will enjoy over and over again.
“Practically Perfect In Every Way” Mary Poppins flies out of the windy London skies and into the home of two mischievous children. With the help of a carefree chimney sweep named Bert (Dick Van Dyke), the spirited nanny turns every chore into a game and every day into a “Jolly Holiday.” Share the music, share the magic, share the joy of Mary Poppins with a whole new generation for the first time on Disney Blu-ray.The movie received 13 Academy Award(R) nominations and won 5 Oscars(R) for Best Actress, Best Song, Best Music Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Special Visual Effects. It also received a special scientific award for the creation and application of Color Traveling Matte Composite Cinematography, which helped make the combination of live action and animated actors in the film possible.
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Top Customer Reviews
In a nutshell, the story is about a magical nanny who swoops in to take care of the Banks children, Jane & Michael, and also help their father realize what he is missing by ignoring them the way that he does. Along the way she treats the children to adventures with a street performer/chimney sweep, Bert (Dick Van Dyke) as well as her Uncle Albert (Ed Wynn) who loves to laugh. One of the most memorable and touching sequences is the "Feed the Birds" numbers, with veteran actress Jane Darwell making her final screen appearance. One of Walt Disney's favorite songs, it is sure to bring a tear to many eyes.
For those that have Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition), here's what's missing on this edition:
* Deconstruction of a Scene: Jolly Holiday & Step in Time sequences are examined thoroughly.
* "I Love to Laugh" Game (not a big deal for me!)
Here are the extras that ARE included:
* Disney on Broadway (All New to DVD)
- "Mary Poppins from Page to Stage": The story of Mary Poppins from book to Broadway as the creative team and cast prepare to take the long running show on tour. A very well-done documentary on the stage production of "Mary Poppins," detailing almost every aspect of the production that began in London. Especially interesting is how P.L. Travers did not want any "Americans" involved in the stage production, as she was truly not happy with what Disney did with her books. This feature takes you all over the globe: interviews with the 2 leads are held in NYC at Sardi's restaurant; an interview with one of the Sherman Brothers is filmed in Beverly Hills; interviews with the stage productions composers George Stiles & Anthony Drewe are held in England (they did a fantastic job of blending their compositions seamlessly with the Sherman Brothers' songs from the film). You'll also hear from Bob Crowley, the scenic and costume designer, detailing how he came up with the sets (inspired by the book's illustrations) and changes he made for the touring production. All in all, a very fascinating extra!
- "Step in Time": The Broadway cast of Mary Poppins performs the number "Step in Time" from the show. This is a nice glimpse into the stage production. Although it doesn't quite have the pizzazz of the filmed number (what a tough act to follow), the choreography, sets, and costumes work together to create a fantastic production. Especially effective is the use of costumes and make-up to create the illusion of the chimney sweeps are in black and white, making Mary Poppins in her red dress stand out even more.
- Step in Time - Downloadable MP3 featuring the Broadway cast of Mary Poppins singing "Step in Time," featuring Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins and Gavin Lee as Bert.
- Video Intro By Scenic & Costume Designer, Bob Crowley
- Bob Crowley's Design Galleries: Concept art, costume designs, set designs and set models for the Broadway musical
* Audio Commentary: with stars Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice and songwriter Richard Sherman. There are a few archival comments included from Walt Disney and others. Fantastic track that really adds to the enjoyment of the film. Especially interesting is the "Feed the Birds" number, where Sherman talks about Mary Poppins instilling social responsibility into the children by planting the idea of feeding the birds with tuppence, thus setting off the important string of events at the end of the film. It is refreshing to hear that so many years later, both Andrews & Van Dyke (as well as Dotrice) still have a fondness for this film and the experience of making it.
* Poppins Pop-Up Fun Facts: View fun-filled facts about the creation of the movie during viewing. Mirrors some of the information from the commentary track, but still enjoyable to learn some of the behind-the-scenes info as you are watching the movie.
* "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of Mary Poppins": The definitive behind-the- scenes look at how this unique and beloved film came into being.
* Movie Magic: A look at the special effect techniques used to bring the magical world of Mary Poppins to life. This one is interesting, but appears to be geared more towards the young ones and early teens. Doesn't really go very deep.
* The Gala World Premiere: Footage from the Red Carpet. What a feast this is; a few different rolls of film (mixing bw and color) have been edited together to recreate as much as possible of this magical evening. See Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Ed Wynn, Cesar Romero, and so many more classic stars. Even Walt & his wife are on hand (it even appears that Walt is gently chastising the costumed Mickey character at one point).
* Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test for his role of the elder Mr. Dawes. On the commentary track, Karen Dotrice (Jane Banks) admits that during filming, she was not told that Dick Van Dyke was playing the elder Mr. Dawes. She thought it was just some old smelly man who was close to death!
* Trailers, Ads and More from the Original Release and Reissue of the Film
* Mary Poppins Still Art Galleries
Music & More
* Disney's Song Selection: Sing along to "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and any of the film's other memorable songs as the lyrics pop up on screen. Each song can be selected separately or while watching the film.
* Magical Musical Reunion: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and songwriter Richard Sherman reminisce about making Mary Poppins and the music that makes it so special.
* A Musical Journey with Richard Sherman: A delightful magical journey through some of the film's locations with co-composer Richard Sherman, who reveals surprising secrets about the music of Mary Poppins along the way.
* Bonus Short: "The Cat That Looked at a King": Live action and animation based on a chapter from P.L. Travers' sequel "Mary Poppins Opens the Door." Julie Andrews hosts this short done in the style of the whimsical chalk drawings from the movie "Mary Poppins." Vocal talents of Sarah Ferguson, Tracey Ullman, and David Ogden Stiers.
* Deleted Song: "Chimpanzoo": A reconstruction of a song that did not appear in the movie using original storyboard and concept art, accompanied by a new rendition of the song performed by co- composer Richard Sherman. Personally, I agree with the deletion of this number!
Specs: Video is original aspect ration of 1:66:1, and audio is 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound with French & Spanish language tracks & subtitles. The picture, as in the 40th release, is fantastic. Colors bright, image sharp. The 5.1 mix is fantastic, especially during the musical numbers--all of your speakers will get full use! I read another review on here that only seemed to get front-speaker action, but I clearly heard music and effects loud and clear from my rear speakers, giving a very nice surround effect.
There are also sneak peaks into the next Tinker Bell installment as well as other upcoming DVD/Bluray releases (Monsters Inc and Pinocchio this Spring and Beverly Hills Chihuahua).
All the songs are very memorable. Who out there does not find themselves humming or even singing along with the likes of "Chim-Chim-Cheree" or "Spoonful of Sugar"?
Julie Andrews will always be remembered for her role as Mary Poppins, and Dick Van Dyke absolutely shines as Bert the Chimney Sweep. Van Dyke also plays the senior officer of the bank - and has his very best scene where he realizes that the punchline - "A wooden leg named Smith" - is funny. Andrews won an Academy Award for Mary Poppins, and the movie also won Best Visual Effects, and Best Music Score, as well as Best Song ("Chim Chim Cher-ee").
The scene where "I love to laugh" is particularly poignant. Ed Wynn died not long after the release of Mary Poppins, and shows some of his best comedy style in this scene. Very laughable.
The story is top-notch and has a wonderful moral without being too "preachy". It was a very good adaptation from the original novel, and it's a shame Disney never did any of P L Traver's own sequels to Mary Poppins.
The animated bits are a little flat by today's standards, but they add a wonderful whimsey to a stellar production. Highly recommended to any family with children. A must-buy for Disney fans.
This is the far better, two-disc, 40th anniversary edition that not only restores everything to digital quality, but adds a second disc of deleted scenes (and a song!), commentary, and many other cool new features. Look for the new 40th anniversary DVD edition - it's worth waiting for!
It's just supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Based on P.L. Travers' tales of a magical nanny who arrives to bring families closer, the rights to the stories had been pursued by Disney since 1938, but Travers had seen what studios had done to other authors' works, and withheld her approval unless she could maintain some creative control. Years of negotiations only whetted Disney's desire to make a definitive, truly 'special' film, and by 1960, despite the box office failure of another fantasy-themed 'pet' project, "Darby O'Gill and the Little People", he was more confident than ever in the story's potential, bringing together a remarkable array of talent, including songwriting brothers Richard and Robert Sherman, production head Bill Walsh, and the brilliant artist Peter Ellenshaw to 'visualize' 1910 London through his matte paintings.
With Travers' grudging approval, casting began. While American stage and TV star Dick Van Dyke was an odd choice to play a Cockney chimneysweep, he was a gifted mime and physical comedian, and had such a wholesome exuberance that Disney knew British audiences would forgive his shaky accent. Popular British actors Glynis Johns and David Tomlinson would play the preoccupied parents, with Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber (from "The Three Lives of Thomasina") as the neglected children. Veteran stars Ed Wynn, Elsa Lanchester, Reginald Owen, Arthur Treacher, and Jane Darwell (as the Bird Woman, in her last screen appearance), headed the strong supporting cast.
But it was the casting of Julie Andrews, in her first film, as Mary Poppins, that truly 'made' the film! Passed over by Jack Warner for the movie version of her stage hit, "My Fair Lady" (he opted for Audrey Hepburn), Disney caught her performance in "Camelot" on Broadway, knew, instantly, that she was the right 'Mary', and approached her for the role. "But I'm pregnant," she told him. "No problem," he replied. "I'll wait!"
And thus a Classic was born!
A multiple 1964 Oscar winner (including 'Best Actress' for Andrews, who got to share the stage with her "Lady" costar, Rex Harrison, who won 'Best Actor'), the film was a major hit, worldwide, and quickly achieved the legendary status it holds today.
For it's 40th Anniversary, Disney's heirs have put together a spectacular package; along with the digitally-remastered film (it looks and sounds SUPERB!), a second disc of additional features includes a joyous reunion of stars Andrews and Van Dyke (who both seem ageless!); reminiscences of Robert Sherman, who sings a cute ditty cut from the final film; a fascinating 50-minute "behind-the-scenes" documentary about the production; featurettes on how the FX were achieved in several key scenes; and much, MUCH more! As the owner of several "Special Edition" Disney DVDs, I can honestly say, THIS is the BEST, yet!
With the holidays fast approaching, I can't think of a finer gift to give, or to get!
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