Tag Archives: Mary Poppins

Saving Mr. Banks



We went into Baltimore City, to the Hippodrome Theater, and waited in a long line.


The year: 1965.

The movie?

Mary Poppins!

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My dad loved the film so much that he bought me the soundtrack, and it wasn’t even my birthday.

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Cliff confessed on our first date that he loved the movie, too.

So  thirty-seven years later, we stepped in time and got ourselves to Saving Mr. Banks.

The movie recounts the battle of words and wills between the author of the Mary Poppins books, P.L. Travers, and Walt Disney and his studio.

Great trailer. Really catches the flavor of the film.

Read this review by Mark KermodeI second his final lines “…as a diehard Thompsonite who considers Mary Poppins one of the best 10 movies ever made, they appear to have made Saving Mr. Banks for me. And I loved it.”

I loved it too and so did Cliff.

Loved the sixties stuff. Loved the acting. Loved the music. Loved the pull between Travers and Disney.

And I loved thinking about going to the Hippodrome Theater in 1965.


A Mary Poppins book from my childhood. This is the real Mary Poppins, the first one, a magical curmudgeon of the finest degree


The movie story, also from my childhood bookshelf

End Pages

The end pages of Mary Poppins in the Park. Note the merry-go-round, setting for the controversial animation scene in the movie. P.L Travels argued NOT to have any animation in the movie. To this day, the animation bothers me too. Just doesn’t fit!


The end pages of my movie version. I wrote my room number in it, meaning I must have take it to school for some reason or another

What about you?

Do you have Mary Poppins memories?

And let us know if you’ve seen Saving Mr. Banks!


For an insightful look at the real P.L. Travers, who has no doubt been done a disservice  in some respects by the Disney people, read this article by children’s literature expert Jerry Griswold.

Practically Perfect: Mary Poppins, Not Me


It was  a big deal to this fifth grade girl when the movie Mary Poppins came out.  My dad drove us into Baltimore City to the Hippodrome Theater where we waited in line to get our seats.  What a night!  I was mesmerized and so was Dad, who especially liked the chimney sweeps leaping over the rooftops of London.

When she took out her magical measuring tape, I learned that Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way.  Shouldn’t I try to be  perfect too?  (After all, who wouldn’t want to be just like Julie Andrews?)

I can make a list of imperfections longer than the string on Jane and Michael’s kite:  hair, brains, house, figure, makeup, manners, cooking, nails, teeth, career, relationships, parenting, garden, directional skills, linen closets, handwriting, and on and on and on.

Why do I set the bar so high that even chimney sweep Bert would have trouble jumping over it?

Blame it on Mary P.  Blame it on the media.  Blame it on parental expectations.  Blame it on comments from spouse and kids.  Blame it on hormones.  Blame it on the moon.  Happily,I’m slowly learning that I can be content without being practically perfect (not that I ever had much chance anyway).

There comes an acceptance, I think, with menopause and mid-life.  A  realization that life  really is short.  Why waste it picking at your own self, of all people.

Toward the end of the movie, Mr. Banks figures it out in A Man Has Dreams.”   We have plans that get dashed.  We don’t measure up.  We’re not the woman or man we thought we could be.

Mr. Banks’s voice moves to a new tenor as he sings, ” A spoonful of sugar, that is all it takes/It changes bread and water into tea and cakes.”

I think I’ll take a dose right now.  I’ll serve it up on the Mary Poppins spoon I ordered from the back of a cereal box in 1965.  Then it’s on to a tea party on the ceiling.  Later, I can scout out a chalk drawing to pop into (as long as nobody makes me dance.  Majorly Imperfect Me cannot dance).

Thanks, Mary.  You floated in on the wind and taught Mr. Banks and me some stuff.  And if someone gets to measure up to be practically perfect, I’m glad it’s you.

The Kite:  I promise you the kite flying finale will put you in a splendid mood.

Picture above of the super cool nanny is from Wikipedia.

Below is the practically perfect scene!  I found it here.