40 Years, 40 Disney Movies: Counting Down to Daddy’s Birthday Night 10 – Mary Poppins!

In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. As I sit here at my desk, expected to work, I have to agree. On account of I am writing a blog post now about Mary Poppins. This is my element of fun. Earlier it was listening to Fetty Wap. And before that, it was napping with my eyes open. Mary Poppins was really onto something.

As you may have guessed (if you haven’t, then you may want to lay down for a while), this latest installment of Daddy’s 40th Birthday HOLY HECK WHAT SUPER DUPER FUN TIME HAPPY MOVIE-PALOOZA is going to be focused squarely on 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London. That’s right my little chimney sweeps, I am talking about some Mary Poppins y’all. Whoop Whoop.

Love me some Mary Poppins. Honestly, it’s a tight race and I am probably in the minority here but if I had to choose between the two, I would always go Mary Poppins over The Sound of Music. Look, they are both great, but this one has animated penguins. So I mean. Obvs.

And the penguins were wearing bow ties. I mean whoever heard of such a…

real penguins

Well yeah, but…

penguin costume

OK, but that doesn’t really…

penguin batman

Ahem. And for this one, we had some very special company. In keeping with the theme, Nannie came over to join us. Get it? Mary Poppins is a nanny. And her name is Nannie. These are the jokes, folks.

Owen's too cool for his sandwich.
Owen’s too cool for his sandwich.

Moving on…

The food

For food, the theme was an English tea so we had finger sandwiches and tea (well, also lemonade and hot chocolate IN TEA CUPS so…its still legit.) We also had cherries (get it?) and for dessert we had daisy-shaped cookies (on account of her hat…and on account of cookies) and gingerbread cake. In the books, she made gingerbread stars so you know. We also had chips and macaroni salad but those were superfluous. I mean, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. So yeah, they fit. Whoa, my spell check accepts supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? That’s amazepantz. Wait, it doesn’t accept amazepantz? That’s awfultown. Wait…

We are super classy. And super gassy. Wait, scratch that classy part.
We are super classy. And super gassy. Wait, scratch that classy part.

The activity

For our activity, we all made kites out of tuppence and string. Actually, it was construction paper, ribbon, a sharpie and some Minions stickers. But you get the gist. Mine has all the people and pets that were there listed. I enjoy listing things because I am super creative. I did pick an awesome bananas sticker to put on mine and a unicorn. Actually, my kite is kind of amazing. I really love me sometimes.

Note: kites do not actually fly.
Note: kites do not actually fly.

The movie

...I kinda think Julie Andrews is hot in this movie. This is the thing I am making clear.
…I kinda think Julie Andrews is hot in this movie. This is the thing I am making clear.

Historically speaking, Mary Poppins really is one of the standout pieces of the Disney canon. It won a bunch of awards including Best Actress for Andrews and Best Original Song. I believe it’s the most nominated movie in all of Disneydom and was the first Disney movie to be nominated for Best Picture.  Plus it is considered Walt’s last big hurrah. Not to mention it made the studio so much money it basically funded their manufacturing arm. So yeah, in terms of Disney history, it’s a biggie.

And yes, the music and aesthetics are awesome. The soundtrack is one I could listen to over and over again. Feed the Birds. Let’s Go Fly a Kite. Spoonful of Sugar. Come on. All Sherman Brothers classics. And all of these are some of the best songs to get me in that Disney mood for sure. The look of the movie is also so great – the costumes, the crossover live-action/animation, the sets…all just plain nice to look at.  And the acting is superb as well. Besides the obvious of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson’s Mr. Banks is a great character. His ears are bomb.


And it’s really the Mr. Banks character that drives a lot of what I love about this movie in terms of the story. Anyone who has seen Saving Mr. Banks knows that the transformation of Mr. Banks from a workaholic, neglectful father to a man that sees what is really important – his family – is at the core of the film. And I mean, he is really neglectful. Mrs. Banks tells him the kids have gone missing and he says,  “Splendid, splendid.” He’s also totally Jedi mind-tricked into hiring a nanny without any background or references because she has rosy cheeks. Heathcliff Huxtable he ain’t.

And his kids start to realize this more and more as the movie progresses, almost ready to give up on him after their trip to the bank. Hey, his name is Banks and he works at the bank. Whoa. Mind = blown. Anyways, they are about to give up on him until Bert tells them how hard it might be to actually be Mr. Banks. Bert then turns around and starts to get Mr. Banks himself thinking differently about things with a little reverse psychology. Which I don’t even know was a thing back then. Bert is obviously a genius.

And we see a transition that’s really so well-done here. And in Mr. Banks as a father I see the worst and best of me. Often, being a father, I am torn between “providing” and “nurturing.” Bringing my work home at times and not focusing as much on enjoying the fleeting time I have with my children. And it’s an old story – focusing so strongly on providing leaves so little time for nurturing. But it’s so important, isn’t it? As Bert says, “childhood slips like sand through a sieve and all too soon they’ve up and grown.” As a father, it’s important to be reminded that with each wonderful moment my children give me, it’s one more moment towards them growing up.  Work will always be there, but true happiness lies in family.  And this is why I love this movie so much. It helps me remember what’s really important…

These guys (yes, Minnie included.)

minnie pic


  1. Watching this movie with you, Nickie, Myles and Owen was the best… loads of fun as always! This was actually the first time I watched the whole movie… yes, I am now hanging my head in shame. I’m sure that when I watched it with my kids, I spent a lot of the time thinking of chores that I had to do instead of focusing on the movie. How Mr. Banks of me !! Of course, joining the Malden Goodys to watch Mary Poppins quadrupled the joy… thank you guys for inviting me. Love you to Infinity and beyond! xoxoxoxo


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