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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 79:40)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • 2 Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Interactive game - I Love To Laugh
  • Trivia track - Sing Along With the Movie

Mary Poppins

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 134 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

The classic Disney family favourite has been brought back to life and this wonderful film is sure to please. Many adults havenít seen it for many years and can now rediscover the magic, while kids of today can maybe see it for the first time and see how entertaining it really is.

The Banks family live at 17 Cherry Tree Lane in London and the year is 1910. Regimental father George Banks lives with his preoccupied wife, their two children Jane and Michael and their staff in this house that is sadly lacking in any forms of affection. When the childrenís carer Katie Nanna resigns from her position, the need to employ a new nanny is paramount. Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) blows into town (literally) and takes on the job. Mary is no ordinary nanny though, she is never cross, has a cheery disposition, has rosy red cheeks and is practically perfect.

"A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way. "

Mary and her friend Bert (Dick Van Dyke) take the children on many adventures, teaching them valuable life lessons along the way. They get to also meet many fun characters and Mary Poppins has a wonderful way of teaching both the children and adults, in her special and magical way, with the ultimate goal being to bring the family closer together. Once this task is complete, she will be on her way, that is when the wind changes.

This DVD release of Mary Poppins is an absolute treat. For those of us that havenít seen it for many years, it is surprising just how entertaining it really is. Many kids of today may not understand the prim and proper English mannerisms, but this should not take too much away from their enjoyment.

Julie Andrews is perfect in her award winning film debut role of Mary Poppins and is ably supported by Dick Van Dyke (hey cool initials) as Bert. The Academy Award winning musical score is just perfect for this film. Many songs will be easily recognisable to most, such as A Spoonful Of Sugar, Chim Chim Cher-ee and of course Supercalifragilistic-expialidocious. The rest of the musical score is also perfect and fills the film with just the right feel.

For a film made in 1964, this really is cutting edge as far as the use of animation and special effects goes. The effects do look a little dated, of course, and edge enhancement is easily spotted, but it is quite obvious that no expense was spared in this production. Dick Van Dyke does a dance routine with some cartoon penguins that is familiar the world over and should put a smile on many faces.

There is not much to find fault with in this Disney classic. The English accent delivered by Dick Van Dyke is quite possibly the worst I have ever heard and the portrayal of English society at its snobbiest is not altogether necessary, but apart from those small annoyances this is a terrific film that the whole family can enjoy. For a film that was shot entirely indoors, the producers can be truly proud of this effort.

  Video
Contract

Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and 16x9 enhanced, this digitally remastered copy looks wonderful. Picture is sharp throughout and film artefacts and grain are rarely an issue. Colours are vibrant and look as good as the day this film was first released. Subtitles are available in English, English for the hearing impaired and English in a karaoke style to sing along with the movie. The layer change occurs at 79:40 and is placed between scenes causing no major disruption.

  Audio
Contract

Audio supplied is the sole choice of English Dolby Digital 5.1 and this sounds terrific. The music and songs are the high point of this film and they sound better than ever. Dialogue is kept predominantly on the centre speakers and all of the surrounds are used to great effect to build the musical score. There is some use of the subwoofer, but this is only subtle. Audio synch is never a problem, but some viewers may need the subtitles to understand that terrible English accent of Dick Van Dyke.

  Extras
Contract

There are some extras available on this release, but there is definitely a suspicion that there may be much more material available that could have been included.

Hollywood Goes to a World Premiers
This featurette looks at the premiere of Mary Poppins at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and contains interviews with Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Walt Disney. This footage is of course very dated, but is in colour and a great look at how some well-known actors looked in their younger years. Made in an old newsreel style, this featurette runs for 6:12 in full frame and contains scenes from the film.

The Movie Magic of Mary Poppins
Not really a making of type featurette, this is more a highlights package of some of the special effects used in the film. It looks at the audio, animatronics, the animation and other special effects. Running for 7:06, this is a fun look at the film.

I Love To Laugh Game
Featuring Uncle Albert in the sticky position of being unable to come back to earth, the viewer is asked to answer questions to help him down. This is more of a memory type game and is great fun for the kids.

  Overall  
Contract

Overall this is a great film for the whole family and the transfer to DVD is superb. The video transfer makes the film look as if it was only made recently and the audio delivers a great transfer of a wonderful musical score. A couple of extras added to the overall quality make this a very worthy purchase.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1798
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      And I quote...
    "The hills are alive! Oops, thatís the other film with Julie Andrews as the singing nanny. This is her first one, back when she didnít think she would be typecast! "
    - Adrian Turvey
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Akai DV-P2000
    • TV:
          AKAI CT-29S55AT 68cm
    • Receiver:
          Akai AM-SS1500
    • Speakers:
          Akai
    • Centre Speaker:
          Akai
    • Surrounds:
          Akai
    • Subwoofer:
          Akai
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