Immersed in Blu-ray: Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins arrives for a wondrous 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition from Disney Home Ent. to coincide with the release of Saving Mr. Banks.

Let’s all celebrate Disney’s Mary Poppins, which just made the National Film Registry, and spawned Saving Mr. Banks, about the uneasy dance between Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) in bringing the pop culture classic to the screen. The Blu-ray is gorgeous with striking colors and grain structure intact. No easy feat with its use of effects, mattes, and animation mixed in with the live-action. Peter Ellenshaw won the Special Visual Effects Oscar (with Hamilton Luske and Eustace Lycett). Of course, Julie Andrews won Best Actress with other Academy Awards for cinematography, editing, original score, and song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”).

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track is dynamic but you can also listen to a Dolby Digital 2.0 track

It’s a great traveling angel story about a magical nanny who provides imaginative fun to young Jane (Karen Dotrice) and Michael (Matthew Garber), while restoring innocent delight to father Banks (David Tomlinson). And Dick Van Dyke gets to imbue his love of Stan Laurel to Bert the artist and chimney sweet. But it’s the rousing and sublime music of Richard and Robert Sherman that makes Mary Poppins a transcendent experience, particularly the climactic “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”

Bonus features include:

  • Becoming Mr. Sherman: Jason Schwartzman (who plays Richard Sherman) sits down with Sherman to discuss the music and lyrics and the surreal experience of Saving Mr. Banks.
  • Backstage Disney: 51-minute documentary “The Making of Mary Poppins,” vintage red carpet featurettes “The Gala World Premiere” and “The Gala World Premiere Party,” kid-friendly special effects mini-doc “Movie Magic,” two “Deconstruction of a Scene” featurettes (“Jolly Holiday” and “Step in Time”), a “Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test” and a “Publicity” roundup with original trailers, re-issue trailers and TV spots.
  • The Cat that Looked at a King: In the 2004 live-action/animated short, Andrews leads two children into a chalk drawing and tells them the story of a talking cat, a knowledge-obsessed king, and the arrogant ruler’s neglected queen.
  • Audio Commentary: Composers/lyricists Richard and Robert Sherman; Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke; and Karen Dotrice .


Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, Tech, VFX

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