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Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New


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  • Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New

    Starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson and Glynis Johns
    Directed by Robert Stevenson
    Rated G

    Just five years after releasing the exquisite 40th Anniversary DVD Edition of "Mary Poppins," Disney goes to the well again this week with a "new" 45th Anniversary Edition that's pretty much the same as the 40th:
    • Remastered audio and video . . . check.
    • Commentary by Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Richard Sherman and Karen Dotrice . . . check.
    • "Mary Poppins" pop-up trivia . . . check.
    • "Making of" doc . . . check.
    • World Premiere footage at Hollywood's Chinese Theater . . . check.
    • "The Cat That Looked Like a King" featurette . . . check.

    It's all great stuff, but what's really new?

    On the heels of flagging New York ticket sales, but just in time for an upcoming national tour, "Mary Poppins" the DVD proudly touts "Mary Poppins" the Broadway musical with several "Backstage Disney" featurettes. It's just the type of synergistic cross-promotion that Disney is famous for. And even though the "From Page to Stage" doc is quite interesting and the complete theatrical version of "Step in Time" is great fun, the DVD is still just a slapdash repackaging of old material. It's not even being released on Blu-ray.

    Wow, it's gotta be bad if you're cynical about something as untouchable as "Mary Poppins."

    You certainly can't fault the movie. "Mary Poppins" was Walt Disney's finest achievement in live-action film making with a glorious splash of animation to boot. The tale of the magically mysterious nanny who forever changes the life of the Banks family is as fresh and delightful now as it was 45 years ago. It features the best cast Disney ever assembled, with pitch-perfect performances by Julie Andrews in the title role and especially Dick Van Dyke as the happy-go-lucky jack-of-all-trades Bert and David Tomlinson as the regimented and befuddled father George Banks. Likewise endearing were Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber as the Banks children, Jane and Michael. As film critic Leonard Maltin once noted, "There is a difference between children who are cute and children who act cute." Dotrice and Garber were clearly in the former.

    The sights and sounds of "Mary Poppins" excel as well. The Sherman Brothers were never better with a song score that included "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and "Chim Chim Cher-ee" not to mention Walt's personal favorite "Feed the Birds." And oh, those hauntingly beautiful matte backgrounds by Peter Ellenshaw.

    There's no denying "Mary Poppins" is a keeper--there's a good chance you own the film already. If you don't, however, the 45th Anniversary Edition isn't a bad place to start. But if you already have the 40th Anniversary Edition, unless you're jonesing for a Broadway fix, save your money.

    By the way, as of this post Amazon still has both DVD versions available on its site . . . and the 40th Anniversary Edition is cheaper. Just sayin'.
    Last edited by disneytim; 01-25-2009, 10:37 PM.
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  • #2
    Re: Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New

    Thanks Tim! That's exactly what I was wondering about this new edition. As much as I'm sure I'd enjoy the Broadway stuff, I don't think it's worth the price of buying the whole package since I do already own the 40th edition.


    • #3
      Re: Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New

      Yeah I'm passing on this since I also have the 40th one already.


      • #4
        Re: Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New

        Mary Poppins...... Never seen it is it even any good?


        • #5
          Re: Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New

          I'm surprised they are doing a 45th release. They should have just waited until the 50th - think they will have the Broadway version on dvd for the 50th?????
          Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
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          • #6
            Re: Except For Theater Buffs, Latest 'Mary Poppins' DVD Offers Nothing New

            A friend of mine who worked backstage at "Mary Poppins" said they filmed the 45th Anniversary bonus footage in hi-def. We were both surprised when the latest DVD wasn't also released in Blu-ray. Hopefully that means we can expect a Blu-ray release in the near future. I can't see Disney sitting on hi-def theater material for five years after interest in the Broadway show (and subsequent tours) has peaked.
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