Disney Films, History

Today in Disney History: Mary Poppins Premiered in 1964

Mary Poppins Theatrical Release Poster

On August 27, 1964, Mary Poppins premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California. This award-winning film about a magical nanny was loosely based on P.L. Travers’ book series of the same name. A heart-warming story, whimsical music by the Sherman Brothers, and a star cast that included Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, combined to create a classic film that is still popular today.

Mary Poppins received 13 Academy Award nominations on won in five categories:

  • Best Actress – Julie Andrews
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music Score
  • Best Visual Effects
  • Best Original Song – “Chim Chim Cher-ee”

The Story

An English family in London in search for a nanny is unsuccessful until Mary Poppins appears to care for their two children, Jane and Michael. Through guidance, love, and a little magic, Mary Poppins brings order and happiness back to the Banks family. A series of adventures, with both real and animated characters, teach lessons that Jane, Michael, and their father needs to come back together as a family.

Mary is helped along the way by her friends, most notably Bert, who introduces the audience to Cherry Tree Lane (where the Banks family lives), draws the chalk pictures that Mary Poppins turns into animated adventures, leads a musical dance number as a chimney sweep, and sells kites to the Banks at the end of the movie.

Sequel

The story of Mary Poppins and the Banks family is not over. Mary Poppins Returns – the upcoming sequel to Mary Poppins – is scheduled for release on December 25, 2018. This film will be set 25 years after the original story, when Mary Poppins returns to visit the Banks after a family tragedy.

Saving Mr. Banks

Despite the success of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers was not happy with the adaption of her books, particularly the animated sequences and whimsical music. In 2013, Saving Mr. Banks told the story of Travers’ working relationship with Walt Disney and the contentious production of Mary Poppins. 

Like Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks featured a star cast. Tom Hanks portrayed Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P. L. Travers.

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