Mary Poppins — Queen of “Lollapalooza”

This last week I was ridiculously  busy. I have been making up-cycled pendants for the House of Heart Christmas market. I thought I was pretty much ahead of schedule but somehow as quick as I made them I managed to sell them to friends, teachers and fellow moms from my boys’ schools.  I was delighted with the sales but the result was lots (like a whole week’s worth) of VERY late nights.  The assembly of the necklaces can be done in front of the TV so I used the opportunity to watch a few of my favourite TV programs and films. One of the evenings I managed to convince my little boys (ages 7 and 5) to watch Mary Poppins with me. At first they protested and complained that it would be boring but once the film got started they were hooked.


Julie Andrews was my childhood hero and both Mary Poppins and Sound of Music ranked highly on my favourite movies list. I thought I would find fault with Mary Poppins — now that I am older and more cynical — but I have to say I still think it is brilliant.  So here is my list of the top ten “lollapalooza” moments (in the order in which they appear in the film) on Mary Poppins:

1.  Glynis Johns as the Mrs Banks. Parading around in her “votes for women” sash (which she quickly packs away before Mr Banks comes home). “You know how the cause infuriates Mr Banks” she says at one point. Another favourite line runs as follows:

Mrs. Banks: I’m sorry, dear, but when I chose Katie Nana, I thought she would be firm with the children. She looked so solemn and cross.

George Banks: My dear, never confuse efficiency with a liver complaint.

Mrs Banks’ had a distinctly “lollapalooza-ish” dress sense. Those little white gloves are too charming.

2. The scene where all the sour-looking nannies get blown away.

All those nasty nannies are blown away.

3. The amazing scene where Mary Poppins pulls whole lamps and mirrors out of her carpet bag.

There is a lot more to that carpet bag than meets the eye

4. The “Spoon Full of Sugar” song accompanied by the fun-filled “tidy up the nursery” game.

Wouldn’t the world be a happy place if we had all had Mary Poppins as a nanny?

5. The beautiful scene where Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael and Bert dive into the chalk painting and enter an animated world. Dick van Dyke’s penguin dance was the epitome of “lollapalooza”.

The man might not have had the perfect cockney accent but he could dance (and sing!)

6. The “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” song at the end of the animated horse race. It was a big developmental milestone for me when I managed to get my tongue around that word.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – ’nuff said

7. The hilarious ceiling tea party with Uncle Albert (those corny jokes were pretty funny). Not to mention the “Love to Laugh” song.  The closing lines of the scene run as follows:

Bert: Uncle Albert, I got a jolly joke I saved for just such an occasion. Would you like to hear it?

Uncle Albert: [sobbing] I’d be so grateful.

Bert: Well it’s about me granddad, see, and one night he has a nightmare. He was so scared, he chewed his pillow to bits. Bits. In the morning, I says, “How you feel, Granddad?” He says, “Oh, not bad. A little down in the mouth.”

[Bert laughs, Uncle Albert sobs harder]

Bert: I always say there’s nothing like a good joke.

Uncle Albert: [sobbing] No, and that was nothing like a good joke.

Best tea party ever!

8. The chimney scene with Bert, Mary, the chidren and a whole host of chimney sweeps. Awesome choreography.

The chimney top scene.

9. The somber scene when George Banks is summoned to the bank to be  dismissed (due to the chaos caused by his children earlier in the day).  Mr Dawes turns George’s umbrella inside and bashes out a hole in his bowler hat. The scene ends with Mr Dawes Snr contemplating the “wooden leg named Smith” . He ends up dying of laughter. It is interesting to discover that Dick van Dyke also played the decrepit Mr Dawes Snr.

The scariest looking board of directors ever … and you thought your boss was bad!


10. The closing scene of the movie is bitter-sweet. It shows a heart-warming reunion of the Banks family as they all join in with the “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” song. Mary Poppins is carried away, presumably to help the next family in need of her amazing talents.

Happy family :)

Maybe its just me, but the fact that a film made in 1964 (wow that’s 50 years ago next year!) can still keep two little modern-age boys and their mum happily entertained for a couple of hours says a lot. So if you are looking for a bit of old-fashioned family fun why not add this classic to your Christmas holiday viewing?


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