Walt Disney Records’ Legacy Collection’s excellent streak of soundtracks continues with its August 2014 release that commemorated the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, considered by many critics as one of Walt Disney’s greatest achievements. Its Oscar-winning song, “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” and the other cheerful tunes and score are as ingrained in our minds as Julie Andrews‘ and Dick Van Dyke‘s unforgettable performances.
This new CD set remarkably integrates nearly every musical element of the film possible across three packed discs. The Legacy Collection: Mary Poppins is even sweeter than a spoonful of sugar.
Anniversaries signify dates of a celebratory nature. We reflect on the past and the importance of a milestone. In the Disney universe, certain years warrant attention for the amount of quality content produce and momentous occasions held. Some might argue 1989 was Disney’s biggest year, launching the “Disney renaissance” with the release of The Little Mermaid and also the opening of Disney’s fifth theme park (Disney-MGM Studios). Others would consider 1928 (the debut of Mickey Mouse), 1937 (the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), and 1955 (Disneyland’s opening) as equally significant. If we look into the future, 2015 may prove to be Disney’s most monumental year with new films from Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and even a few major releases from Disney itself.
But how can anyone forget or dismiss 1964? This was the definitive Disney year in multiple realms. The events that took place during this 12-month period forever altered the landscape of The Walt Disney Company. 50 years later, I reason that the Disney we treasure today would not exist without the turning points that occurred in 1964.
A new Pink Panther movie is on the way, with a familiar face taking center stage.
Everyone knows the animated Pink Panther character, but when it comes to Pink Panther movies it’s usually the bumbling French police detective, Inspector Jacques Clouseau, leading the way. The role was originally and most notably played by the late great Peter Sellers, and more recently (and less popularly) by Steve Martin. Now it’s the animated character taking over for a live-action/CGI hybrid movie, the popular way to bring classic cartoon characters to new generations seen in titles like The Smurfs, Garfield, and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Mary Poppins 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital | DVD/Digital l Instant
Directed by Robert Stevenson
Starring Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber and Ed Wynn
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: Dec. 10, 2013
Mary Poppins, the winner of five Academy Awards, flies onto Disney Blu-ray for the first time ever in honor of its (premature) 50th anniversary and the forthcoming release of Saving Mr. Banks. But is the Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke musical practically perfect in every way? The film, yes. The Blu-ray release itself, only practically, as the less-than-perfect presentation and lack of copious new supplemental material have much to be desired.
Critics and everyday individuals alike regard Poppins as one of Walt Disney’s finest achievements – if not his finest piece of cinema – for what the movie represented back in 1964, and how it holds up today. The film, inspired by the P.L. Travers work, showcases how the family dynamic of an early 20th-century clan in London is transformed by the introduction of one very ideal, precise and magical nanny. The tale captured our imaginations, portraying an atmosphere where children could leap into sidewalk drawings and a fantastic woman could soar above the cityscape with an umbrella and carpetbag in tow. The scene, utterly delightful. The people, certainly relatable. The combo, undeniably winning. But what makes Mary Poppins work so well? Credit a combination of elements at play.