From ‘Mary Poppins’ To ‘A Million Dreams’

‘Wait! Don’t move. Don’t move a muscle. Stay right where you are. I’d know that silhouette anywhere! Mary Poppins!’
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Mary Poppins sits amongst my all-time favourite movies. In fact, it’s possible that it is my favourite movie—EVER! I first watched Mary Poppins when I was a child, and I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it since. In fairness, I can recite most of the script. That’s a good illustration of how special Mary Poppins is to me.

Here’s the thing…

I’ve always been a sucker for many of the ingredients that are blended so beautifully in Mary Poppins. Musicals—love them! Magic—spellbinding! Disney—enchanting! Oh, and don’t even get me started on Julie Andrews. The Sound Of Music is also high on my list of much-loved movies. And that brings me back to musicals! In both movies and theatre, for whatever reason, I adore musicals. I seem to find it so easy to get swept away by the magic of them. Wait! Did I say magic? Oh yeah, that was one of the other things I loved about Mary Poppins.

Anyway, back to musicals…

Although Mary Poppins was one of the first movies I can even remember watching, there were so many other musicals I fell for as a youngster. West Side Story was the first VHS that my dad brought home for us to watch—on our first ever video recorder. I know! I’m showing my age now. But we were a definite VHS family, and never even tried Betamax. Still, West Side Story was amazing! Romance! Singing! Dancing! Gang Warfare! Romance! What’s not to love?

So, it won’t surprise you that The Greatest Showman has recently soared to the top of my favourite movies list too. Wow! What a spectacle! And the songs are captivating. I’m still listening to the soundtrack now. Even though it’s seven months since I first listened to it, after seeing the movie. I don’t think those songs will ever get old! For me, The Greatest Showman is packed full of wonder and inspiration. It’s a story about friendship, love and how to dazzle the world. But most of all, it’s a story about acceptance, equality and humanity. And yes, I know that much of the ‘true’ P.T. Barnum story is either lost or distorted. Personally, I don’t care! The Greatest Showman is the movie that many of us needed.

‘I’m not scared to be seen. I make no apologies. This is me!’

I recently stumbled across these videos too. There was something even more mesmerising, when I saw the passion these people had for their movie…

This Is Me

From Now On

Coming back to Mary Poppins…

Did I mention that I played Burt in a school performance once too? No? Well I did! I got the part because I was the only person in the room who could say ‘Chim Chiminey’, and as such, sing the song. That moment will always be clear in my mind.

Having said this, until recently, I have never read the original Mary Poppins books. Why? I haven’t got a clue. I read so many books as a child, yet I never read P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins stories. Well, better late than never—I’m reading them now—and I love them for a whole bunch of different reasons. The same can be said for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang too. Again, I love Dick Van Dyke, and the ‘Chitty’ movie is another of my favourites. I saw the movie as a child, and I’ve seen the stage show, yet I only read the book a few years back.

Anyhow, I’m going to finish as I started—with Mary Poppins. This year, we see the return of Mary Poppins to the big screen. For years, I have always said that I didn’t think Mary Poppins should ever be remade. Likewise, I didn’t think a sequel was a great idea either. Mary Poppins has always been sacred to me. I didn’t want anything to tarnish her reputation. That was, until I saw ‘Saving Mr Banks’, which made me see things in a different light. That movie was about how the Mary Poppins books became a movie, and it encouraged me to read the Mary Poppins books. Now, I am quietly excited about ‘Mary Poppins Returns’. Will it be Mary Poppins—as P.L. Travers had always intended, or will it be like the original movie? Maybe it will be something entirely different. I have no idea. But, in many ways, I find that super exciting. Bring it on! I hope Emily Blunt is a wonderous Mary Poppins, as Julie Andrews was, all those years ago.
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Do you love Mary Poppins? Have you seen The Greatest Showman? Are you a musicals fan too?

As always, I’d love to hear from you!

Much Love,
R.J.

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