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DVD Review: Mary Poppins - 45th Anniversary Edition

I must be one in a million... in that it seems like I'm the one guy out of a million that doesn't absolutely love Mary Poppins. Seems like EVERYONE loves this movie, and I know it's iconic and a classic... but honestly I just didn't care for it too much. I couldn't pin down any real plot, the songs seemed unreasonably long, and there were just so many of them! The movie clocks in at over two hours long, and can you believe there were actually MORE songs which never made it into the final film? For my wife, that's like a dream come true, and so it's no surprise this is one of her favorite movies. So yep, we have the 40th Anniversary Edition... and now only a scant five years after that release we find Disney releasing a 45th Anniversary Edition.

The previous Anniversary Edition was a two-disc set that had a bunch of special features, so what makes this new 45th Anniversary Edition stand apart? A couple of featurettes about the Broadway show. And that's about it. Seriously? You had to release a whole new version just for that? Are you gonna release a 50th Anniversary Edition sporting a new photo gallery? What the hell! Well, it's good news for those of us that already own the 40th Anniversary Edition, because it means there is absolutely no reason to shell out more bucks for the new one.

Now, I said I didn't care much for the movie, and that's true, but it still has a lot of redeeming qualities. First off, Julie Andrews is amazing as the title character. She nails it perfectly! Also, the sets and overall look of the film is pretty cool. It looks like a stage show, which gives a unique feel to it. And we can't forget about the songs, most of which are catchy and memorable... even if they are still way too long. So yeah, if you love musicals and don't care much about an overall plot, then I could see how one would absolutely love this film.

The story is about two kids who are a bit unruly because their father is totally strict and doesn't spend enough quality time with them, so a magical nanny places herself into the mix and takes care of the kids, which results in what seems like a bunch of random scenes. Okay, so the kids don't want to clean their room, so Mary Poppins says that doing so is fun if you turn it into a game... then she sings a song and the room cleans itself while the kids don't do crap. Yeah, I'd clean my house every day if all I had to do was snap my fingers. But guess what? IT DOESN'T WORK! Trust me, I've tried it....

Okay, well lets go have some fun and jump into a sidewalk painting. Yeah, that'll be cool. Alright kids, now that we're here in magical sidewalk painting land, you two run off by yourselves while I have tea with Dick Van Dyke. Huh? I thought this movie was about the kids, why are they sent off by themselves and we have to watch a really long scene involving two adults, one drinking tea and the other dancing with penguins? What sense does that make? And what kind of nanny lets the kids run off by themselves? What if there's a pedophile hiding out in that drawing somewhere? Or what if they fall into the river? You know a child can drown in as little as two inches of water....

I think you get the idea, so lets just move on to the extra features. As I said before, it's pretty much the same as the previous release, with a few minor additions:

Disc 1

  • Audio Commentary
  • Pop-up fun facts

Disc 2

  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious: The Making of Mary Poppins—The definitive behind-the-scenes.
  • Movie Magic—A look at the special effect techniques used to bring the magical world of Mary Poppins to life.
  • The Gala World Premiere—Footage from the Red Carpet.
  • Dick Van Dyke Make-Up Test
  • Trailers, Ads and More from the Original Release and Reissue of the Film
  • Mary Poppins Still Art Galleries
  • Disney's Song Selection—The whole family can sing along to "A Spoonful of Sugar," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and any of the film's other memorable songs as the lyrics pop up on screen. Each song can be selected separately or while watching the film.
  • Magical Musical Reunion—Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and songwriter Richard Sherman reminisce about making Mary Poppins and the music that makes it so special.
  • A Musical Journey with Richard Sherman —A delightful magical journey through some of the film's locations with co-composer Richard Sherman, who reveals surprising secrets about the music of Mary Poppins along the way.
  • Bonus Short - The Cat That Looked at a King—Live action and animation bring a chapter of P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins Opens the Door to life! Julie Andrews takes viewers into a magical animated world created in the style of the whimsical chalk drawings in Mary Poppins.
  • Deleted Song - "Chimpanzoo"—A reconstruction of a song that did not appear in the movie using original storyboard and concept art, accompanied by a new rendition of the song performed by co-composer Richard Sherman.
  • Mary Poppins from Page to Stage —First a beloved children's book, then a classic movie and now a smash hit Broadway musical! Fans can follow the story of Mary Poppins from page to stage as the creative team and cast discuss the creation of the musical production and preparations for the upcoming North American tour.
  • Step in Time—The Broadway cast of Mary Poppins performs the never-before-filmed number "Step in Time" from the show.
  • Step in Time - A downloadable MP3 featuring the Broadway cast of Mary Poppins singing "Step in Time," featuring Ashley Brown as Mary Poppins and Gavin Lee as Bert.
  • Bob Crowley's Design Galleries—Concept art, costume designs, set designs and set models for the Broadway musical

Yeah, it's A LOT of extra features, and most are pretty good. If you're a fan of the movie, you'll definitely want to check these out. And now here are some clips for ya:

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