movie

Let the Review Get Written Down… In the Most Honest Way: “Mary Poppins” (1964)

Warning: Contains spoilers***

 

The live-action Disney classic, “Mary Poppins” is beloved by many. Julie Andrews had an amazing voice. Dick Van Dyke had his sense of humor. The songs were, for the most part, good.

I loved watching “Mary Poppins” as a child. It was one of those Disney films I owned on video cassette as well as “The Little Mermaid”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cinderella”, and “Aladdin”. And just within the past year, I watched “Mary Poppins” for the first time in several years.

The most recent time I viewed it, though, it didn’t please me as much as before. Although it engaged me, much of the content was just too wacky. For instance, Mary Poppins is first introduced doing her makeup on a cloud. Why a cloud? That doesn’t sound like a very practical way to live. Also, clouds are water vapor, and the air in the sky is thinner. But that is another topic. I am not enunciating on science here.

In the scene where Mary, Bert, Jane, and Michael, are in the animated world, they ride the carousel horses through the fields. Mary had cheated to “win” the race, and still got praised for it. What?

When Mr. Banks went to the bank right before the end, I felt that the change he’d experienced with his children around Mary Poppins was too rushed and forced. And lastly, during the “Spoonful of Sugar” number, the mirror Marry Poppins was just freaky, especially when she started singing on her own.

There are some positive moments. I was amused by the bank scene where Michael screamed, demanding his money back, and the whole bank erupted into chaos. The “Step in Time” number was also amazing.

Overall, though, I would rate “Mary Poppins” 3 stars. Were the books very different? Obviously, they didn’t have musical numbers. But maybe I would like the book more, although I tend to be the opposite with book vs. movie adaptations. That is for another post.

If you enjoyed “Mary Poppins”, good for you. I wanted to enjoy it more than I did. But sometimes, in life, you tend to lose patience for certain things you didn’t mind when you were little. Many of you probably feel that way.

movie

We’re Off to Start the Critique… The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (R-rated YouTube Parody vs. 1939 film)

Warning: contains spoilers of both versions***

 

While browsing through YouTube, I came across something called “R-rated Wizard of Oz”. It is an animated parody of the 1939 movie. There, Dorothy is fierce, tough, and slays threats.

I will not put a link here for copyright reasons. However, you can go to YouTube and search for “R-rated Wizard of Oz”. Then you can watch it.

What I discovered about that version was that I liked the tough and fierce Dorothy more than in the actual film from 1939. The slaying might have been a little much, though. However, after seeing the parody, it made me find the 1939 movie-Dorothy a lot less likable.

Now I am not trying to put down the character or act overly feminist (since feminism is not one of my specialized topics for my blog posts), but I will admit that now I find the 1939 film version of Dorothy too whiny and closer to being a damsel-in-distress.

Yes, it was the 1930’s, when standards for females differed from today, and whininess and damsels-in-distress were accepted, and possibly expected. However, growing up in a time where females want equality and to prove they are not weak or dependent on males, I am among many others who frown upon female characters as whiny damsels-in-distress. Today’s standards of female characters being fierce, strong, brave, and not very whiny, would have been shocking and maybe against standards in the 1930’s. “The Wizard of Oz” was a huge success and remains a popular classic today. However, if it had come out today, or if Dorothy were fierce and tough in the movie back in 1939, would either one have been a flop? Would “The Wizard of Oz” not have become a big classic today? Would people today have complained about Dorothy being too whiny and damsel-in-distress like, therefore, not liking her as a character?

In the film, Dorothy kept whining about wanting to go home and would cry if she didn’t get what she wanted in Oz, such as when the Wizard refused to see her. In the scene where the wicked witch locks her in a room after Toto escapes, Dorothy just sits and cries. Rather than trying to figure out a way to escape by herself, she waits for the other three (male) companions to rescue her. Dorothy was rarely angry without whining or crying.

In the R-rated parody, Dorothy is somewhat dark, but tough, fierce, and brave. She showed less fear when defeating the wicked witch at the end as well as when she overthrew the flying monkeys. While the killing was not as necessary, the clip demonstrates what is expected for females in any creative work today, regardless of setting.

I liked “The Wizard of Oz” when I was a child. But if there is ever a remake (not counting the Muppets version from the mid-2000’s), I think updating Dorothy’s character to being fiercer and less whiny would make both the character and the adaptation more successful.