By Common Sense Media,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
World's coolest nanny celebrates family and fun.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some of the songs have phrases that have become mainstream lore, such as "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."
Themes include empathy and gratitude. Kindness to all people, whether rich or poor, is advocated. Also, the value of play, fun, and hard work is underscored by Poppins, as is the dignity and importance of children. A minor quibble: The fight for women's right to vote is shown in a somewhat frivolous light.
Positive Role Models
Mary Poppins is mysterious, firm, kind, and caring. She's the very picture of an independent woman. She demonstrates compassion, communication skills, and integrity. Even without her magical ways, she's the perfect nanny. Though Mr. Banks begins as an aloof father, he sees the error of his ways and engages with his children in the end.
Violence & Scariness
One of the neighbors pretends to be in battle and fires cannons from his rooftop -- it's loud and jolting, but no one gets hurt.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A little flirting and hand-holding between Bert and Mary Poppins.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Father drinks what looks like brandy. Minor characters smoke cigars.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Mary Poppins is a classic 1964 musical about a nanny with supernatural powers. Though the pace is rollicking and sometimes chaotic, there are no dangerous or dark elements. Melodic music, fancy dancing, and cartoon segments will engage even the youngest viewers. The father of the family is shown drinking brandy, but isn't drunk; minor characters smoke cigars.
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Intense Scenes for Little One
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What's the Story?
In 1910 Britain, a British family seeks a new nanny for young Jane and Michael, and in flies magical MARY POPPINS (Julie Andrews, in an Oscar-winning performance). She's not at all what proper Mr. Banks was looking for, but precisely what the children ordered! Mary takes control and takes the children on glorious adventures. The kids also frolic with Bert (Dick Van Dyke), a one-man-band, sidewalk artist, and chimney sweep. Wonderful singing, dancing, and animation bring the story to life as somehow this unusual nanny helps Mr. Banks show love to his children, and the whole family appreciate each other all the more.
Is It Any Good?
Rarely does a movie manage to be so much fun while delivering a simple, heartwarming story. While songs in today's Disney's musicals, though sometimes good, only serve to explain the characters' emotions or intentions, the best songs in Mary Poppins use the feelings of the characters as starting points from which to take off and explore, often in wildly whimsical directions.
The story follows suit, using small plot events to take viewers to many unexpected places. The end result is one of the all-time great family movies.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how Mary Poppins gets her messages across. What's easier to hear, a command or a song? How does Poppins get respect from others?
Why is it important to spend time together? What happens if people get too busy sometimes to "go fly a kite"?
How does Mary Poppins teach and demonstrate communication, compassion, and integrity? What about gratitude and empathy? Why are these important character strengths?
- In theaters: August 29, 1964
- On DVD or streaming: December 14, 2004
- Cast: David Tomlinson, Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews
- Director: Robert Stevenson
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Book Characters, Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Communication, Compassion, Empathy, Gratitude, Integrity
- Run time: 140 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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