Mary Poppins

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
Mary Poppins Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
World's coolest nanny celebrates family and fun.
  • G
  • 1964
  • 140 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 61 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 62 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Some of the songs have phrases that have become mainstream lore, such as "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down."

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff

A little flirting and hand-holding between Bert and Mary Poppins.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Father drinks what looks like brandy. Minor characters smoke cigars. 

What 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. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 and 5-year-old Written byTomDarla October 12, 2009

Kids love the music, magic, and fun

Kids at a very young age will enjoy this magical classic. Our child loved watching this movie soon after he turned 4. He is sensitive to tense scenes and confli... Continue reading
Parent Written byannielight January 13, 2011

Enchanting for a 4-year old

My 4-year old has a great attention span, and so this movie (which is a bit long and can seem slow in places) worked well for him. He just delights in the songs... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byDominicboo1 April 22, 2011


There is nothing inappropriate in this movie what so ever. One really brief alley scene where a scary looking old woman says "Come with me my dears Granny... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byilovecookiez April 6, 2011

I knew this was gonna get 5 stars xD

I would watch this all the time when I was little. Me, my Mother, and my Grandma would sing her song about a really long word they made up that I forget. It... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love musicals and classics

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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