Are You Pro-Mary Poppins? Why I Love Disney’s Favorite Nanny

Today I found myself in a fascinating conversation with a group of close friends, friends I thought I knew very well and whose preferences on everything from parenting to food I could probably list without much effort.  Like I often do, I shared a link to something I found fascinating today – the trailer to the new Disney film, Saving Mr. Banks.  Saving Mr. Banks tells the story of Walt Disney’s quest to buy the rights to make the film version of the P. L. Travers book series starring the cloud-floating, parrot-umbrella-toting nanny, Mary Poppins.  I watched the trailer and got not only goosebumps, but actual tears in my eyes.  The first couple friends to see it joined me in my excitement if not my degree of excitement, although there were confirmed goosebumps all around.

And then someone said they didn’t like Mary Poppins.  Then another person said the same thing.  Then we all gasped in horror and looked around digitally and wondered, “Who are these people????”

Okay, so that last bit probably didn’t really happen, but it left me to wonder, do some people seriously not like Mary Poppins?  I love everything about the character, the costumes, the songs, the movie, the stars – all of it.  So I ran to Facebook as a blogger is wont to do and I asked:

Are you pro-Mary Poppins?

Maybe you prefer Cinderella.  I understand, really I do.  She’s kind of the head princess after all, the one you’d have to know to really be down with the Disney Princesses.  Or maybe you came of age during the rebirth of Disney’s animation prowess when films like Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast took our breath away with incredible artwork and timeless songs.

marypoppins1But how can you not like Poppins?  She is practically perfect in every way.

 Let me explain…

1. Her mode of transportation: Like a spring rain or the first snow of winter, Poppins floats in with the changing weather, riding a cloud as if it’s the most natural thing to do.  The first time we flew to Disney, my daughter looked out the window and asked, “Where’s Poppins?”  Now that’s traveling in style.

2. The company she keeps: As evidenced by the types of in-depth discussions we have about Disney, I have great friends.  But Poppins travels with the kind of crew who can jump into sidewalk chalk drawings and giggle until they float to the ceiling.  I’d love to be a member of her inner circle.marypoppins2

3. Her housekeeping skills:  I don’t mind cleaning – you know, actually spraying some product on a dust rag and wiping down surfaces.  But I despise cleaning up.  However, if you live with Poppins, you need just to sing a song and point and your toys will fly through the air and into the suddenly open drawers.  If her nanny jobs ever dry up, she’s got a great maid service business to fall back on.

4. Medical prowess:  It doesn’t matter that medicine has evolved from cod liver oil to cherry flavored gummy vitamins.  Some kids just refuse to take their medicine.  Poppins, however, knows that the key to getting kids to take their meds is to provide them with some sugar.  And a song.  There’s always a song.

5. Pipes like no other:  Did I mention that Mary Poppins sings?  And I’m not talking the kind of singing my children are subjected to, the kind that led my daughter’s first sentence to be, “Mama, no sing.”  Rather than hide the talents of the incredible Julie Andrews behind a frilly petticoat, Walt Disney used the character of Poppins to showcase her incredible skills.  Any child would love to be sung to sleep by the talented Ms. Andrews.

6. Ability to change the topic:  If you haven’t ever seen the film (seriously, get thee to Netflix immediately), Poppins very nearly gets canned.  Mr. Banks has had enough, and it is time for Poppins to ride out on the cloud she rode in on.  But Poppins isn’t having it.  Rather than engage in a pointless debate, Mary steers the conversation and leaves Mr. Banks believing that he never intended to fire her in the first place.  It ends with Banks flabbergasted and confused – as he should be.

7. Focus on what’s important:  While Mr. Banks is crunching the numbers in an age long before computers and Mrs. Banks is working for women’s rights in an age long before the working mom, Poppins is reminding the kids – and the parents – what’s most important, things like flying kites and riding carousels and tea with friends.  Poppins embodies the argument for work/life balance and as a busy mom, I love her for it.

marypoppins38: Selflessness:  Poppins could be the hero of this film.  After all, it is named for her.  But she’s not.  Despite everything I pointed out above, at the end of the movie the children’s focus is on their parents, not the world’s best nanny.  It’s surprising, it’s beautiful, and gosh darn it pass the tissues – it gets me every time.

As for the film itself, every last moment of the nearly two and a half hour film makes me happy.  From the classic Julie Andrews eye rolls to the twinkle in Dick Van Dyke’s eye to the absolute absurdity that defines this film, Mary Poppins brings me joy.  I’ve loved sharing this timeless classic and entertaining film with my own children, who seem to not mind (or at the very least tolerate) when I march around the room singing “Step in Time” at the top of my lungs and who agree that Mary Poppins is some of Disney’s finest.

marypoppinsSo now for the moment of truth – are you Pro-Poppins?


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  • I think it’s the perfect children’s movie. I’m a big fan ever since I played the soundtrack album over and over on my Winnie the Pooh record player.

    It’s not a coincidence that it’s my father’s favorite movie too. Daddy issues, but in the good way.

    I just saw the trailer and teared up near the end. Looks like a fantastic cast. This is the movie I’ll see the day after Christmas.

    • Yes to the day after Christmas movie! On my holiday break must do list as well.

  • Love love love Ms. Poppins!! I can’t WAIT for this new movie.

    • Going to be one of those weeks when I wish we all lived closer and we could go together.

  • I love it! I have it memorized. I wish my kids would watch it more. I dream about things putting themselves away while I sing. I’ve used the words “spit-spot” in real life as well as ‘I’m not a maypole – kindly stop spinning around me.”

  • Having had the extreme pleasure of meeting Dame Julie Andrews, I can say I am most definitely pro! She is so gracious and oozes class and charm.

  • I’ve been quoted again and again saying that Mary Poppins is my very favorite live action Disney Movie. Being a Millennial, I’ve gotten weird looks from friends when I say this, because according to my generation, we should love Freaky Friday or The Parent Trap (Back when Lohan was sane). But Mary Poppins is the truth. You’ve listed all of the reasons we should love her unconditionally, but I’d like to add one more: She’s the representation of a little piece of every person you know. This is pretty true of any Disney character, but with Ms. Poppins it’s chillingly accurate.

    After seeing the trailer, my heart is so happy about the release of this film. I’m hoping that those who aren’t “pro Mary Poppins” will love her backstory and in turn, fall in love with the Disney character.

    • Okay, I feel old because when I read Freaky Friday and The Parent Trap, I thought Jodi Foster, not Lindsay Lohan. GAH!!

      • Don’t feel old! I think of the original The Parent Trap whenever anyone mentions it. It’s my favorite of the two versions. But alas, my generation is lost when it comes to the BEST OF THE BEST Disney movies.

  • LOVE IT! Have the entire movie memorized! Can say the entire movie while it is playing! I sing at the top of my lungs – my children think I am bonkers! I “TRY” so hard to get them to love it – but they don’t – and it makes me so sad!!

    • Give it time! My kids didn’t fall in love the first time, but now my daughter is hooked and my son is well on his way.

  • Alea

    Oh I absolutely LOVE Mary Poppins – always have – she’s definitely one of my absolute favorite characters EVER. =)

  • Mary Poppins has ALWAYS been one of my favorite movies. Man, I love those old movies.

  • I am definitely Pro-Poppins! I love Dame Julie Andrews and have cherished this movie since receiving my own Beta copy of it as a child. Mary Poppins is a wonderful character and I am proud that my children appreciate it. I enjoy sharing the Disney Classics with them.

    As for ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ can it be December already? I can’t wait to see this film! Tom Hanks is perfect casting for Uncle Walt, and Emma Thompson is wonderful.

    • They better feed us a steady stream of trailers until December!

  • I agree with every last word! Love Mary Poppins and I am dying to see the new movie in Dec! I’ve already watched the trailer half a dozen times.

    • Is it time for the next trailer yet? Please??

  • Can’t WAIT for this!! Love the post 😉

  • NikkiPoppins

    I am one hundred percent PRO Mary Poppins! She’s the reason I decided to be a Nanny which has lead to my entering nursing school so I can help as many children and families as I can! I’ve not only met Dame Julie a couple of times, I have a Mary Poppins tattoo! It’s a silhouette of her flying with the umbrella. I call it my stamp of authenticity as a Nanny! Ha!
    Loved this post! Thanks for sharing and I join you in eagerly counting down to the new movie!

  • One of our favorite children’s movies EVER!

  • “Then we all gasped in horror and looked around digitally and wondered, ‘Who are these people????’” – Hahahahaha! I loved this! I promise, I’m going to rent it for the kids. And I promise to watch it with them 😀

  • I’m sharing this with my daughter who is now 31. She’s a huge Mary Poppins fan, and watched it every day as a child when she was four. Check out her blog post about a new movie coming out in December.


  • Kristin Welch

    I’m just a tad late commenting on this post but saw it and had to comment! Absolutely LOVE Mary Poppins! It was my favorite movie growing up and my best friend loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! Still to this day, I love Mary Poppins and can sing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, word for word!!

  • JEAN

    I LOVE Mary Poppins! I am 63 yrs old and have loved her since i first seen the film. Now im a Granny of three i tell the kids i was Mary Poppins trained 😂 and use “Spit Spot” frequently. My Day was made when we travelled from Scotland to Disneyworld and i met my heroinne 🥰🥰🥰

  • Hsien Chyi Pang

    Yes, I am Pro – Marry Poppins.