No American childhood is complete without a viewing of Disney’s 1964 adaptation of P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins books. But here are some things you didn’t question as a kid… and they’re pretty weird.
1. Here’s Bert. The movie’s lovable narrator who appears to possibly be in a Groundhog Day-type situation. This has all happened before, you say? But you don’t remember it?
That’s a little unsettling.
2. Our story concentrates on the Banks family. Whose neighbors, by the way, believe their roof is a ship. And these neighbors fire cannonballs a couple times a day. WHERE DO THE CANNONBALLS LAND? HOW MANY HAVE DIED?
3. There’s Mrs. Banks, a suffragette, passionate about women’s rights… except she’s actually terrified of her husband.
4. Which is understandable because Mr. Banks (who works in a bank) is a complete douche.
5. His children are terrified of him. He treats their hearts like monkey meat.
6. And he’s also not so great to his wife. Here, he basically tells her she’s stupid. And Mrs. Banks — despite being a feminist — never stands up for herself.
7. So, the Banks family needs a new nanny. And they get one. FROM THE SKY.
8. Mary Poppins appears to be the perfect nanny… except what exactly is her history with Bert? They obviously know each other. From where?
10. Because they’re clearly rekindling something. Wait a minute… Mary Poppins, did you just “happen to get a job” near your ex? Are you sure you didn’t plan this all along as a way to get back together?
How did you picture this playing out? Looking your finest, you just “bump” into your one-man-band-chimney-sweeping ex-boyfriend, like Oh, Bert! What on earth are you doing here?
11. Because you seem fairly delighted after he serenades you with sweet compliments.
13. A while later, we meet a deranged elderly man named “Uncle Albert.” Is he Mary’s uncle? Bert’s uncle? Just a poor soul they take pity on?
14. What’s up with this “Feed the Birds” lady? Depressing. Everything about this is pretty much what PMS feels like.
15. In an attempt to bond with his children, Mr. Banks takes Jane and Michael to his bank, where a group of evil bankers force Michael to hand over his tuppence. BTW, “tuppence” is British for “broke as fuck.”
16. When Michael refuses, this somehow incites a riot. Because of course a 7-YEAR-OLD CHILD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR A FINANCIAL COLLAPSE. Obviously.
17. Jane and Michael get lost after the bank fiasco, but they luckily run into Bert who takes them home. But Mrs. Banks is all, “Oh SHIT. It’s Mary Poppins’ day off. Can you babysit?”
Really, lady? You’re gonna leave your kids with the dirty man you just met? (No offense, Bert. I mean, we know you’re a nice guy.)
18. Also, a word to the wise… DON’T QUESTION THE POPPINS. THE POPPINS HAS NO ANSWERS. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT.
19. Now things start getting really nutty. Mr. Banks is called into work and gets fired. He reacts with maniacal laughter and a euphoria that can only be described as mental patient-esque.
20. Because this has become an utter shitshow (and the wind has changed or something), Mary Poppins has to go. But she refuses to tell the children she loves them.
In all fairness, is it so bad if she doesn’t? She’s been there, like, what? A week?
21. Miraculously, Mr. and Mrs. Banks are now the perfect parents. They are the model nuclear family.
22. Oh, and don’t worry about Mr. Banks anymore. He runs into his old colleagues at the park who inform him that the head of the bank died last night, so Banks can come back to work.
The head of the bank’s official cause of death: laughter. Which is a TERRIFYING thought. Do NOT get too happy here, people. It could be detrimental to your health.
23. Which is maybe why Bert isn’t so sad to see Mary go. But c’mon, dude. Aren’t you kinda heartbroken? This crazy chick comes back into your life and just when it gets good, she leaves again?
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