Well here's one of Disney's best live action film...
A magical Nanny named Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews) and her good friend Bert (Dick Van Dyke) come to help two children and their strict father (David Tomilnson) to get together and become a family. Along the way, the kids go on many magical adventures with Mary and Bert and get to see things that they never dreamed of.
Julie Andrews as our lead is "Perfect in every way". When you look at her films, she always this kind hearted bobbly character and while her character is kind and lovable in this film, she's very firm and doesn't take too much unnecessary nonsense. That's incredibly different than the roles she usually gets and to me this her best and most iconic performance. When we hear the name Mary Poppins or Julie Andrews, this is the image and role we think of. As for her singing, will get to that soon. Julie Andrews won the Oscar for her performance and she really deserves it.
Next we have Dick Van Dyke not playing one but two characters. Let's start with him as Bert. Well as bad as his phony cockney accent is, he's just so fun and enjoyable that you just have to put away that flaw and just love him in every scene he's in. Bad accent or not, this is his most iconic and best performance of all time. I also love the many jobs he takes such as being a One man band to a chalk artist to a Chimney Sweeper to a Kite salesmen. As for his dancing, well it's incredible and fun. The second character he plays is the old man who runs the bank and when I found out that it was the same guy playing Bert, I couldn't believe it. He plays the role so well that I'd never ever guess that it was him. Even the make up they put on him is very convincing.
Now the supporting and my goodness there's a lot to cover. The children Jane and Michael played by Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber who are very cute, very lovable and I love their interaction between the characters, epically with their Dad. The father played by David Tomlinson while being strict, you still like him and on top of it the scenes where he changes are very moving and emotional. Glynis Johns as the Mother is very fun and enjoyable and I love that she knows the benefits about children while her husband is completely blind. The performances from Hermione Baddeley, Reta Shaw, Ed Wynn, Elsa Lanchester, Arthur Malot and Jane Darewell (In her final performance) are all great and fit there performances so well that they are meant to play these characters. Even the dog Andrew is memorable.
The songs and musical numbers in this film are so memorable, fun, catchy and timeless that neither of them stink or feel out of place. Who can forget such songs as "Jolly Holiday", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", "I Love To Laugh", "A Spoonful Of Sugar" "Let's Go Fly A Kite" and ""Chim Chim Cher-ee" they've become timeless house hold songs that never feel old or dated. Julie Andrews singing is amazing as usual and here it's very haunting epically during the songs "Stay Awake" and "Feed The Birds" (Which is Walt's favorite song and mine too if I might add). The choreography in "Step In Time" is one of the best dance sequences that I ever saw and it only gets better and better. Other songs like"The Life I Lead","Fidelity Fiduciary Bank","The Perfect Nanny","Sister Suffragette" and "A Man Has Dreams" are all great as well and really do a great job telling the story. As for the score, it's magical, it's big, it's powerful, it's emotional, it really gives the film such a great atmosphere.
What really amazes me are the special effects. It was jaw dropping and magical at the time and it still is now. You have live action meets the animated world, you have people flying on ceilings on wires, great use of stop of motion and scenes like Bert dancing with the Penguins, the Merry Go Round horses riding off the Carousel, the surprises in Mary's bag, Mary flying, the wind blowing the Nanny's away and so on are still amazing and timeless to see. The sets are also great too, it looks like a mix between a Broadway show and a fantasy world. The stuff I see in this film only get better and better and Hollywood can learn well about special effects from this film.
It's a magically Disney film that has not yet lost it's magic and it will continue bringing the same magic as it did for us when we were kids and adults. On a final note the duet betweem Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke as they sing "Chim Chim Cher-ee" on the roof top is shown on "The Great Movie Ride".