Mary Poppins is iconic. Truly. There’s just no way around it. Everyone knows the story, most people have seen the original 1964 film, and this flying Nanny has not only flown her way into the hearts of millions, but she’s also a hero for imagination, wonder, and whimsy - mine in particular.
It was summertime, and I was at the mall with my brothers and my mom. I don’t think we were there for any reason in particular, aside for my mom wanting to get us out of the house for a change of scenery than the redundancy of home in the summer. We walked passed the movie store, and there it was, the new re-release of Disney’s live-action film on VHS, “Mary Poppins”. I asked my Mom if we could buy it, she agreed, and I took this flying nanny home with me. That Summer, we watched the film on repeat every. single. day. I can still quote the film, and if you ask me to sing “Jolly Holiday”, I will be happy to do all the animated farm animal voices (it’s an embarrassing and ridiculous party trick that I’m quite proud of).
Nothing will compare to the original film. Julie Andrews is flawless and a legend; stunning through and through. I saw the musical stage version of the story when it opened in London - I weeped at the end when Mary flew above the audience to the sweeping orchestral music of ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’. Emma Thompson as a curmudgeoney P.L. Travers in the film “Saving Mr. Banks” shattered me to pieces during the movie premiere scene where she watches her story come to life, realizing the beauty that came from her pain. And finally, the theatrical trailer for the newest film in the canon: “Mary Poppins Returns” where Mary claims on the brink of a bathtub adventure: “OFF WE GO!” Yep, tears and chills, chills and tears.
But, how could another Mary Poppins film really hold up to the already very full shelf of Mary Poppins inspired stories? Well, in my opinion, it did. And not because it’s an innovative film breaking through new grounds in storytelling, but because it’s her: Mary Poppins herself. Everything she touches is magic - because she can’t help it. She awakens the child in all of us, stirring our imaginations into turning the impossible to the possible, filling our hearts and minds with whimsy that anything can happen if you let it, and providing a cheeky wink and a nod that if we must, we must.
So where does this Editorial come in? Well, first off, I was very excited for the new film, “Mary Poppins Returns”, and famed-photographer, Annie Leibovitz did a full photo spread for the December 2018 VOGUE, celebrating the film and the return of Mary Poppins to the silver screen featuring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. It’s brilliant.
So, real talk, I copied her idea and put my own spin on it. No shame in my truth, haha! (And for real, when you’re done here, google ‘Annie Leibovitz Mary Poppins’ and allow your eyes to enjoy a feast!)
Back to the new film, I truly enjoyed it and all the nods to the original. It was as if they polished up our beloved story while keeping the same heart, same whimsy, same magic, and same adults that needed saving.
Angela Lansbury’s character in the new film tells an adult Michael Banks:
“You've forgotten what it's like to be a child.”
Which totally struck a chord in me. I thought, “Have I been adulting so hard in my life lately that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a child?” And not a literal child of course, but rather to exist back in that state of awe and wonder; to play and make magic; to be creative, flex my imagination, and believe the impossible can actually become the possible.
There’s a lyric in the stage musical that goes, “If you reach for the stars all you’ll get are the stars… if you reach for the heavens, you get the stars thrown in.” And how true is that? That if we set aside our preconceived notions and ideas, take a risk, flex the imagination muscle that we all have, and spend a little time being creative, how much more of a difference would it make in our lives? How much more would it make us content? Happier? Free? Confident? Assured of our gifts and abilities with less thought of others? The list could go on and on, but either way we’d be better off with so much to show for it!
Look, it’s a new year: 2019. I’m challenging myself to find my creative self again. To lean into the part of me that wants to be creatively fulfilled so other parts of my life will be inspired. My hope is that this Editorial will inspire you to get out there and create. To have fun, and to step back into that place of childlike wonder and play. As Walt Disney said, “Adults are only kids grown up.” So, it’s inside all of us - me and you! Go play, be free, and believe in the impossible!
17 Cherry Tree Lane
I NEVER EXPLAIN ANYTHING.
PRACTICALLY PERFECT IN EVERY WAY.
- Mary Poppins
Artist Village, SANTA ANA CA
Orange County Great Park, IRVINE CA
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Kaitlin Jackson for loaning us some of her beautiful dresses.