Magic of our favorite nanny

Published 7:21 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

Pamela Lyndon Travers created Mary Poppins. Born Helen Lyndon Goff in Australia and better known as P.L. Travers, the author wrote and published a series of eight children’s books about the magical nanny. The first book was published in 1934.

Poppins earned her name by unexpectedly arriving and departing from Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London, the home of the Banks family.

In 1964, Walt Disney Studios released the film “Mary Poppins,” starring Julie Andrews in her feature film debut and Dick Van Dyke.

Email newsletter signup

The project was directed by Robert Stevenson, produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers and screenplay by Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, loosely based on P. L. Travers’s book series “Mary Poppins.” (Sidenote: the Sherman Brothers, Robert and Richard, are also the composers of the most-performed song of all time, earworm “It’s a Small World After All.”)

The film combines live-action and animation and won five Academy Awards: Best Actress for Andrews, Best Film Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Visual Effectsand Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

In 2013, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” A sequel titled “Mary Poppins Returns,” directed by Rob Marshall, is scheduled to be released on Dec. 25, 2018.

The 1964 film is a childhood favorite of mine, although I’ve only seen it on a television screen. My favorite scene is when Jane and Michael Banks write a job description for their ideal nanny. I’ve often felt they were words to live by: “Have a cheery disposition / Rosy cheeks, no warts! / Play games, all sorts / You must be kind, you must be witty / Very sweet and fairly pretty…”

Coming soon at the Paramount Theatre

•July 4: $5 Movie: “Mary Poppins,” 3 and 7:30 p.m.

•July 11: $5 Movie: “The Muppet Movie,” 3 and 7:30 p.m.

Coming soon at the ArtWorks Center

July 14: Family Art Studio, 1-3 p.m.

July 18: Clay Class, 10 a.m.; Teen Drawing, 2 p.m.

July 24-26: Kids Studio Art Museum Tour Camp, 10:30 a.m. Attend one day or all four days. $5 per session.