Holiday traditions aren’t big in my family. We celebrate Christmas wherever we are on Christmas morning, and watch whatever movie we feel like. The only thing that has remained consistent for at least the last decade is the great DVD exchange. I can always count on receiving a couple movies, and I tend to buy a few as gifts. We’ve had to start wrapping DVDs and Blu-rays in other boxes since we’ve become experts at recognizing the shapes. As you can imagine, my dad’s DVD collection has grown pretty vast. He’s started to make the shift from DVDs to Blu-rays, so upgrading our favorites has been the main goal for the last few Christmases. Our priorities have been box sets and 3D movies, but now I’m considering something totally outside of those realms: Mary Poppins.
The iconic Disney movie that won five Academy Awards is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a facelift to Blu-ray. Mary Poppins has been digitally remastered to keep up with full HD. The quality Mary Poppins far exceeds the quality of previous DVD releases. Since the Blu-ray comes as a part of a combo pack, I decided to pop in the DVD copy for comparison. The difference between the two is minimal, though the bonus features are limited to the ones on disc one of the 40th anniversary DVD release. If you haven’t invested in a Blu-ray player yet, the combo pack is worth it for when you decide to upgrade, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the movie now.
With the Blu-ray, bonus features are nearly endless. Two new features titled “Becoming Mr. Sherman” and “Mary-oke” include a behind the scenes look at Saving Mr. Banks and a series of lyric videos. I’ve been lucky enough to see an advanced screening of Saving Mr. Banks, and being impatient, I enjoyed getting a peek at what would otherwise be found on that film’s home release (by the way, there’s also an extended trailer in the Sneak Peak section). Actor Jason Schwartzman and songwriter Richard Sherman share a recapping conversation of building their relationship during the production of Saving Mr. Banks, which Sherman described as being like watching home movies. Mary-oke is hard to read along with, but is wonderful for using the play all feature while cleaning, cooking, or having a dance party when the video isn’t necessary, but fun to see. Additionally, most of the bonus features from past anniversary releases are available from interviews about the live stage production, to footage of the world premiere in 1964, and the making of Mary Poppins. If you replace your old DVD with the Blu-ray, you won’t be losing anything. I especially enjoyed a look at the rehearsal footage from “Step In Time” after meeting Pete Menefee.
Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition
On Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy December 10th
Thank you Disney for a copy of Mary Poppins and for hosting me at the Saving Mr. Banks event. All opinions are 100% mine.