Written by Dotty Winters


Why I ❤️ Mary Poppins

With news that Disney is thinking about making a sequel, Dotty Winters tells us why she thinks the supernanny is practically perfect in every way.

All photos: The Walt Disney Company.

All photos: The Walt Disney Company.

Incredible oversized accessories, feminism, gawd-awful cockerney accents and laughing till you are in medical danger. Not just every girls’ night out I’ve had this year but also some of the many highlights of Disney’s Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

That hat, the parrot umbrella and the carpet bag. Mary accessorises like a boss. I have been searching for the perfect carpet bag for decades; about five years ago I reluctantly decided I’d settle for one which wasn’t actually magic and I STILL can’t find one as good as hers.

• Throwing Shade. Everything I know about how to shut someone down with one well-aimed look I learned from Mary. I’ve been going Poppins on people’s asses ever since. The main recipient of Mary’s glares is Mr Banks, a man who excels at looking perplexed, growing moustache and mansplaining.

• Suffragettes. This Disney classic gave me my first real glimpse of feminism in action. By “in action” I mean singing rousing songs with snazzy dance routines while wearing corsets and addressing each other as sisters. I was instantly converted.

• The Penguins. Penguins make everything better.

• The Baddies. Disney has a strong track record of impressively evil villains – Cruella, Jafar, Hook – but for this film they go all out on the evil, by presenting a firm of City of London bankers. If only we’d heeded this wise warning from the past perhaps we’d live in brighter times. I’m not saying that we’d have avoided the credit crunch completely if bankers spent more time flying kites… Actually, scratch that, I think I AM saying that. We should have a march: “More Kites, Fewer Shites”.

Photo: The Walt Disney Company.

• The tidying. I am not one to settle for second best. I haven’t tidied anything up since I saw how Mary, Jane and Michael tidy the nursery. If I can’t do it properly (using finger-click magic and a robin), I simply won’t do it at all.

• Every time I ever won by asking: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a very long word. Can you spell it?”

• ALL the “I am so done” Mary Poppins memes (Google it).

• The tape measure: The world would be a happier place if all tape measures just reminded you that you are perfect.

• The laughing scene. I already have a plan for my funeral. My coffin shall arrive to the gentle strains of The Laughing Policeman, adorned with a huge pile of Tickle-Me-Elmos, while footage of Uncle’s Albert’s “I Love to Laugh” scene from Mary Poppins is projected onto a screen. Ideally Julie Andrews will be available to glare at anyone who dares to giggle. In the event that I outlast her, I’d settle for Supernanny Jo Frost telling mourners that laughter is “un-ac-ceptable”. Then there will be sausage rolls.

I did a real-life whoop when I heard that Disney is going to make a sequel. With eight whole volumes of PL Travers’ books to draw from there should be plenty to go on, but please Disney, don’t let me down. I want magic and mischief, dark satirical undertones and political activism. Oh, and penguins, don’t forget to include some penguins. Spit Spot.


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Written by Dotty Winters

Nascent stand-up, fan of fancy words, purveyor of occasional wrongness, haphazard but enthusiastic parent, science-fan, apprentice-feminist.