Mary Poppins

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Mary Poppins

Postby JustinWilliams » December 4th, 2004, 11:04 am

In addition to UltimateDisney.com's first review, DVDFile.com now also give a detailed and positive review of the Dec 14th Mary Poppins DVD but feel some of the content is more fluff than substance.

http://www.dvdfile.com/software/review/dvd-video_9/marypoppins_40ae.html

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Postby Ben » December 4th, 2004, 5:47 pm

I have the disc too and will be doing the DVD Toons review.

I have to say, without having a chance to go throguh it all yet, that this set is pretty packed, but the extras from the previous LaserDisc and DVD incarnations would have made it definitive.

Check out the new 40th Anniversay CD soundtrack though - now that looks cool too!

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MARY POPPINS: 40th Anniversary

Postby Ben » December 12th, 2004, 5:24 pm

My DVD Toons review just went up:
http://www.dvdtoons.com/reviews/362

Almost "practically perfect", this edition junks several features that were present on previous LaserDisc and DVD editions, but adds an amazing amount of archival and new supplements that are truly magical.

Fans will be pleased, though the odd aspect ratio may cause some confusion. The cropped parts of the image would normally fall into the overscan portions of most veiwers screens anyway, but a full 1.78:1 transfer would have been much better.

Nevertheless, the extras make up somewhat, and I'd also recommend the 40th Anniversary soundtrack that adds even more, audio-only rarities.

An excellent buy for Christmas - this continues Disney's really great sets this year!

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Postby GeorgeC » December 13th, 2004, 3:42 am

This is actually the THIRD TIME Disney has released Mary Poppins on DVD in Region 1.

The original MP DVD release was part of the first Disney DVD wave along with Tron (first DVD release) and Beauty & the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (first DVD release).

The second MP DVD was part of the Gold Collection releases and added a TV spot or footage of the movie's premiere in 1964. I forget exactly what the extra was (never got either of the first 2 disc releases), but that's all that got added to it.

You'd think by the third release (understandable as it's the film's fortieth anniversary this year) that Disney would have gotten it right!

I don't get the business with the aspect ratio, really.

The first 2 DVDs are listed on Amazon as having aspect ratios of 1.85:1 which is typical for most widescreen films. That probably IS the film's theatrical release aspect ratio.

They recropped the film to 1.66:1 for THIS release?

That just doesn't make sense! Why not leave it alone at the original aspect ratio...?

Messing the aspect ratio is just asking for trouble from hardcore film buffs and collectors. Then again, the people running Disney now don't seem to have a lot of respect for people other than the soccer moms and Wal-Mart.

I guess having less "black space" on-screen isn't so hard for the pee-brains out there that can't get their heads around aspect ratio and WHY movies should be letterboxed.

(Yeah, I get real sick of the whole fullscreen/widescreen debate and the numbskulls I run into whenever I go out to look for DVDs or browse through video sections... Normally, I'm a nice guy and just grit my teeth and smile but this is one of those things that just drive me crazy!)

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Postby GeorgeC » December 13th, 2004, 3:57 am

I hate to do 2 posts in a row, but I had a bit more to add....

Mary Poppins is hardly the first film to get recropped to a new widescreen dimension.

The recent third DVD release of Dr. Strangelove in the US also had recropping in it.

The original Kubrick cut of the film had the wacky business of constantly changing aspect ratios throughout the movie but I think this got changed to a uniform AR before the film was originally released. Most subsequent TV and home video releases were, of course, re-edited 4:3 format.

When the film got released by for the second time on DVD, I think they changed it back to Kubrick's original intentions (wacky AR changes). This was agreed upon shortly before Kubrick died.

Now that Dr. Strangelove is ALSO in its 40th Anniversary, the most recent DVD release this year saw the home video company (WB, I think) alter the AR again to a constant AR for the entire movie. Yes, it's widescreen but it's NOT Kubrick's original intent. Supposedly, the video has never looked as good as it does in this new release, but again, the film's been altered by people who can't get their heads around what the director originally intended.

More recent re-releases of the Star Trek movies are even screwier. Nicholas Meyer, who directed Star Trek II and Star Trek VI, ALTERED the aspect ratio on the Star Trek VI visual from 2.35:1 (or was it 2.25:1?) theatrical release to 1.85:1 for the newest DVD release.. He essentially "opened" the camera lens to show more picture onscreen but the current DVD release is NOT what people saw in theaters. It also includes the extra footage all past ST VI video releases have had which, for my money, has never made the film better...

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Postby Ben » December 13th, 2004, 1:50 pm

I hear ya about Poppins' first DVD voyage, George. My review was based on comparisons to the Gold DVD.

That edition, as with the "Restored Limited Edition" LaserDisc, included the "Hollywood Goes To A World Premiere" featurette - a self contained EPK-of-the-time film edited from the footage included on the new DVD - and a "Practically Perfect" making of documentary that lasted 17 minutes and included several interviews (including Leonard Maltin) not found on the new disc.

The Restored LD also included a music-only score track, which is great for picking out the arrangements, without dialogue or effects.

The new ratio is interesting, and I've heard about the Starngelove (by Columbia/Tri-Star actually!) transfer problems. However, with that I'm more concerned at the brightness level (or lack of it) rather than any mis-framing.

But with Poppins, it's a different story. As stated in my review (why am I repeating all this stuff?!), the correct ratio is 1.66:1, as seen on the original Archive Edtion LD. The subsequent Poppins LD and the first two DVDs cropped a little top and bottm to get the 1.85:1 of the theatrical exhibition, as has happened with every Disney film recently, and why 1.66:1 is always listed as the correct "negative ratio", while 1.85:1 is the correct "theatrical ratio".

The proof is on that Archive LD, with lots of space top and bottom missing on the restored LD and original DVDs, inclusding the Gold. This new edition takes the 1.85 crop and then removes the sides to create a 1.66 ratio - nuts!


As for Star Trek - Meyers' intention was to open the film for home viewing, since this is how he wanted to film the movie, but was told to make it 2.35 to keep in line with the rest of the series. On video, he was able to open the mattes (actually closer to a compromise of 2:1).

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Mary Poppins gets 9 Olivier Nods

Postby askmike1 » January 27th, 2005, 5:29 pm

I haven't seen this posted anywhere, but Mary Poppins (the musical) has been nominated for 9 Oliviers (leading the pack).

The article can be found here.
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Postby Josh » January 27th, 2005, 5:59 pm

Thanks for the news!

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Postby askmike1 » January 27th, 2005, 6:13 pm

I think this news is great (and hopefully it will come to the States soon). However, can't they ever get better names for these awards? 'Oscar' & 'Olivier' type names are boring and 'Country Music Award' type names are too bland. Off the top of my head, the only award ceremony that has a good name is the Razzies (Golden Rasberry).
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Postby Ben » January 27th, 2005, 6:42 pm

It's Olivier actually! :)

Named for Laurence Olivier, the classic British actor who died in the 1980s and recently had a role in The World Of Tomorrow ;)

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Postby askmike1 » January 27th, 2005, 7:53 pm

Ben wrote:It's Olivier actually! :)

Named for Laurence Olivier, the classic British actor who died in the 1980s and recently had a role in The World Of Tomorrow ;)


Of course, who ever said Oliver? [looks left and right suspiciously] :roll:
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Postby Ben » January 27th, 2005, 9:44 pm

:wink:

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Postby GeorgeC » January 29th, 2005, 12:52 pm

So continues the trend of Nu-Disney redoing Disney movies as Broadway plays.

Again, I ask, WHY?

Bad enough that Mel Brooks is doing this with his old movies ("The Producers," anybody?), but it's sad that all the original ideas are being originated outside of the Disney Company now.

Was there a public outcry to do Broadway versions of Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King, Disney's Mary Poppins, and The Little Mermaid?

Like Walt Disney once said (or words to this effect), "You can't top pigs with more pigs!"

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Postby askmike1 » January 29th, 2005, 1:28 pm

GeorgeC wrote:Like Walt Disney once said (or words to this effect), "You can't top pigs with more pigs!"


These theatrical productions are not sequels, nor are they remakes. All they are doing is changing the format. Now, I can't speak for Mary Poppins (because I haven't seen it yet), but TLK and BatB are two 5-star broadway shows. The music is great, the costumes are fantastic, and they way they move through the story is fantastic.

Disney is not trying to top itself, it is just extending the movie. It's kind of like when they re-run an old movie in the theaters. Also, this is a case of "if you don't like it, don't see it." Both broadway shows have proven themselves to be mass hits and if they can keep their record up with 'Poppins' (or any other production), they should keep churning out hit theatrical productions. So to answer your question...WHY NOT?
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Postby Ben » January 29th, 2005, 4:20 pm

Here's what I said in another thread about the Poppins musical after a look-see in the UK:

Ben wrote:Sorry to potentially upset you Mr SP, and I would of course suggest you catch it yourself whenever it arrives on the Great White Way, but all I can say is that they have stripped the show of the film's original spirit.

Rather than just add extra songs to the already packed score (and among my most favorite arranged in the Disney canon), they put in additional verses, new lyrics which don't match the whimsical take the original had, and totally mess (I'd like to use a much stronger word here) up Supercalifragelisticexpialidocious in the extreme.

The ONE funny bit was when she says it backwards and they really have worked out what it would sound like, but actually the movie's "joke interpretation" is still more entertaining.

Nothing wrong with adding songs of course, but they've put in one called Pratically Perfect In Every Way, which, if it had been sung by the two kids (it comes when Mary introduces herself to them) would have been sweet and funny (like Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). BUT, they have Mary singing it in a "well-aren't-I-the-best-friggin'-thing-in-the-world-ever" tone that is quite off for her character, making her snobby, stuffed up and up herself in a quite unlikeable way.

Also, the actress playing Poppins (I forget, but it has a Fraser in there I think), and who I was a fan of in My Fair Lady here in the UK, totally plays it wrong. With Julie Andrews, one always got that she KNEW she was magical, but she played it down, modestly so, and with a wink to the audience (indeed, she literally does this in the Spoonful Of Sugar number in the film). With Fraser, she seems very aware that she's playing this iconic role, and possibly far too confident in it. Mary almost seems obnoxious at times - not the best way to endear a character to an audience.

The preview audience I saw this with (in Bristol) didn't seem that impressed either. Sure, they're not a big London crowd, used to West End shows, but I've found that these out-of-town tryouts are a good measure of how a show will go down.

A case of a good thing being tampered way too much with. If you want to see how it should be done, check out the Chitty musical if it comes your way - the Shermans WERE involved on that one and it shows in the great new songs, seamlessly interwoven into the original score (which now includes the wonderful line "It takes Team Work to make a Dream Work" - haha!) - now THAT's magical stage stuff!