This is going to be the most controversial thing I have ever posted and I just can not believe the words that are about to come out of my mouth (…more like from under my thumbs.)
I finally read the book and…the movie was better…I have NEVER said it before!
What book/movie am I talking about? Marry Poppins.
<I’ll wait for the rain of rotten tomatoes, shoes and other random items to die down before elaborating.>
Disney is famous for taking dark and gruesome fairy tales and changing them into family friendly stories full of sunshine and singing rainbows. Knowing that, I should not have been surprised that stern, but loving and fair Disney Mary Poppins was slightly different in the original story. Just slightly. Like night and day!
P. L. Traver’s Mary Poppins is rude, vain, jealous
and not likeable character.
After inviting herself into Banks’ family life, what us the first thing she does? She gives all 4 children a mysterious medicine. “Why is she making them drink the medicine, mommy? They’re not sick!” wondered my 5 year old. “Maybe it’s some kind of hallucinogenic drug to make them like her, sweetie,” I thought to myself as I replied “I don’t know, honey.”
The most bizarre part of the book didn’t make it into the Disney musical version of the book. Jane and Michael “…dreamed [that they] were at the Zoo and it was Mary Poppins’s birthday, and instead of animals in the cages there were human beings, and all the animals were outside.”
When we read about Mary Poppins’ birthday celebration at the zoo, my son shrunk in his seat and insisted we skip that part.
Ok, the movie wasn’t better than the book, it just was different and unexpected. The book is skillfully written and I enjoyed it (even though I had to pick my jaw off the floor a few times) and will probably read the sequels in the future.
Now good luck getting “The Spoonful of Sugar” song out if your head!