Currys recently asked me to blog about my favourite movie soundtrack and after much consideration I chose a film embedded in my childhood memories and one with a soundtrack I knew fluently off by heart by the time I was two (no joke – ask my mum).
I’d be willing to bet on the fact that each and everyone of you reading this post will know at least one song from this film, in fact, it turned 50 this year, and those who love Disney have a lot to thank it for because it was the profit from this film that allowed Walt Disney to buy 27,500 acres in central Florida and finance the construction of Walt Disney World. It made so much money that it smashed box office records, grossing more than Goldfinger and The Sound of Music which were released around the same time. Know what it is yet?
That film is Mary Poppins – which was in fact the first Disney film to ever be released on DVD. The soundtrack of the film is so intrinsically linked to its success (and the success of Walt Disney himself) that for me it has to be one of the best movie soundtracks ever made. Think about it, if it wasn’t for the success of Mary Poppins there may never have been a Frozen, The Lion King or Toy Story soundtrack – arguably some of the best movie soundtracks of the past 20 years.
Mary Poppins is a legend herself. No other movie has a heroine quite like her. The fact she’s an authoritarian and doesn’t make you want to marry a prince or have gorgeously long hair sets her apart from other Disney heroines. She’s a career gal that makes tidying your room fun and feeding the pigeons not scary. She can fly which is no mean feat – trust me, I spent many rainy childhood days trying to take off with my umbrella, it’s pretty much impossible. And has a magic bag that can fit the kitchen sink – this has to be one of the greatest female skills ever learnt right? Plus what other nanny would allow you a ‘spoonful of sugar’ with your medicine? Exactly.
Some of the best and most well-known movie songs come from Mary Poppins. From ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ and ‘Step In Time’, to ‘Feed The Birds’ and the absolute classic ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, there’s a long list of all-time favourite musical theatre songs known by both young and old.
My personal favourite is Let’s Go Fly A Kite. When my younger brother was born it was this song that signalled my arrival at the hospital to visit him. I was two at the time and my Mum heard me skipping along the hallway with my Grandma singing this song before I entered the ward (apparently I made quite a name for myself). After only a few minutes of visiting my new baby brother I announced ‘Let’s go Granny’ because I wanted to get home and watch Mary Poppins. Later on when my brother was older he endured many hours playing ‘Jane and Michael’ with me and being directed in my own musical versions of Mary Poppins.
My childhood adaptions may not have amounted to much but this young love of musical theatre did lead me to pursuing a career in the theatre and studying the subject for three years at drama school. My time on the screen/stage was short lived and I certainly didn’t win any Oscars – unlike the film that won five, including Best Picture and Best Original Movie Score, and had the most nominations Walt Disney Studios has ever received for a film.
The film and soundtrack undoubteldly owe some of their success to the movie’s stars: Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. One of musical theatre’s sweethearts, Julie Andrews made her movie acting debut in Mary Poppins and one that must have played a part in her landing the role of Maria in the screen adaption of The Sound of Music which was released the following year. Dick Van Dyke also made a name for himself on the ‘worst accent in a movie’ hall of fame and has famously said he’s never lived his bad Cockney accent down.
So there you have it, my favourite movie soundtrack. What better film to cheer you up on a rainy Saturday night in? Let me know what movie soundtrack is your favourite in the comment box below, and get involved yourself by visiting the Currys website.