Mary Poppins ★★★

There is a surfeit of whimsy in Mary Poppins, and just enough story to fill a 22-minute TV special. I'm a devoted fan of some musicals, but not so much the ones full of songs that neither advance the story nor illuminate the characters, and the ones in Mary Poppins both seem irrelevant and go on and on and on. They do, eventually, all tie in to a theme at the end — that adults obsessed with adult issues are a big drag to kids and to other adults, alike, and would be happier if they would just go fly a kite (which could be interpreted as a pretty subversive metaphor for a 1960s Disney movie) — but it's the most long-winded of set-ups and only the most cursory of payoffs. After the end of the first act, I didn't know where the movie was going, and by the time it finally got there, I'd lost interest, and, in retrospect, the destination wasn't worth the circuitous journey.

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