Mary Poppins Character Analysis

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Children have an unparalleled view of the world, one that is very innocent and magical. Unfortunately, as children grow up they often lose this wonder. However, some adults do keep some aspects of their childhood wonder and happiness. Throughout the film Mary Poppins, as directed by Robert Stevenson, there is a noticeable difference between the adults that preserved their sense of wonder and those who have lost it. Through the development of the characters, Bert and Mr. Banks, Stevenson illuminates the need to preserve some of the childlike wonder, as one grows up, in order to be happy within their adult life. Bert, for not being a child, is one of the most childlike and happy characters, throughout the film. After seeing Mary in the clouds,…show more content…
Banks more mature ways. In contrast with Bert, Mr. Banks is portrayed as being all business and no play. Mr. Banks is happy in his business and he likes to be in control, and although he is happy, he makes everyone around him unhappy and almost scared. That is until he learns to embrace the magic, and the happiness, that his children present to him. Before Mr. Banks is first introduced, Admiral Boom sets off the cannon (0:11:44). Which represents Mr. Banks’s temper. During the cleanup after the cannon, there is nondiegetic sound that sets a frantic tone, but when the scene cuts to Mr. Banks walking across the street, the nondiegetic music ceases (0:12:11). The frantic tone of the music reveals how the household is feeling about Mr. Banks coming home, and the ceasing of the nondiegetic music shows how cut off he is from the rest of the household. In the other musical numbers throughout the film, many people engage in the choreography. However, in the opening number, that largely characterizes Mr. Banks, “Life I Lead” (0:13:07-0:14:12), only Mr. Banks sings, demonstrating that although there are many people in his life, he isolates himself, because, he believes that he is above those within his household. In his dialogue, he states, “I’m the lord of my castle/ The sov’reign, the liege/.../Ah! Lordly is the life I lead” (0:13:50-0:14:12). To further the look and feel of Mr. Banks’s lordly attitude, as he sings the last line, he sits down proudly in an armchair (0:14:16). Mr. Banks is centered in a medium shot, he sits in a large arm chair, which given the lyrics of the previous musical number, can be compared to the way a king sits in his throne. Behind the chair, deep green and ornate curtains provide the room with a sense of wealth that Mr. Banks prides himself with. The colors within the frame are muted with the exception of the flower in Mr. Banks’s lapel. The emphasis on the bright red of the carnation
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