Pop focus: Mary Poppins 1964

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of its release this year, and the subject of a docu-drama about its creation ("Saving Mr. Banks"), "Mary Poppins" stands as one of Disney's live-action classics - perhaps the best and most acclaimed of the lot.

I enjoy the film and have watched it numerous times with my kids. I chalk up the appeal to a great cast -- Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Glynis Johns, et. al. -- and strong, memorable music. The music was hugely popular at the time, which a number of recording stars covering various songs. Duke Ellington, for example, did an entire album of Poppins tunes, and Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane both recorded versions of "Chim Chim Cheree."

Poppins' creator P.L. Travers reportedly disliked the film and fought Disney trying to make it (which is the plot of "Mr. Banks"), and I must confess to having never read the original Mary Poppins books. Maybe I should. At any rate, below is a selection of film memorabilia and videos, including a documentary about Travers.

Original trailer:

Dick Van Dyke, Walt Disney and Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews, Walt Disney and P.L. Travers
World premiere:

Julie Andrews wins Best Actress for Mary Poppins:

BBC documentary: Secret Life of Mary Poppins