MARY POPPINS: Restoration and Compassion | FCC 139

In Disney’s classic musical film MARY POPPINS, the eponymous nanny (played by Julie Andrews) comes to restore the hearts of the Banks children to their father George (played by David Tomlinson) and vice versa. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap 
  • 00:05:18 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:28:42 – Listener Feedback
  • 00:34:00 – Christian Themes in Walt Disney’s MARY POPPINS
  • 00:58:19 – Upcoming

Mary Poppins Restores the Hearts of the Banks Family

George Banks, the patriarch of the Banks family, runs a tight ship (not as tight a ship as Admiral Boom, but pretty close). He sticks to his schedule (or shedule, as he pronounces it) and expects his wife and children to follow accordingly. Even Mrs. Banks, though a fervent soldier for women’s suffrage, cowers in his presence.

Unfortunately, this strict adherence to the “lordly life” has estranged his children Jane and Michael. Because their parents are so busy cultivating their personal gardens, the children are being raised by nannies. They long for a relationship with their parents, and they become obnoxious with those nannies as a way of reaching out for that relationship, but it never comes…

This image from MARY POPPINS shows David Tomlinson as George Banks.

Not until the East Wind blows, and Mary Poppins arrives to save the day. She works her way through the children first – in her “practically perfect in every way” way – and then she moves on to her next target: Mr. Banks himself. She convinces George to take the children to the bank – after all, he wants them to see how the world works…his world, at least. From there, however…well, let’s just say Mary Poppins turns Jane and Michael into the “sugar” that helps Mr. Banks’s medicine go down.

Feed the Birds with Compassion

One such instance of Mary Poppins at work is her compassion for the Bird Lady, a nameless vagabond who sits on the cathedral steps and feeds the birds with her crumbs. She sells her crumb bags for tuppence a bag, and Michael just happens to have tuppence (literally two-pence). He wants to give it to the Bird Lady and feed the birds. George, however, has a better idea.

This image from MARY POPPINS shows the Banks family with a kite.

When George, Jane, and Michael arrive at the bank, and George lets it be known that Michael has tuppence (seriously, only two-pence) the bank directors flip their geriatric lids when Michael talks about using that money to feed the birds. They’d much rather invest it in railways in Africa and other far-off locations, as distant from true compassion as they are from England itself. It’s an interesting look at how greed can affect our capacity for compassion.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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  • Philip Heard

    Hey guys, haven’t listened to this episode yet, but my quick thought on MARY POPPINS is that I liked it a lot! Julie Andrews, specifically, was awesome and a real delight.

    One thing I get is how Mary Poppins deflected adoration away from herself to the children’s father. That reminds me how we need to point people to our Heavenly Father, and give Him glory every chance we get.

    I’m excited to re-watch SAVING MR. BANKS now that I have proper context to understand the references.
    And FYI, the little girl who played Jane is Karen Dotrice(pronounced dough-treece), daughter of Roy Dotrice, an amazing audio book narrator who did George R.R. Martin’s A SONG OF ICE & FIRE books. He’s right up there with guys like Jim Dale and Rob Inglis in my book.

    Thanks for the show guys! #muhweeladgimli

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