The fantastical woman and nanny, Mary Poppins, was created from the brilliant mind of author Pamela Travers, whose personal story that led to the creation of her famous Book Series is one certainly worth learning about. Though Mary Poppins becomes a parental figure to children Jane and Michael, she tackles the overlapping problem of their father’s cold and harsh view of the world. The film and story focuses on solving the biggest issue regarding the family: the lack of love and warmth the children get from their parents.

The story of Mr. Banks and how he treats the children

Mr. Banks, as his name suggests, works at a financial institution.

He works often and diligently and does not have much time at home to spend with his children. His wife, Mrs. Banks, is a suffragette and a bit air-headed. She focuses most of her daily attention on protesting and attending conferences to give women the right to vote. Both parents have a tendency to put their children on the back burner, which leads them to act out frequently. This in itself brings the parents on a constant search for a new nanny, which sends Mary Poppins into their lives.

Mary Poppins sees the solution easily, as does her friend and chimney sweep, Bert. The problem to fix does not lie within teaching the children, though they do require more discipline. The new nanny brings joy and playfulness to the children’s lives while seeming to only make Mr. Banks more miserable. His intentions are to make sure his children are prepared for how bitter the world can be, but Mary Poppins alongside Bert show him that their childhood is the time they need a “spoonful of sugar” to learn how to deal with the society around them.

Masterful explanation of how parents can become confused

It is uncommon to see films where parents are described as lost or need to learn something. When bad news befalls Mr. Banks, he is quick to place the blame on Mary Poppins and his children, instead of his own reaction towards his them while at the bank. Bert, as does Mary Poppins, throughout the film, explains to Mr. Banks about how his children will soon grow too old for their parents to assist them and they will carry on the same problems as they become adults.

Though it is not explicitly stated in the film, Mr. Banks sympathizes with this thought and understands due to his own childhood and how he was raised. After realizing his absence within his children's lives, Mr. Banks uses the items he once believed to be at the center of his world to repair his children’s kite and go out with them. Mrs. Banks also offers her own suffragette ribbon as a tail and as the family exits, as does Mary Poppins.

Who is Mary Poppins?

Who this almost mythological character is and where she comes from is not explained to us by the author or the film.

Mary Poppins remains a mystery to all and someone who could potentially be described as an angelic figure who becomes a guardian of the children and teaches those who truly need assistance.

In this case, that person was Mr. Banks and Mrs. Banks. Though Ber had a large role in the film, he was not given much in the original series by P. L. Travers. Mary Poppins dominates and brings readers to a world of the unexpected while keeping a focus on solving internalized issues other characters cannot understand without her instruction.

A new Mary Poppins film comes to us this year with the nanny visiting the children as they have become adults. How the film will compare to the original is certainly a question up in the air.