Video from Cinema Cut

Pamela Lyndon Travers (August 1899 – April 1996) was an Australian-British writer who is best known for the Mary Poppins series of children's books, which feature the magical nanny Mary Poppins.

Link to biography: P.L.Travers

Among some of the phrases that have been elevated to popular culture are:

“Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way. In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”

‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover’ means you should not decide upon something based just on outward appearances. he origin of the idiom 'don’t judge a book by its cover' is fairly recent. The phrase is attributed to a 1944 edition of the African journal American Speech: “You can’t judge a book by its binding.” In the 1946 murder mystery Murder in the Glass Room by Lester Fuller and Edwin Rolfe: “You can never tell a book by its cover helped popularize the phrase even more.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever” is the first line in Endymion a poem by John Keats.

As you can see from this clip the Disney writers were teaching about literature, culture and our humanity, how we should respect and treat each other.

The Disney movie was both serious and sublime and taught children and adults about many lessons in life. Though not portrayed as a Christian movie Mary Poppins displayed the many Christian attitudes and beliefs that have helped western culture to excel.

“In the early 1940s, Walt Disney made his daughter Diane a promise: he would adapt her favorite 1934 children's book, British author P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins, into a big-screen masterpiece. What the famed animator didn't know at the time, however, is that it would take much longer to make the film than it took audiences to learn how to spell "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." Disney offered Travers a big payday for her book. By the time Julie Andrews' titular heaven-sent nanny quite literally descended from the clouds into the Banks family's Cherry Tree Lane home — and into theaters across America — in August 1964, about 20 years had passed since Disney made that promise to his young daughter.” From the article: It Took Walt Disney More Than 20 Years to Make 'Mary Poppins'

Was P.L Travers a Christian? According to all accounts she was not but managed to realize the importance of morality and Christian values in her works for children (whether she characterized them that way or not). The facts are God is present in many things and working in many people. Nothing is outside of his providence. In the books Mary Poppins is said to be more cold and unfriendly and as we see Disney elevated that persona.

Walt Disney was a Christian Congregationalist, and no doubt included his beliefs in his movies. But Walt Disney transformed the character of Mary Poppins into a kinder gentler person. The movie taught us that there was sorrow and joy in life. That the gentility and respect displayed by many characters, even the most destitute is something we have lost in our culture today. We are taught by the movie that only working for money is evil, but working hard for our Lord, our family, nation and the common good is proper. How we all waste our God given humanity on the trivial, consumer and materialistic endeavors of our time is rebutted by the sorrowful yet meaningful scene below:

Video from Cinema Cut

P.L. Travers Aunt Sass inspired Mary Poppins.

"PL Travers wrote about the eccentric great aunt who inspired Mary Poppins in a story which she gave away as a Christmas gift in 1941, and which is being released to the general public for the first time this November.

Travers called her great aunt Ellie, whose real name was Helen Morehead, Christina Saraset, or Sass for short. In her semi-autobiographical story Aunt Sass, she writes of how "her remarkableness lay in the extraordinary and, to me, enchanting discrepancy between her external behaviour and her inner self", adding "imagine a bulldog whose ferocious exterior covers a heart tender to the point of sentimentality and you have Christina Saraset".

The resemblance to Travers' most famous creation, the nanny whose spoonful of sugar made the medicine go down for the Banks children, is no coincidence. Travers goes on to write in the previously unpublished story about the moment she heard of her relative's death. "I thought to myself, 'Some day, in spite of her, I shall commit the disrespectful vulgarity of putting Aunt Sass in a book.' And then it occurred to me that this had already been done, though unconsciously and without intent. We write more than we know we are writing. We do not guess at the roots that made our fruit. I suddenly realised that there is a book through which Aunt Sass, stern and tender, secret and proud, anonymous and loving, stalks with her silent feet," wrote the author. "You will find her occasionally in the pages of Mary Poppins."

from the article: Mary Poppins's real-life model appears in unseen PL Travers story

Travers never married, but adopted a son, Camillus, in 1939. PL. Travers died in London at age 96 in 1996, due to complications from an epileptic seizure.

Let us seek Christ and pray that our world and culture can return to some of the values that help culture to flourish!

And by the way: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is "something to say when you have nothing to say". The most common meaning is "extraordinarily good" or "wonderful" because all mentions of the word in the movie can be thought of as good. Just so you know!

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