……In the most delightful way!
It is astonishing how ignorant you can be as a child to underlying messages in film. The first time I watched the classic I like many youngsters saw sheer magic and not much more. Besides what child doesn’t dream of a nanny that is kind,witty, sweet and fairly pretty of their own? It has to be Mary Poppins of course! Well she is practically perfect in every way! Or is she?
“Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid.” Sings Winifred Banks. The mother that is. Pretty catchy right? But then you rewind to check you heard it right but yes you did. If that isn’t a blatant critique of patriarchy then I don’t know what is. Now although I cannot watch a single film tacitly , it did not take much deep thought to recognise both Dick Van Dyke’s shocking Cockney accent and the not so subtle feminist streak that runs throughout the whole film on my last viewing. Suprisingly, this isn’t the only attempt to inflict strong ideologies that I noticed in this children’s film.
Subliminal messages: A signal embedded in another medium designed to sink in to one’s subconscious, usually used to alter or change behaviour/emotions without knowledge of the process.
When Jane and Michael visit the bank with their father as suggested by Mary Poppin’s, the film touches on capitalism as it is suggested that economy and business takes priority over the feeding of hungry birds ‘the vulnerable’ . It may seem subtle but by masking this through song we may not realise that it could have more of an effect of us then we realise.
It is also worth noting that it is only when he loses his job at the bank that he finds true happiness. So in other words money can’t buy us happiness? Or maybe this another Capitalism reference being masked by music and comedy.
Rights for women! Step in time…Rights for women! Step in time…Don’t need a reason don’t need a rhyme. Votes for women Step in time!
Okay we get it now please stop singing it at us. Maybe I’m being too harsh after all Poppin’s is a classic that never grows old but it is does seem weird to me how such a successful film can have almost propaganda elements. That isn’t exactly a first for Disney though as it appears that Disney’s apparent attempts to influence are not usually so overt:
There are plenty of what appear to be borderline ridiculous conspiracy theories surrounding secret messages in Disney films. One which caught my attention was a conspiracy that the names of the seven Dwarfs in Snow White Related to the Stages of drug addiction. Happy, Dopey,Sneezy,Bashful and grumpy. Is this bonkers or is Disney perhaps trying to preach para-social behaviour without us realising?
I am not naive enough to believe that they are all real and I am more sceptic about some than others but it is a widely proven fact that a photograph of a topless woman can be seen in the background of two nonconsecutive frames in The Rescuers. It is also proven that Disney recalled 3.4 million copies of the 1999 VHS release. So Is Disney really as magical and pure as we are meant to believe? Maybe we want to hear and see things that are unexpected to suit us as an audience as we mature but I personally feel like there could well be much more to it considering numerous examples, if only for a inside joke. It’s a shame the man himself is not around to tell us the truth.
……..Curiouser and curiouser