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C. P. Lesley

Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.

What Disney Didn't Get

Mary Poppins - Mary Shepard, P.L. Travers

I've never been a huge fan of Disney-fication. Maybe I understood, even as a kid, that life didn't always play nice or end well. Or perhaps there was some other reason I haven't yet faced up to. Either way, this story is the epitome of why Disney's view of the universe isn't mine.


Yes, Mary Poppins is cranky and vain. She leaves for no clear reason, just as she arrives for no obvious cause. And the visions she sends fade in the light of reality.


Yet her presence is magical, and her departure as filled with questions as her arrival. Children learn from her, not least that life is often other than it seems. Do we really need to trade that complexity for a solution wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow? And if we do, should we give into the impulse?


I have to say, I think not....