Tim Burton’s ‘Mary Poppins’: Disaster or Masterpiece?


Recent rumors have announced that epic storyteller and filmmaker Tim Burton will helm his own version of Mary Poppins, but many are wondering whether the film will result in a disaster or a masterpiece. Past attempts by Burton at recreating classic tales like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice In Wonderland received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, but perhaps the director will find a new light for the flying nanny.

Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is attached to the film as Mary Poppins herself while Sam Riley, who played Angelina Jolie’s human/raven sidekick in Maleficent, is said to play the part of the quirky chimney sweep, Bert. Both actors have never before worked with Burton as that fact may play an interesting role in the success of the upcoming film.

Burton is known for casting the same series of actors in a great number of his films. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are amongst the most used in that group of performers. The reasoning for those two is most likely due to the strong friendship Burton and Depp share and the domestic partnership between the director and Carter who have children together. Not to say these two actors are not up to par, they are extremely brilliant in their own light, but perhaps the triumvirate of the three A-Listers has caused them to be too comfortable with one another, resulting in a product that could have amounted to much more.

Burton may realize this fact, as he has now begun garnering Oscar buzz with his film Big Eyes, releasing this Christmas. Big Eyes stars the likes of Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, two major award-winning actors that have also never done a project with the Nightmare Before Christmas creator. By collaborating with actors he is unfamiliar with, perhaps Burton has found new inspiration in his work, which will most definitely aid in positive reception for the creation of Mary Poppins.

The director’s style of direction is notable for being very dark and twisted. Many viewers may argue the fact that the storyteller is ruining their childhood by recreating the likes of long-time famous characters such as Mary Poppins. What these viewers may not understand is the original intent of said characters. Fairytales in particular are originally very morbid stories. Examples include Cinderella’s stepmother using a knife to slice off the feet of the wicked step sisters so they would be able to fit into the glass slipper. Another includes the suicide of the little mermaid who took her own life after learning that the prince was previously betrothed and could not marry her even though she was human.

The original story of Mary Poppins is not necessarily morbid, but rather much more grounded with a sense of adult-themed gravitas that is unseen in much of the Disney version. It is stated that Burton will be drawing inspiration from the original novel and not the Disney musical. A smart move on behalf of Burton, as audiences will now see Mary Poppins in a light she was more closely intended for.

While the debate continues on whether or not Tim Burton’s Mary Poppins will be a disaster or a masterpiece, only time will tell in the years to come. While release dates and production on the film are yet to be announced, followers of the Burton genre will be eager to see the result of the revamped Mary Poppins.

See Also:
Tim Burton Recreating ‘Mary Poppins’?

Opinion by Cody Collier

Philly Magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.