One of the greatest children's films ever, MARY POPPINS is as perfect and inventive a musical as anyone could see, with a timeless story, strong performances, a flawless blend of live action and animation, wonderful songs, and a sterling script with all the charm of the P.L. Travers books

upon which it is based. The film begins when a remote father and mother (Tomlinson and Johns) decide to advertise for a nanny to care for their rowdy children, Michael and Jane Banks (Garber and Dotrice). The children write their own ad, and when their father tears it up and burns it in the

fireplace, the pieces miraculously reassemble and go up the flue. Next day, Mary Poppins (Andrews) appears, gliding down from on high with an umbrella as her parachute. This is no ordinary nanny, the children soon learn, as she leads them on a series of delightful escapades, all the while teaching

them lessons in proper behavior. Among the wonderful new friends Mary introduces the children to are Bert the chimney sweep (Van Dyke). He accompanies them on holiday to a world inhabited by animated penguins, who serve them tea on a carousel having strangely willful horses, and Uncle Albert

(Wynn), whose infectious laughter leads to strange consequences. In retrospect, we consider Andrews a trifle young for the role; she lacks the wisdom of, say, an Irene Dunne, our ideal vision of the role. Look for the magnificent Jane Darwell, as the Bird Lady, in her final role. The movie won

Academy Awards for Best Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Song, and Best Special Visual Effect. MARY POPPINS was producer Walt Disney's crowning achievement in a career that had earned him more Oscars than anyone else. The memorable songs by Disney writers Richard and Robert

Sherman include "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," "Chim Chim Cher-ee," and "A Spoonful of Sugar."