Messages in movies - Mary Poppins

These days kids movies are slick, fast paced, full of impressive special effects and amazing animation.  But can kids still appreciate the older style movies?    Today our girls have been watching Mary Poppins.  The interest came about after a discussion I had with our elder daughter yesterday about finding the fun in chores and homework to make them more appealing and less of, well - a chore!  In other words, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

I have always tried to find the fun in things.  I believe in a positive approach to life. A good attitude is so important to teach our children.  We all have the ability to chose whether or not to enjoy things or not.  When our girls don't want to do something that they have to, I tell them that they can choose to be grumpy and miserable or they can choose to be happy and enjoy the experience.

I love the movie Mary Poppins, as it really promotes this positive outlook on life.  There is magic and fun in it, but also discipline and respect.   It may be set over 100 years ago, and made nearly 50 years ago, but it is still a very watchable and enjoyable movie.

The setting of London in 1910 also brought up an interesting talking point. At the beginning of the movie, the children's mother is wearing sash that says, "vote for women" .  We recently had local elections here in Cairns, and explained a little about voting to our girls.  This was a great opportunity to explain that it was only just over 100 years ago that women couldn't vote at all!

Another part of the movie that made me stop and think, was the part when the traditional banker father takes his children to see his work one day.  His son has taken tuppence from his money box with him, and asks along the way if he can use his money to feed the birds.  His father point blank refuses and then takes his children into the bank and tries to persuade his son to put his tuppence into the bank to do the sensible thing and  invest for the future.   The boy does not want to be persuaded - it's his money and he wants to feed the birds!

It made me think of the times I've been out with our girls and they see something they want to buy with their own money, but I try to dissuade them because I think it's a waste of money.
Seeing something like this shown in black and white terms on a movie, does make me feel bad for not just letting the girls enjoy the pleasure of spending their own money on what they want to.  My idea of what is a waste of money is not necessarily the same as what could bring pleasure to little kids!

The girls really enjoyed watching this movie - even though it doesn't have any slick, modern special effects.  It has a great story, magic and lots of songs and dancing too. I must say that I enjoyed seeing it again too and watching it with my daughters!

Are there any older movies that your kids have enjoyed watching?  or do they just prefer modern slick ones?
And what messages do you think movies have taught your kids?
 Do you think kids are aware of the messages there?


  1. This is one of my favorite childhood movies! It's funny how I stumbled on this blog and this post today. I've been thinking lately about the huge differences between generations these days. The other day, I found my childhood Bert and Ernie stuffed dolls and showed them to my stepkids (6 & 7) and while the dolls looked familiar, the kids couldn't tell me the dolls names or what show they came from. It makes me sad a little bit that kids these days are missing out on some great stuff and replacing it with these annoying fluff shows like Yo Gabba Gabba and even worse, cell phones and computers.

  2. I think too that kids programs today aren't as good as when I was young - but then I do wonder is that just my perspective as a parent...The kids do seem to love them!


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