Song of the Day #4,429: ‘A Spoon Full of Sugar’ – Julie Andrews

Continuing my personal ranking of the 25 movie musicals deemed essential by the American Film Institute…

#23. West Side Story – 1961
(#2 on the AFI list)

I’ve written about a handful of these movies already, so in those cases I will just link to my original post. West Side Story represents the biggest gap between my ranking and AFI’s.

#22. Mary Poppins – 1964
(#6 on the AFI list)

The gap between #22 and #6 is pretty big as well, and I’ll admit I feel like a bit of a Scrooge for being so down on this movie. It tries so hard to charm and delight in every frame.

My issue is with the film’s pacing. Several movies on this list top out at nearly three hours but feel like two. This one clocks in at 2:20 but feels like three and a half. The animation sequence feels like a feature length film all by itself. If this movie was half as long and half as precious, it might have a fighting chance.

Its one saving grace is Julie Andrews, who is delightful in her first film role. This musical marathon allowed me to fully appreciate the talents of some of our greatest entertainers, with Ms. Andrews near the top of that list.

Mary Poppins was nominated for 13 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Robert Stevenson). It won five, including Best Actress, Song, Score, Editing and Visual Effects.

In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game

And every task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake
A lark! A spree! It’s very clear to see that

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down, the medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

A robin feathering his nest
Has very little time to rest
While gathering his bits of twine and twig
Though quite intent in his pursuit
He has a merry tune to toot
He knows a song will move the job along

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
The medicine go down, the medicine go down
Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down
In a most delightful way

The honey bees that fetch the nectar
From the flowers to the comb
Never tire of ever buzzing to and fro
Because they take a little nip
From every flower that they sip
And hence (And hence)
They find (They find)
Their task is not a grind

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,429: ‘A Spoon Full of Sugar’ – Julie Andrews

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I probably saw the original Mary Poppins once when I was a kid, though I have no specific memory of doing so. More recently, we saw the revival show and the remake with Lin Manuel Miranda, both of which I thought were good, but not great.

  2. Peg says:

    I remember loving these books as a child. Julie Andrews was amazing especially in Sound of Music. I’m not a fan of this particular film either.

  3. Amy says:

    This is the first film I vividly remember seeing in a movie theater in the middle of a huge rain storm. Between the musical numbers, I could hear cracks of thunder outside. I loved it then and love it now, precious though it may be.

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