DVD Review

Cinderella; Mary Poppins

EW reviews two classic Julie Andrews films

Watching the flickery, black-and-white Cinderella, a pleasantly creaky Rodgers and Hammerstein TV commission largely unseen since CBS broadcast it live, you begin to understand why Jack Warner didn't cast Julie Andrews in the film of My Fair Lady. She rushes her lines, and the distorting video cameras give her a lantern jaw. What a difference Walt Disney's team of artisans made: In the Technicolored Mary Poppins (for which Andrews won the Best Actress Oscar), her openmouthed, eyebrow-cocked expressions became perfect embodiments of Mary's cheeky charm. Scrubbed of the grain and dirt that gunked up some effects shots, Poppins probably looks better now than it did on premiere night at Grauman's Chinese.

EXTRAS Andrews' warm-fuzzy remembrances on both discs are cheering but insubstantial. It's the archival goodies that nourish, including Rodgers and Hammerstein clumsily introducing a Cinderella song to Ed Sullivan and the Sherman brothers (Richard M. and Robert B.) tooling through Poppins' trunk of cut musical numbers.

Cinderella: B Poppins: A

Originally posted Dec 13, 2004 Published in issue #797 Dec 17, 2004 Order article reprints