How will 'Les Miserables' compare to these classics?
3. 'Mary Poppins'
Just like its title character, "Mary Poppins" is practically perfect in every way, a touchstone of Disney's Silver Age musical boom that's as much fun for adults as it is for their kids. As the magical nanny who shakes up the staid lives of the upperclass Banks family, Julie Andrews is radiant and mischievous and irresistibly charming, her angelic voice soaring on such memorable tunes as "A Spoonful of Sugar" and the beautifully melancholy "Feed the Birds." Despite being saddled with that legendarily bad Cockney accent, Dick Van Dyke matches her beat for beat, with a sunny, loose-limbed charm that comes through in such stunning musical numbers as the showstopping rooftop ditty "Chim Chim Cher-ee." Revisiting the film several years ago for the first time in at least a decade (I watched it probably two or three dozen times as a kid), I was blown away by just how well it held up. What surprised me most was the nagging sense of mournfulness I felt lurking just beneath the film's light-hearted surface - an aspect that deepens the experience when looked at through adult eyes.
- Chris Eggertsen