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15P.L. Travers on Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

There is an Oscar-nominated film about this controversy starring Tom Hanks, so it’s no surprise Travers made the list. Travers thought the film adaptation of her book about a flying nanny should have been more grounded, and not featured animated dancing penguins as Walt Disney so eagerly suggested.

The story

goes that Disney had been pursuing the rights for 20 years, and Travers finally relented. While she did work on the movie, most of her suggestions were ignored. Disney’s nanny was much less strict, and much, much more musical. At the premiere of the film, Travers reportedly cried throughout, despite it being seemingly impossible not to smile while listening to “Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious.” She was so upset with the adaptation that her will states no American shall ever be allowed to touch her work again.

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