Mary Poppins (1964)

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In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father. (IMDb)
It’s too long (the painting escapade needed a trim) but overall a delight both humourous and heartwarming (see the kite-flying), with the practically perfect in every way Mary Poppins at the forefront: her mix of cheeky seriousness (see her back-and-forths with the uppity Mr. Banks) and serious cheekyness (“I never explain anything”), of mirthful magic and feigned matter-of-fact-ness (“I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about”), with tender heart and voice is singular and fantastic.
7.5/10 (Really Good)

 

Shrek 2 (2004)

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Princess Fiona’s parents invite her and Shrek to dinner to celebrate her marriage. If only they knew the newlyweds were both ogres. (IMDb)
The fart jokes and pop song performances feel a little stale this time around, but there’s still plenty of chuckles to be had in the sly one-liners (“You still look like an ass to me”), the dramatic Donkey (“I’m melting!”; “I am trotting!”), and cutesy medieval-modern culture mash-ups (see the Medieval drive-thru). The story is a little simplistic but presents with frankness the mature themes of identity and insecurity as they relate to the central couple. Stay tuned for Waits’ musical cameo.
6.5/10 (Alright)

 

The Princess Diaries (2001)

Mia Thermopolis has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia. With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her 16th year. (IMDb)
The “nerdy girl becomes a princess” premise is a solid foundation for your typical but perfectly decent comedic family film with touches of drama and a heart warming conclusion (especially solid given Hathaway’s splendid turn as the lovably odd Mia), but the zany inconsequential characters (the melancholic neighbour, the bumbling police officers) and offbeat one-liners here give this film a sharp wit that raises it above others of its kind. A sweet and funny film that earns repeated viewings.
7/10 (Good)