Mary Poppins, Rebooted

Posted by Big Daddy Paul in Miscellaneous Waste of Time

My son Malcolm has an almost fetishistic love of the movie, “Mary Poppins.” We own the DVD, we listen to the CD in the car, and we even have the sheet music at our house so Amy and her parents can play the songs on our electric piano while at home. POPPINS PIC We even saw the movie at the PARAMOUNT THEATER here in Oakland, and enjoyed it on the big screen as if we had never seen it before. We’ve probably seen the movie 30 times, and no matter how hard I try, every time it is on I get sucked into it and start humming to the music.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the movie. It is sweet, has catchy music, and, unlike every other Disney movie I have seen, it contains no gun violence. Most of all, the movie has characters to take note of. Poppins allows the children to explore their imagination and creativity, the mother is passionate about political causes, and the father, while flawed, is capable of personal growth. Moreover, the entire subtext of the movie is that a truly loving and happy family is one that is enthusiastically involved in each others’ lives. For my money, you can’t beat that kind of stuff.

Even so, I was watching the movie again yesterday as Malcolm was sweating off his fever, and wondered whether the movie, made in 1964, could use a remake. Movies like Batman and James Bond were recently given new treatments and the newer versions were, in my opinion, awesome. With that in mind, I decided to rewrite Mary Poppins to reflect to world in which we live in today, and here is what I came up with.

Two children, Madison and Hunter, find themselves without a nanny. Their previous nanny-share arrangement fell apart when the father was nominated for a cabinet position and it became apparent that family had not paid payroll taxes for the household help. The mother, unable to care for the kids because of her duties as a blogger, marches around the house constantly extolling the virtues of one of her many book clubs. The father posts the position to Craig’s List, but the posting was mysteriously deleted by a kind and technologically savvy nanny who arrives whenever the political winds change.

In steps the hero of the movie, (and anyone who knows what I do for a living knew this was coming) Manny Poppins, the stay at home dad, played by this guy. (This name is remarkably perfect: What do you call a male nanny? Manny!) Manny rides in on his Hybrid Umbrella and blackmails Mr. Banks into giving him the job, (something about some illicit conduct in an airport bathroom). Manny gains instant credibility with the kids with his sweet IPhone, and downloads music easily while watching the children clean up their room.

Manny and the kids set off to the park, and, once there, run into Bert. In this version, though, Bert is short for Roberta, and is played by a lesbian contractor with a nose ring. Bert can’t find work because of the housing slump, and is spending the day at the park updating her facebook profile on her laptop. Bert and Manny take the kids on a magical adventure, changing reality television star’s bios on Wikipedia. In an ironic turn, they change the entry for “Super-cali-frag-ilistic- expi-ali-do-cious” to “Paris-Hilton-has-a-dog-whose-face-is-quite-atrocious.” The rain comes, shorting Bert’s computer, and the children are whisked home, where they are given a spoonful of Splenda with their Tom’s of Maine Bronchial Syrup. Alcohol free!

The next day, Manny takes the children to Uncle Albert’s house, but instead of having a tea party on the ceiling, Manny plays poker with his friends and the kids play Wii. During the poker game, the following conversation takes place:

Manny: I knew a guy named Smith who has a wooden leg.
Albert: That’s not cool, dude. My cousin was in Iraq and now has a prothestic.
Manny: Oh man, that sucks. I didn’t know that.
Albert: Ya, they may have been able to save the leg, but VA is so fucked up that they couldn’t help him in time.
Manny: Well, yes, but Smith was just going to ask…
Albert: It’s shit like that which caused the American’s With Disability Act to be created in the first place, you know?
Manny: Oh.

The group returns home, and Mr. Banks, angered that the kids still didn’t know how to do math, prepares to fire Manny. Manny reminds Mr. Banks of his indiscretions, and convinces Mr. Banks to take the children to work so that Manny can go golfing the next day.

On their way to work, Hunter sees an old woman in front of the Capitol protesting genetically modified corn, and he tries to give her a dollar. Mr. Banks, receiving large sums of money from ConAgra, refuses to allow this and takes the children inside to show them the financial advantages of medical savings accounts. Once inside however, the children become frightened over a fracas on the Senate floor about gay marriage, and run home wondering why the Senators have nothing better to do.

Mr. Banks cannot survive the many scandals he has gotten himself into and is ousted from the Senate. He returns home, makes a giant bowl of genetically modified popcorn, and sits down with the kids to watch American Idol. Manny, seeing the family together again, slowly withdraws, knowing that his work is done. As he does, he hears the family singing together.

Oh, oh, oh, let’s go watch TV.
We love reality.
Let’s go watch TV.
‘Cause books are boring.

Kids go get me beer.
HD is crystal clear.
Idol is on … toooonight!

Now that would be epic.

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3 responses to “Mary Poppins, Rebooted”

  1. Regina says:

    Maybe you could use a teaspoon of sugar.

  2. Meg Bear says:

    absolutely an underserved market (the whole Manny movie thing). I think you might want to get SKG on the line…

  3. TheBeansDad says:

    You have too much free time. You need another kid.

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