Has anyone thought how so many children's books and films have things in them that contravene all sorts of things like health and safety, child protection and a lot of other things society throws at us? Would you, in all honesty, employ a nanny who flies on an umbrella and carries things around in a hold-all that is bottomless and she keeps things like a lamp-stand and then takes the children she's in charge of to see a crazy uncle who eats his tea FLOATING ON THE CEILING? Also, encouraging those two children, Jane and Michael to slide up or down the bannisters in the Banks' home? Did Mr and Mrs Banks do a Criminal Records Bureau check on Mary Poppins or even ask for any references from past employees? Then, she has a male friend called Bert who has a predilection for dancing all over the rooftops of London with a weird gang of chimney sweeps? And, how dangerous is it to be up on the roof in the first place? What health and safety concerns did either Bert or Mary have for those children? First, falling off the roof, then, climbing all the way up a STAIRCASE made out of SMOKE? Did they consider the health-hazards of breathing in all that smoke and soot? Then, when they go through the chalk drawings that Bert has scrawled all over the pavements (did he have a licence to do this? Was he allowed to do graffiti in such a callous and unseemly manner in Edwardian London? I think not.) When they get into the animated land, did they consider they were thrown into a world of fox-hunting (banned by law in Great Britain now. Tush! Not P.C. to do so.) Then, gallivanting all over the countryside and eventually getting involved in horse-racing and allowing, no doubt, for those minors to BET on the outcome of the race? No moral responsibility at all.
Then, we go to other books and films. Who would trust a weird man who runs a chocolate factory with the care of your children (I refer to Willy Wonka. Don't go into the name which has all sorts of peculiar connotations which I won't go into on this post.) Also, ENCOURAGING CHILDREN TO EAT SWEETS!! it's definitely a no, no. Just get them to eat sensibly, five pieces of fruit and veg a day for a start.
Peter Pan. A bit of an odd-ball, to say the least. Flies in through the bedroom window. I don't expect he had a C.R.B. check. Left alone with those children. THEN he expected them to believe in Never-Never land (connotations with things like 'payments in instalments' for example, but that's another matter.) What about getting them to FLY? Well, all very clever, how ever it was done, but did Mr Pan have any health and safety procedures in place? I doubt it (come to that, did Mary Poppins, with her umbrella? What happened if she was to crash-land? How many attempts did she make before she got her flying licence?)
It's interesting, on a different subject, how many children's books and films feature a character or something that flies or at least has the ability to fly. Not just Mary Poppins and Peter Pan, but how about Dumbo (featured in the classic Disney animated cartoon) or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I seem to remember that Disney also made another film in the '60's about a mad professor who invents a substance which makes things gravity-free, called flubber I think, and is put on the tyres of a car which then flies. I think it might have been remade and called 'Flubber.' The original was called the 'Absent-Minded Professor, I think. Have to check it out on I.M.D.B. Of course, there's Mary Poppins, who needs the aid of her umbrella to fly. I am wondering, though, how long she could stay aloft, with her hand holding onto the handle of that umbrella (which, if I remember correctly, is shaped like a parrot WHICH TALKS? does it actually LIVE, this parrot? Weird and wonderful.) I'm also reminded of what a teacher said when I was at school, at about the time Mary Poppins was released, regarding being able to see Mary's underwear as she flew. I won't make any further allusions to this, but I think you'll get what I mean about this if you think about it. Sorry to bring this up, but on reflection it's fairly obvious.
I shall continue with this discussion as and when I have more to add, so keep an eye-out for further instalments.