I chose to start my analysis of Disney films that may contain elements of Wicca and Witchcraft with Mary Poppins. I did so because it is the film that stands out in my mind when I think of the connection between Disney and the Craft. Mary Poppins' nature has been debated, both in the film and outside it.
When she first arrived at the Banks' household, she was delicately floating down from the clouds (the heavens) with an umbrella as her flying tool. This occurred after an extremely strong wind had swept away all of the other potential nannies for Jane and Michael. While looking out the window at the storm, the children noticed Poppins floating their way. Michael said, "Perhaps it's a witch!" To which Jane responded, "Of course not, witches have brooms". Although this is a stereotypical view of witches, practitioners of Wicca and Witchcraft actually do use brooms, called Besoms.
There has been debate among scholars as to whether Poppins deserves the title of a witch. In my opinion she exhibits many characteristics of a practitioner of the Craft. She has strong connections with nature, practices a form of magick, has a positive aura which affects everyone around her, has a knowledge of medicines, is a healer, a teacher, a giver, and a protector.
Mary Poppins certainly has strong connections with nature, both with the animals and the elements. Shown here, Poppins shares a connection with a robin. She also exhibits a bond with the animals in the "cartoon land" world (the penguins as well as all of the farm animals who sing her praises). Poppins has a strong connection with the elements of nature, particularly the wind. Poppins exhibited her connection to the wind at the beginning of the film when she arrived at the Banks' household. She also says that she will only stay with the children until "the wind changes" (which she does). Practitioners of Witchcraft revere the spirits of the elements, which enable them to obtain insight into the rhythms of nature and their own lives.
Mary Poppins certainly practices a form of magick. She performs feats that ordinary humans could never perform. She uses her umbrella (instead of a besom) to fly. She also has what appears to be a magickal bag. When she begins to settle in with the children in her new room, she removes objects from the bag that astonish the children because they would not fit had it been an ordinary bag. Examples include a hat stand, a large plant, a lamp, and a large mirror. Poppins also takes the children to a fantasy cartoon world. An obvious example of a form of magick. These are only a few examples of the many blatant expressions of magick that she performs. While these are perhaps exaggerations, practitioners of both Wicca and Witchcraft perform certain types of magick as well.
Poppins' aura (which is a life-energy field according to Wiccans) is a positive, life-affirming, happy one. She affects everyone around her in a positive way. The children, Bert, Mr. Banks, Mrs. Banks, the household staff, and the animals in the cartoon land are all happier when she is around.
Poppins is a healer, teacher, and a giver. When her and the children get home from being out in the rain, she administers a special kind of medicine that actually tastes good so that the children will take it. She is without a doubt a teacher. She shows the children how to have fun while cleaning up, and also shows them how to care for and have sympathy for others (such as the "bird lady"). By transforming the children into obedient, but fun-loving members of the family, she aids in repairing the family's bond. She also, in a way, transforms Mr. Banks by showing him that it is alright to have fun. Towards the end of the film he realizes that Poppins was right when she said that "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was a fun word that made you feel better. By the end of the film, the family had changed from being detached to being connected. She gave everyone the gift of joy and hapiness.
Lastly, Mary Poppins seems to portray both the Maiden and the Mother aspects of the Triple Goddess. At the beginning of the film and throughout it, Poppins seems to possess the characteristics of the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. She is sweet, innocent, and virign-like. There is no sexual tension between her and Mr. Banks, and while she and Bert flirt a little, there is no prominent sexual tension there either. Near the beginning of the film when the children are reading out their advertisement for the nanny position, they include that she must "love us as a son and daughter" as one of the stipulations. Since she answers this as claiming that she meets the requirements, she must love the children as her own. She displays an obvious sadness when she leavs the children, even though verbally she maintains that she does not show sentiment or emotion. She certainly possesses the "motherly" characteristic of the Mother aspect of the Goddess at the end of the film.