As with most problems in life, all it took was a rich, white man to sort it out.
But as it turns out, that version of events (produced by Walt Disney Pictures) included a few inaccuracies, not the least of which is the fact that Travers was never happy with Walt Disney. She fought the production of Mary Poppins tooth and nail, and once the film was released, she spent the rest of her life hating it with every fiber of her being.
Travers resisted Disney's attempts to buy the rights to her book for 20 years, until financial difficulties eventually drove her to give in to the mouse overlord's inescapable whims. However, she was against just about every aspect of the studio's attempt to adapt the story, including the animated penguin sequences, the silly made-up words like "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and the film's casting as a whole.
"This fantasy story about a flying nanny should be taken seriously, dammit!"
Travers hated Andrews as Mary Poppins and was presumably at least three times as offended by Van Dyke's hideous British accent. Her preferred choices for the role of Bert the chimney sweep were Laurence Olivier or Richard Burton, though neither of those dudes would likely have been too excited about playing a whimsical singing chimney sweep in a movie about a magic flying nanny. Travers' opposition to the production was so extreme that she objected to the color red appearing at any point in the film, which you may recognize as being totally insane.
When Van Halen's actions have a more rational basis than your own, it's time to reassess.
When she finally saw the finished film, Travers was so upset that she was reduced to tears. She reportedly stormed up to Disney and demanded massive rewrites, to which Disney replied, "Pamela, the ship has sailed," before twirling his mustache and disappearing into the celebratory after-party.
Towards the end of her life, Travers agreed to a stage version of Mary Poppins, under the conditions that no one who worked on the Disney film could be involved and that only British writers would be hired to adapt it. According to some sources, she even cursed Disney out in her will, presumably to toss one final jab at him when he eventually thaws himself out and reads it.
From his orbiting throne of Small World skulls.
James loves movies and cheese. He made a Twitter account just so you could follow him.
For more times adaptations went wrong, check out 5 Video Game Adaptations That Missed the Point of the Movie and The 6 Most Inexplicable Cartoon Adaptations Ever.
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