Dick Van Dyke, who is currently filming Mary Poppins Returns, which is scheduled for release next year, has warned of his fears over the effects of “scary” video games and films on young children.
The 91-year-old actor, who will make a cameo appearance in the upcoming film, describes these activities as a far cry from the free-spirited, kite-flying, carousel-riding world of the two children, Jane and Michael, in the original Mary Poppins.
Van - Dyke - Games - Behaviour - Violence
Van Dyke believes video games incite violent behaviour and that big-screen violence is affecting impressionable young people who “idolise it as a romantic way of life”. He has no doubt Walt Disney would have been horrified by the explicit depictions of blood, gore and killing in some of the contemporary productions created to entertain children. “He would have spoken out about it,” he said.
Van Dyke rose to prominence in films including Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as his TV sitcom The Dick Van Dyke Show. His role as Bert, the charming chimney-sweep in Mary Poppins, is perhaps the best known and, in the sequel, he will play the part of Mr Dawes Jr, chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, alongside Emily Blunt as the eccentric nanny.
Industry - Films - Innocence - Mary - Poppins
Commenting on why the industry rarely makes films with such innocence as Mary Poppins, he said: “We lost Walt Disney, for one thing. Walt was a child at heart. He had such creativity and imagination. We said we were both children looking for our inner adults.”
Disney knew how to thrill children with fantasy, rather than reality, he added. “Walt said kids like to be scared. It’s a delicious feeling. But he did it with witches, evil queens and things like that. Now it goes into blood and violence.”
Children - Films - Hollywood - Age - Taught
He argued that children’s films from Hollywood’s so-called golden age taught morals...
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