25. Mary Poppins
On the face of it, Mary Poppins is a character who should, by all rights, cause concern. What do you mean, this strange woman just floated down from the sky and now wants to watch our children? Oh, and she dismissed her rival nannies by blowing them away in a mighty gust of wind?
If you’re an Edwardian parent, then you apparently just shrug your shoulders and let her get on with the childcare work. Just as long as she doesn’t charge extra for the magic parrot umbrella. The kids seem fine with it, anyway.
Maybe more than any other character on this list, Mary Poppins is largely an aspirational figure for adults. In many respects, she is a typical stern English nanny. However, she also brings much joy and whimsy into the lives of her charges, young Jane and Michael Banks.
Some of that magic may be great or horrifying, depending on how much you think you would enjoy impromptu musical numbers. Still, many adults could use a refresher on just what it means to relate to children. While I can’t necessarily recommend taking your kids on a LSD-inspired trip into a chalk drawing, it doesn’t hurt to laugh or play or sing silly songs.