Michael is one of the two Banks children and appears to be the younger child. Like his sister, Jane, he had possessed a naughty streak which caused the resignation of 6 nannies in four months. However, upon Mary Poppins' arrival, it appears that Michael isn't as bad as is said. Mary Poppins's tape measure describes him as stubborn and suspicious. He also seems to be friendly and playful.
At the beginning of the film, he is distant from both his father and mother. He seems to feel insecure due to failing to live up to George's ridiculosly high standards for him, his mother and his sister, and mistakenly believes that his father hates him, though this changes by the end of the film.
Role in the film
Michael first appearance is when he is brought home by Constable Jones. He and Jane had been separated from their nanny, Katie Nanna, after having trouble with their kite. Katie Nanna insists it was intentional and resigns as a result, but from Jane and Michael's perspective, it was merely an accident.
Later, when George and Winifred are drafting an advertisement for a new nanny, Michael and Jane bring their own. Their advertisement suggests that they have played several pranks on their former nannies, but also calls for a fun nanny who will love and play with them. The more practical George Banks dismisses the ad as ridiculous, and tosses it into the fire.
The next morning, Michael is seen watching the nanny applicants, all stern old women, who have responded to George's ad for a tough, commanding nanny. Much to his surprise, a sudden wind blows the applicants away. Michael and Jane notice a woman, that fits their ad, flying in using an umbrella. Michael initially believes the woman to be a witch, but he is corrected by Jane.
Later, the woman comes to their nursery, and introduces herself as their new nanny. After being amazed by her bottomless carpet bag, (though Michael crawls under the table to examine it), she measures the two children. Her tape measure says that Michael is extremely stubborn and suspicious. After Michael requests that she be measured, he learns that the nanny's name is Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins then leads the children in a game, tody up the nursery. Both Jane and Mary are able to snap their fingers, causing the toys to put away them selves. Michael however, can not snap, and when he does, he ends up in the closet, unable to get out because the doors keep opening and closing themselves. Michael enjoys the "game" anyway.
Then Mary Poppins takes the children on an outing. They intend to go to the park, but they run into Bert, an old friend of Mary's. Bert tells the children about Mary's magic, and is able to convince her to transport them into his chalk picture of the English countryside. While Mary and Bert enjoy a walk through the countryside, Michael and Jane enjoy a nearby fair. They meet up at Mary's private carousel, where Mary causes the horses to jump off. In a bit of competitiveness, Michael makes his horse go faster than everyone, before being restrained by Mary. Eventually, the group ends up at a race course, where Michael witnesses Mary effortlessly win the race. He learns of her magic word, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but they are soon forced to leave when a rainstorm hits. That night, Mary puts the children to bed and denies that anything unusual happened.
The next day, Mary and the children are out to do errands, but are called to the assistance of Mary's Uncle Albert by Andrew, a dog (Mary is able to understand him, though Michael believes the dog said nothing). They go to the house to find Bert there already. The children discover that Uncle Albert "suffers" from a condition where he uncontrollably floats to the ceiling when he laughs. Despite being warned by Mary, the condition spreads to Bert and the children. At Uncle Albert's request, they stay to tea after Mary makes the table float into the air. Eventually, everyone comes down at the sadness of being told they must leave.
That night, George attempts to fire Mary after hearing the children's unbelievable tales. However, the children are happy to find that Mary has not been fired. Michael is puzzled, however, when Mary announces they will go on an outing to the bank with their father, as George had never taken them anywhere. Mary tells the children of the Bird Woman, who allows people to feed the birds for tuppence, near the bank.
Michael goes with his father and sister to the bank, and secretly brings tuppence to feed the birds. George refuses to let him, however, and attempts to convince him to invest his money in the bank. Michael is almost convinced, but is angered when the bank owner, Mr. Dawes, Sr. takes it without asking. Michael's attempt to retrieve the money begins a run on the bank.
In the chaos, Michael and Jane escape the bank. They become lost, but soon run into Bert, who is working as a chimney sweep. They reveal the trouble at the bank, but do not seem to understand what went wrong, though they believe that George hates them for it. Bert helps the children to understand that their father does not hate them, but is merely trapped in a cage by his responsibilities. Bert takes Michael and Jane home, and is unwittingly enlisted as a babysitter for Michael and Jane by Winifred, as it is Mary's day off. Bert allows the children to help him sweep the Bank's chimney. As they are working, Mary Poppins returns and warns them of the danger, just as Michael is sucked up the chimey. Jane, Bert, and Mary follow him, and Mary leads the group on an expedition of the rooftops. They run into Bert's chimney sweep friends, and part all the way back to the Banks' living room. Bert runs out the sweeps when Mr. Banks returns home, but Mr. Banks catches Michael trying to leave with them.
After hearing that his father is in trouble for the events at the bank, Michael gives the tuppence to George, in the belief that it will help fix things. The next morning, Mary Poppins is preparing to leave, much to Michael's disappointment. However, Michael soon hears his father calling him, though Michael doesn't believe it to be him, as the voice is happy. Michael and Jane head downstairs and discover that their father has fixed their broken kite. During the night, George had a change of character, and had decided to become a more involved father. George takes Michael, Jane, and Winifred out to fly kites. Michael is so happy to be with his father, that he forgets to say goodbye to Mary Poppins, though she notes that that is as it should be. Michael is last seen happily flying his kite alongside his family.
Mary Poppins (film) | Soundtrack | Mary Poppins (musical) | House of Mouse
Characters: Mary Poppins (character) | Bert | George Banks | Winifred Banks | Jane Banks | Michael Banks | Penguin Waiters | Fox | Admiral Boom and Mr. Binnacle | Uncle Albert | Mr. Dawes Sr. | Katie Nanna | Mrs. Brill | Ellen | Mr. Dawes Jr.
Locations: London, England
Songs: Chim Chim Cher-ee | Sister Suffragette | The Life I Lead | The Perfect Nanny | A Spoonful of Sugar | Jolly Holiday | Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious | Stay Awake | I Love to Laugh | Fidelity Fiduciary Bank | Feed the Birds | Step in Time | A Man Has Dreams | Let's Go Fly a Kite | The Chimpanzoo | A British Bank