- “Banks, don't you dare strike my father!”
- ―Mr. Dawes
Role in the film
Mr. Dawes Jr. first appears when George takes his children, Jane and Michael to show them his bank. He wonders why the children are here and George explains that they wish to open an account. He asks Michael how much money he has to which Michael replies "Tuppence. But I wanted to feed the birds." His father, Mr. Dawes Sr., comes out and tries to accept Michael's tuppence. Mr. Dawes Jr. takes part in singing the song "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" with his father, George, and the rest of the employees.
Later, chaos ensues. Once the singing is completely finished, Mr. Dawes Sr. takes the tuppence from Michael's hand without asking which causes Michael to become enraged. Michael attempts to get it back while he and Jane "attack" Mr. Dawes Sr. Michael's shouting of "Give me back my money" is overheard by depositors, who misconstrue it as a sign of insolvency and start closing their accounts, which triggers a bank run.
We see Mr. Dawes Jr. again when he calls George and asks him to return to the bank at 9 pm that same night. He then appears inside another room of the bank where his father orders him to tell George about a historical moment of the bank which involved that there hadn't been a run on the bank since 1773, when Fidelity Fiduciary Bank had financed a shipment of tea for the East India Company which was destroyed by rebels, to the point that "not even the Americans wanted to drink it!" (a reference to the Boston Tea Party) until that very day. It is decided that because Michael started the hubbub, George is ultimately responsible as he is the father. Mr. Dawes Jr. sees to it that George is cashiered, a process to which his termination is known to all by way of his umbrella turned inside out like a cane, the top partially ripped off his bowler hat, and his boutterie destroyed. George is momentarily somber by this bad fortune, but then cheers up by exclaiming "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"
George then tells Mr. Dawes Sr. and all the members Uncle Albert's wooden leg joke, fakely strikes at Mr. Dawes Sr. while his son tries to protect him, George shoves the tuppence into his hand and departs. Mr. Dawes Jr. considers him to be "Mad as a March hare". He hears his father repeating "A wooden leg named Smith" two times while watching him. He almost repeats the phrase a third time saying "A wooden le--" before finally getting the joke. He makes a wheezing laugh while his son watches him and suddenly, Mr. Dawes Jr. sees his father floating up into the air laughing and calls him to come down before sobbing.
His final appearance in the film is when he is flying kites with the other bank employees. He tells George that his father died laughing. Surprisingly, he does not mourn his passing as he is glad that he died happily because he had never been happier in his life. With his father's passing, he is now the chairman of the bank, and as of one of his first acts as chairman is to make George a partner, filling the vacancy he had left upon his promotion to the top spot.
Mr. Dawes Jr. is set to return in Mary Poppins Returns, where he shall be portrayed by Dick Van Dyke, who played not only Bert but his father; Mr. Dawes Sr. in the original Mary Poppins film, too.