There are some iconic faces in Hollywood that I think anyone could recognize, like maybe George Clooney or Audrey Hepburn, but one that always pops up for me is Dame Julie Andrews. This actress, whose career has spanned decades, basically shaped my childhood, starring in several of my favorite films, and only continues to do so now.
From Disney hits like Mary Poppins to amazing soundtracks like The Sound of Music, many of the best Julie Andrews movies are available to stream right now. Here are some of her most notable, and how you can watch them as soon as possible.
The Princess Diaries 1 & 2 (2001, 2004)
In this adaptation of the novel of the same name, The Princess Diaries follows Mia Thermopolis, a shy teenager from America who suddenly learns that she is heir to a European kingdom. Now, with her grandmother’s help, Mia has to figure out if she wants to abandon her life for a throne, or stay a normal teenager and renounce her title.
I remember, this was actually the first film I ever saw Julie Andrews in, ironically. I’m not entirely sure why it wasn’t Mary Poppins or The Sound of Music, but I wouldn't want it any other way. The Princess Diaries cast is full of talent, but Julie Andrews is truly one of the standouts among the rest. Besides that, it’s a great coming of age story with a royal twist.
The second one isn’t as monumental as the first, with more of a focus on love rather than royalty. But Julie Andrews also surfs down the stairs in that one, and who doesn’t want to watch that?
Mary Poppins (1964)
In this classic Disney musical, Mary Poppins tells the story of the titular character, played by Julie Andrews, who is a sweet and kind supernanny with magical powers, who is able to fly with her umbrella, and helps Jane and Michael Banks with their children, taking them on a great adventure.
Mary Poppins is definitely one of Julie Andrews most iconic roles, and most likely one of the many that you know her from. Her character is beloved by all for her kind nature and beautiful singing voice. The whole Mary Poppins cast has plenty of shining stars, including the lovely Dick Van Dyke who appeared in Mary Poppins Returns, and the plot is filled with magical moments, beautiful scenery, and awesomely animated dancing penguins. It’s supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. I mean, Andrews even won an Academy Award for her performance - that’s how you know it’s good.
The Tamarind Seed (1974)
In this featured film drama, The Tamarind Seed follows Judith Farrow (Julie Andrews), a British Home Office assistant, who meets a handsome Soviet Colonel Sverdlov while on vacation in Barbados, but their relationship doesn’t go unnoticed by the British, and their surveillance teams.
If you’re looking for a romantic drama with a bit of a twist, try The Tamarind Seed, especially if you’re a fan of Julie Andrews. There’s plenty of twists and turns, but it’s still filled with lots of sweet moments between two lovers in a forbidden romance with a bit of a thriller added onto it.
The Sound Of Music (1965)
The hills are alive with the sound of music.
I mean, if you haven’t heard that lyric, I’m quite sure you’ve been living under a rock. In this popular musical, The Sound of Music follows Maria (Julie Andrews), who takes a job as a governess to a large family, while she decides whether to become a nun or not, falling in love with the family and their patriarch.
The Sound of Music has pretty much become one of the biggest classic musicals of all time. The music is beautiful, the acting is great, the love story is believable, and everything else molds together so beautifully. Julie Andrews was nominated for another Academy Award for her performance as Maria in this film, so she’s outstanding, along with the rest of The Sound of Music cast. For fans of musicals, it’s definitely a must-watch, but even if you’re not, the story is enough to make your heart warm.
In another musical/comedy, Victor/Victoria tells the story of a down on her luck British soprano, named Victoria (Julie Andrews), who is struggling to find work in the nightclubs of Paris in the 1930s. While she is trying to scam her way out of paying for a meal, she meets Toddy, a cabaret performer, who gives her an idea that might change everything.
Julie Andrews actually received another Academy Award nomination for her role in Victor/Victoria, and it was rightfully earned. Her voice in this film, I feel, even outshines her singing abilities in the last two musicals we’ve talked about. The film is also hilarious as well, with plenty of moments that will make you snort and chuckle, especially in one of the beginning scenes. Let’s just say a cockroach is involved.
Shrek 2 (2004)
In this popular sequel to the first film, Shrek 2 follows the titular green ogre, Shrek, his ogre wife, Fiona, and their donkey (named Donkey), as they travel to meet Fiona’s parents for the first time. When Fiona’s family is less than pleased at Shrek being an ogre, he makes a hasty decision with a sketchy fairy that might change the course of their lives forever.
Shrek is definitely one of the most known animated characters of all time, in my opinion, and Shrek 2 is the best sequel to the original film. Julie Andrews plays Queen Lillian, Fiona’s mother, in this film, but the whole Shrek cast is outstanding. Mike Myers is always amazing as Shrek, Eddie Murphy is awesome as Donkey, Cameron Diaz is wonderful as Fiona - and the star, I believe, of this film (next to Julie Andrews, of course), is Jennifer Saunders as the Fairy Godmother. She’s amazing. She can sing “I Need A Hero” to me any day.
Andrews also reprises her role in both Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After, but I personally will always love her role the most in Shrek 2.
Eloise At The Plaza (2003)
In this made-for-television film, Eloise at the Plaza is based on the children’s book of the same name, telling the story of Eloise, an impressionable young six-year-old girl who lives at the penthouse at the top of the Plaza Hotel in New York City with her nanny.
Eloise at the Plaza is adorable. I’m usually not one for kids movies to watch on any given day, but this film is one I would willingly watch if I was feeling down or sad about something. It’s so ridiculously sweet, and the chemistry that Julie Andrews (who plays the nanny) has with Eloise (played by Sofia Vassilieva), makes me smile every time. They also did a film not that long after called Eloise at Christmastime, featuring the two of them again, and it’s just as cute, if not with a holiday twist. This one is great for the whole family, folks.
The Americanization Of Emily (1964)
In this dark romantic comedy, The Americanization of Emily tells the story of an American Naval officer, who has a talent of living the good life in wartime, and is challenged when he falls in love and is sent on a dangerous mission.
On first watch, this definitely wasn’t my favorite film that Andrews had ever done, just because I had never been a huge fan of war films. I liked to escape into different world and realities and war felt too real. But luckily, The Americanization of Emily doesn't focus too much on the war and really centers in on the main couple, played by Julie Andrews and fellow classic Hollywood actor, James Garner. And their chemistry together works wonders.
In this epic drama film, Hawaii tells the story of a Yale University divinity student, who, accompanied by his new bride, becomes a missionary for the Calvinist in the Hawaiian islands in the 1800s.
I know at first that this sounds like a strange premise, but Hawaii is actually a really interesting film with a lot of themes behind it, including do unto others what you would do unto yourself. It’s a great exploration in the world of helping one another, and trying to fight for what is right. Both Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow, who plays her husband, were amazing in their roles, and the music was fantastic as well.
Despicable Me (2010)
Last but not least, we take a look at Despicable Me. In this popular animated film, Steve Carrel stars as Gru, a hardworking villain who wants to be the best bad guy of all time by stealing the moon. However, when his plan ends up involving three little orphan girls that he slowly grows attached to, he starts to wonder - is being bad really that good?
Okay, say what you want about how this series has blown up a ridiculous amount, or how the Minions have become oversaturated in the media - the first Despicable Me film is unmatched and freaking adorable. Gru and his girls are amazing, and the story of him trying to adapt to actually becoming a father and learning to love is surprisingly heartwarming with a lot of depth.
Julie Andrews plays Marlena Gru, his mother, and let’s just say she has some of the funniest moments in this film, by far, but the whole movie itself is a worthy watch any day of the week. Honestly one of the best movies on Amazon Prime right now.
Honorable Mention: Bridgerton
Bridgerton is all about who is courting who - and the drama that enfolds while Lady Whistledown documents everything in her newsletter that she releases to the public all the time, telling the secrets of everyone to the world.
While this is a TV series, and Julie Andrews doesn't physically appear in the show, she is the narrator of Lady Whistledown and performs the role perfectly. Vague Bridgerton spoiler alert: We find out who Lady Whistledown actually is by the end of the first season, but no-one can deny how amazing her voice fits the character. With Season 2 coming out soon hopefully, I pray we get to hear her wonderful voice again on the Netflix hit.
From musicals to comedies to dramas, there's truly so much that Julie Andrews can do. You really can't go wrong with any film that you pick from this talented actress. Now it’s my turn to figure out how to surf down a flight of stairs on a mattress - wish me luck.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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