Early in the film, it is shown that Ellen does not get along with the cook, Mrs. Brill. By the end, however, she is shown to be much happier and gets along better with Mrs. Brill.
Role in the films
Ellen is first heard arguing with Mrs. Brill, which is so loud that Bert can hear them from outside. It is revealed that the nanny, Katie Nanna, is resigning from the position due to the naughtiness of their two children, Jane and Michael. In contrast to Mrs. Brill, who is happy to see her leave, Ellen unsuccessfully attempts to convince her to stay, partly because Ellen is required to care for Jane and Michael when there is no nanny. Throughout the rest of the film, Ellen is seen performing various household tasks for the Banks family. She is charged with granting entrance to the various nannies that come to apply for the open position and is puzzled when only Mary Poppins appears. The next morning, she is shown to be in a much better mood, getting along with Mrs. Brill and even humming during her work. Ellen later eavesdrops on George Banks' attempted sacking of Mary, explaining that she has heard the speech before. Later on, when Winifred Banks is looking for a caretaker for Jane and Michael on Mary's day off, Ellen explains she is unable to perform the task due to certain chores needing to be completed. When the chimney sweeps invade the house, she is caught up in the mass and shown dancing with one of them. Near the end of the film, the Banks family is shown to be searching for George after learning that he had been fired. Ellen makes an offhanded remark about a certain bridge being popular with jumpers, for which she is chastised. She would be witness to his change of heart and watches as the Banks family goes kite flying.
Mary Poppins Returns
Ellen returns in the sequel. She first appears at the Banks' house as the sink bursts out and is extremely wet. She is the first to interact with the people trying to take the house, which she tells them to wait for Michael. She then appears when Mary, having come back, says hello to her, with her doing the same. She then appears throughout the film. She then appears at the end of the film. When the Banks family leaving the house, she is going to stay with her sister. When Jane and Michael find the certificate of shares and take it to the bank, Ellen stays behind. When they get the house back, they go to the carnival with her and go into the sky with balloons and return home as Mary departs once more.