'Mary Poppins Returns' Is A Whimsical Sequel That Follows The Original 'Mary Poppins'
Mary Poppins Returns has the longest sequel gap in history at 54 years. There was monumental pressure to live up to the original classic. Mary Poppins Returns is a fun, whimsical sequel that follows in the footsteps of the original.
Possible Spoilers Ahead
Mary Poppins Returns is set two decades after the original film. The former Banks family nanny returns after the Banks family suffers a tragedy. Mary Poppins takes care of Michael's three children, as he intends to handle paying back the loan he took out from the bank. Michael Banks no longer believes in the magic of Mary Poppins, but his kids sure do.
Mary Poppins along with lamplighter Jack, who was young in the first Mary Poppins, entertain the Banks children. Filling their worlds back up with imagination and wonder, after the loss of their mother.
Mary Poppins Returns is a fantastic musical film. The film lived up to the challenge of trying to recapture the spirit of the original. The costumes, the music, and the acting made the sequel feel continuous. I also loved the decision to run the credits at the beginning, it felt very old school and something that Walt Disney would've done.
A Mary Poppins sequel has been wanted for a while from The Walt Disney Company. Going all the way back to when Walt Disney was alive. He wanted a sequel of Mary Poppins the following year. P.L. Travers refused a sequel. Then in the late eighties, Jeffrey Katzenberg approached Travers with the idea of a sequel set many years later with the Banks children as adults, and an older Julie Andrews reprising the role of Mary Poppins. Travers was on board with the Julie Andrews part but not everything else. Disney abandoned the project until 2015 when it was pitched again.
The ensemble cast was terrific. Emily Blunt was the perfect choice as successor to Julie Andrews' Poppins. Lin-Manuel Miranda was the right choice for the male lead. He brought the necessary musical elements to the film. Dick Van Dyke is energetic as ever in his brief role. Wish we could've gotten more with him, and or a more detailed update on his original character Bert. Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer were great choices to play the grown-up Banks children. The Banks children were hilarious and charming. I enjoyed Angela Lansbury's small role. Jim Norton and David Warner were funny as Mr. Binanacle and Admiral Boom.
This sequel had wonderful music. Living up to the Sherman Brothers legacy. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman created some amazing melodies and lyrics. "The Place Where Lost Things Go" was the emotional song. "Trip A Little Light Fantastic" was the more pump up song. "A Cover is Not the Book" is another charming song. "Lovely London Sky" mixes "Let's Go Fly A Kite" and "A Spoonful of Sugar" in the background. That was a nice musical touch. Richard M. Sherman was a musical consultant, and it shows.
I think my only criticism for Mary Poppins Returns is that it really shied away from the original. I get that they were trying to tell an original sequel story but it seems a little peculiar that Mary Poppins didn't sing any of her old songs to the grown-up Banks children. Poppins does say one of her popular quotes at the end but that's really it. I just feel like there could've been more acknowledgment. I feel bad for Julie Andrews. She wasn't even invited to do a cameo.
Rob Marshall delivered an impressive sequel to one of the most beloved classics of all time. David Magee penned the script. The story of Mary Poppins Returns came from John DeLuca, Magee, and Marshall. It was a whimsical story worth telling.
Mary Poppins Returns had the monumental challenge of continuing a beloved classic. Mary Poppins Returns is an impressive and effective fantasy-musical sequel to the 1964 classic. It is anchored by awestruck performances by Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Along with sensational sounds and dazzling musical numbers. Mary Poppins Returns proves its existence.