December 20, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters on December 19th, 2018.

It has been 54 years since Julie Andrews blessed screens with the Disney adaptation of P.L. Travers story, Mary Poppins. Now, spit spot, back to the theaters we go to see the lovely Emily Blunt in the long awaited sequel, Mary Poppins Returns. Set in 1930's London, Poppins returns to help a new generation of Banks children after a tragedy. Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) Banks have since grown and Michael's three charming children find hope and order following the most difficult time in their lives with the help of Mary Poppins. Lin-Manuel Miranda plays Jack, the cockney lamplighter, and brings light and life to the already bright cast. Julie Walters, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep round out the already starry cast with heartwarming special appearances by Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury.

In this film, there is a wonderful balance between finding comfort in the old Disney magic roots and new wonders. When I first saw and loved Emily Blunt's charm in The Devil Wears Prada, I never thought she would come this far, but she is truly a wonder. Even when she was not the main focus on screen, my eyes always wandered to her as she never faltered for a moment. She had a wonderful singing voice that worked perfectly with the special effects that grabbed the audience and effectively took us on the same journey as the adorable mini-Banks trio. We are also rewarded with the unique talents of Miranda and the quick wit style that would only have worked with him in this magical musical.

Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods) directs, with the screenplay written by David Magee (Finding Neverland), and the music taken care of by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Lets pay homage to P.L. Travers and the book series this is based on, although it is probably best that we don't hear her opinions on this sequel considering her more edgy Mary Poppins. Blunt retains the same energy and class that Julie Andrews gifted the original, and it is important to note that Andrews does not appear in the film but was thrilled and was confident in Blunt carrying the torch.

I would not expect anyone to be singing any of the songs as they leave the theater nor have any singles emerge from the score to stand alone, but I actually enjoyed that. The complexity of the music works together as a whole and will take years of rewatching to be able to sing along, but I think that is what the minds behind this film will accomplish. I see this being watched with the original film with my family in years to come on any given day where we just all feel magical.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Marisa Marisa (Contributor) is a Maryland native who currently works in New York City. She is an avid Auburn Tigers fan and enjoys traveling around the world. Her hobbies include movies, going to just about any type of sporting event, live music, and playing with her husky and pug.
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