‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Amazingly Brings Back the Magic

GameStop, Inc.

Mary Poppins Returns Review

I’m not going to lie. When I first heard that Disney was producing a sequel to Mary Poppins my cynicism kicked into high gear. My initial thought was that knowing that there’d be no big Star Wars in December, Disney aimed to appease its stockholders with a billion-dollar hit by making a sequel to one of its most beloved movies in its illustrious history. While I had faith in stars Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’m not much a fan of its director Rob Marshall. Well, Mary Poppins Returns is going to be a billion-dollar hit, but it’s going to be one because it’s actually a good movie and not just because nostalgia is the flavor of the day. This is a colorful homage to original that has enough of its own personality that it doesn’t require the past to do its heavy lifting.

Decades after the events of the first film amidst the Great Depression, Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is a widower living in the same old house on Cherry Tree Lane with his three young children, Annabel (Pixie Davis), John (Nathaniel Saleh), and Georgie (Joel Dawson). Michael’s sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) often frequents their childhood home, which is tended to by Ellen (Julie Waters). Since the death of his wife, Michael has abandoned his passion for art and taken a job at the bank his father used to work at. With money tight, Michael took out a loan and the bank’s lawyers (Jeremy Smith and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) have come knocking at the door to inform him that they plan to repossess the house. However, Michael was bequeathed shares in the bank that would save the house if he can find the certificate, though that’s proven to be quite difficult. As the Banks Family finds themselves in turmoil and disarray, an old friend comes knocking at their door.

The childhood nanny for the Banks Family, Mary Poppins (Blunt), has returned to help Michael with his own trio of children. At first, Michael and Jane have little memory of the magic that Poppins brought with her, thinking that the fantastical memories were just that of a child’s imagination. But it’s only a matter of time before Annabel, John, and Georgie get their own lesson in the magic of Mary Poppins. Roaming the streets of London around all of the events unfolding is Jack (Miranda), a leerie (also known as a lamplighter) who recalls interacting with Poppins during his youth when working as a wee chimneysweep.

The plot of Mary Poppins Returns is simplistic and that works mightily in the film’s favor as it’s never burdened with an overabundance of expository dialogue. Screenwriter David Magee (working from a story by himself, Marshall, and John DeLuca) takes the right amount of nostalgia from the 1964 classic and merges it with various aspects from the other novels by Poppins creator P.L. Travers to create something that simultaneously feels old and new. It also allows Marshall and his team of collaborators to inject the film with a number of colorful supporting characters, including Meryl Streep as Mary Poppins’ cousin Topsy and Colin Firth as the current president of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.

Another area where Marshall and company have struck the right note with Mary Poppins Returns is the film’s music. The songs composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman have a classical showtune feel in their kind of bombastic spirit complete with the perfect little sprinkle of wit in the lyrics. The songs combined with Marshall’s astute direction give Mary Poppins Returns at the very least three killer musical numbers. The first big number “Can You Imagine That?” features the children getting their first introduction to Poppins’ magical abilities. With “A Cover Is Not the Book,” Poppins, Jack, and the children enter a fantastical 2-D world in a glorious sequence that is also a lovely homage to the original. However, the big show stopper is “Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” where Jack and his fellow leeries light the way home for Poppins and her young cohorts when they get lost. It’s a big number full of bravado and gusto, even if there’s one aspect to the staging that the film could’ve done without. Minor quibbles aside, it’s these moments that really capture why Mary Poppins Returns can win over even a hardened cynic such as myself.

In the eponymous role of Mary Poppins, Emily Blunt delivers some wonderful work. She brings a wry sense of humor to her magical nanny, unafraid of a suggestive nod to the audience that’ll fly over the heads of children. Thankfully, she’s not even attempting to mimic Julie Andrews iconic performance which allows Blunt and the film to stand on its own. In his first major motion picture role, Lin-Manuel Miranda brings an infectious sense of joy as this leerie whose never lost that child-like sense of wonder. Of course, his cockney accent is a bit exaggerated and hokey, but it works as perfect homage to Dick Van Dyke’s accent in the original film.

There is a bit of a Paddington 2 connection at play in this particular sequel, and I’m not just talking about Mary Poppins’ wardrobe consisting of a blue coat and bright red hat. Each Ben Whishaw and Julie Walters have substantial roles in each film, and Colin Firth was originally cast the adorable bear. The two films are also similar in their themes and locations, though Paddington does edge out the magical nanny in my eyes.

Honestly, I still can’t believe I enjoyed Mary Poppins Returns as much as I did. I went in with a fair amount of skepticism and was shocked by rousing musical numbers, its impeccable production and costume design, and a whimsical sense of humor and heart. Rob Marshall pulled off what I thought was impossible and Emily Blunt avails herself in the nigh-impossible role of following Julie Andrews. After a long wait, Mary Poppins has returned and she brought the magic with her once again.

Mary Poppins Returns
  • Overall Score
3.5

Summary

An endlessly charming homage to the original classic that stands on its own, Mary Poppins Returns brings the magic back with a film featuring lush visuals and some stunning, rousing musical numbers.

Anytime Costumes

No Responses

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three’ – Leaves us Wanting More! – Spoiler Free Review

‘Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three‘ is a...

‘Lumina’ is a Incredible First for Debuting Director, Gino McKoy – Review

‘Lumina‘ is an incredible concept and an exceptional first run for...

Aaron Augenblick Returns for Season 2 of ‘City Island’ on PBS KIDS – Interview

Acclaimed Animator, Aaron Augenblick Returns with a Second Season of ‘City...

Event News Event Reviews
The ‘California Dreams’ Band Reunite on The Sunset Strip For a Night of 90s Nostalgia – Concert Review

Don’t Wake Me Up if I’m Dreaming, The ‘California Dreams‘ Band...

Jay Anthony Franke Talks California Dreams Reunion Concert in LA – Interview

Jay Anthony Franke Talks About The ‘California Dreams‘ Reunion Concert in...

‘An Inspector Calls’ Challenges the Morals of the Bourgeois – Review

‘An Inspector Calls‘ Challenges the Morals and Ethics of the Bourgeois...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Derek Gumin Talks Planet 13 and UFC 303 Meet and Greets – Interview

Director of Wholesale Accounts at Planet 13, Derek Gumin spoke about...

Oscar De La Hoya Partners with El Rey for ‘Friday Night Fights’ – Interview

The Golden Boy himself chatted with us about Golden Boy Promotions...

Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse – Blood on the Cactus, Endgame

Mhuhahahahahahahah!

Fantoy Comics Presents: A 4th of July Message!

Seriously, America, THIS crap?!?!?

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Pahrump Apocalypse: Blood on the cactus pt 4 (?)

There are some weird guys here that want invest in a...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Billy Eddy Talks His new Book ‘Our New World of Adult Bullies’ – Interview

Lawyer, Mediator and Personality Expert Bill Eddy Provides a Six-Step Strategy...

Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...