Seeing Mary Poppins Returns hit cinemas brings out the bipolar child in all of us: we’re two parts excited and one part panicked that our childhood favourite is going to be ruined forever.
In this sequel (54 years after the first) Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) comes back to the Banks household when it looks like their family home is under threat. Michael is trying to take care of his three children despite London’s economic downturn, and having lost his wife, Jane’s ‘aunty duties’ are ramped up. The pair’s childlike curiosity is all but lost until Mary and the kids have a chance to rekindle it.
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It’s not easy being given the role of Mary Poppins with all the nostalgia attached to her, but Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada, Sicario) does a great job. Her combination of English grace mixed with ‘you-need-discipline’ sass is perfect. You might have forgotten the side of Mary that looked at her own reflection and ‘tut-tutted’ the world, but she is fighting fit. (As is the side that makes bath time magical, and cleaning your room exciting).
The best thing about Mary Poppins Returns is getting the blend between celebrating the past, and creating something new spot on. Pulitzer Prize-winning Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda plays our Bert replacement ‘Jack’, and he and Mary offer some stellar musical numbers. They’re no supercalifragilisticexpialidocious spoonful of sugar, but really, is that even possible?
Families will love Mary Poppins Returns and how, unlike some modern kid’s flicks, it isn’t pushing a political agenda or trying to feed social commentary. Songs like, ‘Trip a Little Light Fantastic’, and ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’, show Mary Poppins’ biggest intention is to inspire you to look up, and see the power of perspective when times are tough.
Mary Poppins Returns is fun, colourful, and ok for kids to sing along to afterwards.
Oh, and if you wonder where Julie Andrews is, don’t besmirch her for not doing a cameo; like the true Dame she is, Julie declined the offer so this could be “Emily’s film”. Favourite nanny for life.
Mary Poppins Returns is in cinemas January 1.