Verdict: Well crafted, well performed, and, well, simply fantastic!
One of the most iconic Hollywood classics, the love for the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins has been handed down through multiple generations. Now, amidst the season of spin-offs and remakes, Disney is finally bringing us a 54-years-in-the-making sequel with Mary Poppins Returns. With Emily Blunt taking on the role of everyone’s favorite magical nanny, let’s find out if her comeback is as magical as you’d expect.
What’s Mary Poppins Returns About:
We’re in 1930s London, at the time of the Great Depression. Lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) is still thoroughly optimistic and the Banks children, Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) are all grown up now. But with the “great slump”, comes great hardships for Michael. He is just coming to terms with the loss of his wife and trying his best to raise his three kids John (Nathanael Saleh), Annabelle (Pixie Davies), and Georgie (Joel Dawson). On a particularly rough day, amongst all this hardship, the Banks’ family home is also threatened for repossession by the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. However, just like that, in flies the one and only Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt). Reunited with the family, she reminds them of the gleeful past and the gives them hope for the future as she indulges their imagination between reality and fantasy.
Released over half a century after the original film, Disney took on a big undertaking with Mary Poppins Returns. But it’s safe to say that this remake didn’t just live up to the original but rather reinvented it for a whole new generation.
Showcased brilliantly by director Rob Marshall, the film has got plenty of cute little Easter eggs to make you nostalgic about the original while also bringing in a vibrant new Broadway feel. John Myre’s production design is straight out of a dream world. The picturesque London landscape and the spectacularly stunning worlds are only highlighted by Sandy Powell’s visionary costumes. Marc Shaiman’s music is also every bit as magical as you’d expect. From Broadway-style ballads to elaborate dance numbers, he had a lot to offer.
Most importantly, Emily Blunt steps into Julie Andrews’ shoes and, boy, does she soar! Mary Poppins is every bit like you’d remember her and maybe even more. She’s the perfect magical nanny and even a wing-woman when you need her to be. Speaking of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s character, he’s an absolute delight right from the opening sequences and he even has a special little rap up his sleeves.
What Could’ve Been Better:
The overwhelmingly elaborate visuals and the gleeful energy of the film can lend itself to accusations of trying too hard. But we can’t seem to complain while we’re entirely immersed in the enjoyable ride.
Why You Should Watch It:
Much like in the movie, we’re in the midst of difficult times, having to swallow some bitter medicine and, just like in the film, Mary Poppins returns with a spoonful of sugar to help it go down. So, whether you’ve got a sweet tooth or not, this is one indulgent Disney treat that you’ll love!