When Disney’s name is attached to any upcoming film, we have the guarantee of a good time. One of their most anticipated releases is a kind of sequel to the 1960s classic with Julie Andrews. This time Emily Blunt picks up the red umbrella in Mary Poppins Returns, and again charms the Banks family.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018) Disney Film Review
Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is all grown up. Unfortunately, he’s in a pickle as he struggles to keep his family home. Long gone is the magic of his childhood; when his mortgage is called in, everything becomes serious. This inspires Michael and his sister, Jane (Emily Mortimer) to search for their father’s bank shares. It inspires his three children Anabel, John and Georgie (Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson) to help their father. The only question is: how?
The winds of change sweep in with the arrival of the magical Mary Poppins (Blunt), the woman who once saved the Banks family. Now, as she cares for her former charges young children, Mary, alongside her friend, Jack (Lin Manual-Miranda), has lessons to impart.
I’ll be honest; it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the 1964 Disney film. All I really remember about it is that a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” and in a memorable way it features one of (or the?) longest words ever. Vague memories or no, it’s still a film with fond memories attached. This film wisely moves away from being a re-make to instead continue the story we all grew up loving. Disney again strikes gold.
I won’t sit here and say I loved every little thing about this film, but it’s still delightful. The costumes are magnificent, and the storytelling imagination is impeccable. The cast too is without fault, but the music to me, just didn’t seem quite up to task. Perhaps its because the iconic songs from the 60s taint these? Or maybe they just don’t have that same staying power. Whatever the case, for me, they’re forgettable. That said, that choreography is fun, and bright though one number doesn’t really “fit” into the more innocent and imaginative portrait the film otherwise paints.
The cast is all spectacular though! From Emily’s posh-perfect turn as the magical nanny to the young new faces who portray the Banks children, I enjoy each of the actors. We even see Colin Firth and Meryl Streep, and cameos from Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke. How each respective actor plays their characters adds to the charm of the story, and I love that this is a kind of follow-up with the same characters. It’s a nice nod to the original.
Even with my reservations about Mary Poppins Returns, this is the sort of film you walk away from feeling happy, and with a light heart. I most certainly felt this way as I left the Cineplex, which is precisely what I’d imagine filmmakers hope for. There’s ‘practically perfect’ magic in every scene.
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(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)You can pre-purchase Mary Poppins Returns digitally on Amazon Video.
Content: with a PG-rating, this one is family safe. There’s some “danger” which may frighten young viewers and minor suggestive comments, but overall, it’s clean.
ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a royal mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!
All photos: Disney