A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down! Oh, how we love Mary Poppins in our household.
Actress Emily Blunt delivers with her buttoned-up portrayal of the eccentric nanny in “Mary Poppins Returns.” Blunt pays homage to the iconic character, and satisfies our nostalgic cravings. She makes the character her own with style and grace.
To be honest, prior to seeing the film and during the film, I had to remind myself that this isn’t a remake of the original.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is a sequel with different tunes and new characters – yet it’s set on the beloved Cherry Tree Lane during the Depression. The storyline is familiar. Mary Poppins flies in to help a family in need.
My daughter and I enjoyed seeing what the Banks children looked like as adults, and my daughter loved the whimsical scenes of Mary Poppins adventures. There’s definitely nods to the first film with the blending of animation and live action sequences. If you look closely at the end of this film, you will even catch a glimpse of the chalk drawing that Mary, Bert, Mike and Jane jump through to begin their adventures.
The music. Ok. This is where I struggled. I really craved to hear “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifigalis.” The music for me is its own character in the first film. The tunes are embedded in my brain. I felt the songs in “Mary Poppins Returns” aren’t as catchy or memorable. But my daughter disagrees, and was singing along to A Cover is Not the Book as we walked out of the theater. Her comment reinforces for me that many of these remakes or sequels of classics are reaching an entirely new generation.
I must admit I was a little confused by the BMX riders in the gas lamp scene. The characters are still lighting street lamps, but the workers are skilled BMX riders? Mary Bank’s cousin Topsy who takes every second Wednesday off because her world turns upside is played by Meryl Streep. Her character was a bit creepy to me. Streep is definitely a versatile actress with major skills but I thought this role was a bit off.
Colin Firth plays antagonist William “Weatherall” Wilkins and he’s always spot on with his acting. I wish we got to see more of him! Angela Lansbury, and Dick Van Dyke make cameos but I do wish that Julie Andrews made an appearance.
The film looks beautiful. Emily is stunning, and overall it’s an entertaining experience. Definitely a fun, family film to see over the holiday break. Hardcore Mary Poppins fans should go in with an open mind, and appreciate that this is a new film that is respectful of the P.L. Travers book, as well as its cinema predecessor.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is in theaters now and is rated PG