Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

mary poppins returns poster 2018 movie emily blunt
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking

Can't live up to the original

Movie Info

Movie Name: Mary Poppins Returns

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Musical/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  November 29, 2018 (Premiere)/December 19, 2018 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG

mary poppins returns bathtub can you image that emily blunt

It’s a jolly holiday with Mary!

Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is stuck in a job he hates as he struggles to be a father after the death of his wife.  With his three children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh), and Georgie (Joel Dawson) facing eviction from the family home, Michael and his sister Jane Banks (Emily Mortimer) must find the missing share certificates their father possessed or Michael and his family could end up on the street.  When Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to Michael and Jane’s lives, she brings magic and wonder to the children.  Mary is teamed with lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and begins to spark the imagination of everyone around her.

Directed by Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns is a family musical fantasy produced by Walt Disney.  The film is a sequel to 1964’s Mary Poppins and presents stories of the character created in 1934 by P.L. Travers.  The movie was met with positive reviews and Academy Award nominations for Best Original Score, Best Original Song (“The Place Where Lost Things Go”), Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.

mary poppins returns cover is not the book lin manuel miranda emily blunt

…but what if you really, really like the cover?

Mary Poppins was the first film I can remember seeing in the theater so it always has a soft spot for me.  With that in mind, I both am curious and scared of a new Mary Poppins film.  If the film had been made a few years after the original with the original cast, I might have never even noticed a difference as a kid growing up, but Mary Poppins Returns is a new Mary Poppins for a new generation…but still housing the classic feel.

Mary Poppins Returns has the same spirit of Mary Poppins, but the movie feels unbalanced.  This probably could be said about the original Mary Poppins as well, but growing up with the film, it doesn’t bother me as much as it did in this film.  The movie starts and ends with a kick, but the movie sags in the middle.  Smartly, the film doesn’t just rehash old Mary Poppins and tries to be original.

mary poppins returns balloons theres no where to go but up

Up, up, and away on my beautiful balloon!

The cast is quite good.  Emily Blunt does her best to turn the character into her own from Julie Andrews’ classic performance.  Lin-Manuel Miranda is a good Dick Van Dyke substitute (and Dick Van Dyke himself has a great cameo).  Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer are good adult versions of Michael and Jane but the original Jane actress Kate Dotrice appears as a woman on the street (the original Michael actor Matthew Garber died in 1977).  The children aren’t as developed as much as the original children, and Colin Firth is a rather generic villain.  Angela Lansbury, David Warner, and Meryl Streep also make appearances and Chris O’Dowd and Mark Addy provide voice work.

mary poppins returns cover is not the book penguin emily blunt

Gee…have we met before?

The visuals for the film are good and feels in the spirit of Disney’s creation.  Scenes like the ceramic vase and the bathtub are fun, but aspects like the lamplighters dance aren’t as fun as the rooftop dance.  The movie contains a lot of visual and musical cues from the original, but the new songs don’t feel very memorable…but perhaps in time they will be.

Mary Poppins Returns is a nice throwback to old Disney, but it is also a reminder that Disney is really for younger viewers.  Unfortunately for the film, I don’t know that younger viewers have the attention span needed for the two-hour plus movie (which really is too bad).  Still, if you are a fan of the original or a child at heart, check out Mary Poppins Returns and go fly a kite…maybe you’ll catch a nanny.

Related Links:

Mary Poppins (1964)

The 91st Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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