Practically Perfect in Every Way

Mary Poppins Returns is a sequel 54 years in the making. One of the longest gaps for any film sequel. I definitely didn’t know how to feel about it the first time I heard about it and I was even more confused when Emily Blunt was cast as Mary Poppins herself. In an age where Disney does mostly live-action remakes, I thought that’s what they were doing. Mary Poppins Returns actually takes place a mere 20 years after the original. Michael is a widower with three kids and Jane stays with him to help out. Since Mary Poppins is a magic nanny, it’s not hard to believe she doesn’t age. Mary Poppins returns when the Banks family is at their lowest point. Just like before, she introduces the children to a world of magic. They enter an underwater bathtub, an animated china bowl, and fly with balloons. So it’s not a complete retread. The children are more like miniature adults who need to learn how to have fun. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Bertlike character is a lamplighter. Even Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins feels different, but familiar (and very well performed). Which nicely describes the sequel. It feels like the closest thing to a classic Disney movie in a long time. It’s the small touches like using traditional animation or seeing that a 93 year old Dick Van Dyke can still dance (Julie Andrews didn’t want to be a distraction). The new songs are okay, but not too memorable. The climax is also a bit too suspenseful. That being said, nothing could wipe the smile off my face that Mary Poppins Returns gave me. I’m glad to see it get just as much awards attention as the original.

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Mary Poppins takes flight

Preceded by: Mary Poppins

4 thoughts on “Practically Perfect in Every Way

  1. Kevin, you’re quite right when you say that this is the closest thing to a classic Disney film from years gone by. I feel it truly is anyway. It has the feel, the heart, and most of all the look. It is true that nothing ever really replaces an original because originals are different and usually appealing in the first place. Which is probably why we so look forward to sequels because we wish to experience that original character, the feeling of joy, and the magic of it all once again. Mary Poppins Returns is not Mary Poppins to be sure, but I do feel it is a beautiful rendition of the original while still creating some fanciful maverick touches all its own. Maybe not all the songs are memorable, but the orchestration is lush and glorious and can leave you humming. The film is a feast for the eyes, and Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are both appealing. It seems to me of late that we can’t watch anything without becoming overly critical. I wonder: Have we all become that negative, that jaded, that we’ve simply forgotten how to just accept and enjoy a movie which only ask us to sit back with our families and escape into the holidays? Maybe so, but nevertheless, I loved your review, it was one of the few that seemed to get it right. Mary Poppins Returns only wants to please. It seems to me that given the state of our world right now, that kind of nostalgic escape is what movies are supposed to do. Thank you, Kevin, for writing such a spot on review of the film—it’s refreshing. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Kevin, and thank you. I noticed you started following my blog. This leap of faith by you clearly demonstrates there are indeed brave people still living in this weird world of ours. I promise to do my best to inject farce and absurdity to the best of my ability in all my writing. Of course, I haven’t accomplished that yet, but I am sure it’s just a matter of time. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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