Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns Non-Spoiler Review - Practically Perfect In Every Way

Mary Poppins Returns is practically perfect in every way. And just like the Banks family, I had no idea how much I needed Mary Poppins back in my life until I watched Mary Poppins Returns. This will be a non-spoiler review.

Now when this sequel was first announced I was concerned. Would it live up to the original? Would Emily Blunt be able to fill Julie Andrews shoes? Rest assured, the classic Disney magic is back and Mary Poppins Returns is a warm hug to the original. 

The story picks up in Depresssion-era London where we find Michael Banks, a father of three children. The family is struggling to cope with the loss of Michael's wife. His sister Jane tries to help as much as she can. Fortunately, Mary Poppins appears once again to try to bring love, laughter and life back into the house on 17 Cherry Tree Lane.

Emily Blunt is simply perfect to play Mary Poppins. She creates her own version of the character, who seems stern and quite reserved on the outside, while being warm-hearted and childlike on the inside. Emily brings both of these sides of Mary to life with warmth and sophistication. Next to Mary is a new character, Jack, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Jack is a lamplighter and he brings light, literally and metaphorically, when it is needed most.

Ben Whishaw plays Michael Banks and brilliantly conveys his sense of struggle and loss. Jane Banks is played by Emily Mortimer and brings a sense of family love and balance into Michael's life. Ellen the housekeeper is played by Julie Walters. Ellen has been a part of the Banks household since Michael and Jane were children. Colin Firth plays William Weatherall Wilkins the head of Fidelity Fiduciary. Meryl Streep plays Mary's cousin Topsy.

Pixie Davies plays Annabel, the precocious and strong-willed daughter of Michael. Nathanael Saleh plays John, the thoughtful and oldest son. Joel Dawson plays Georgie, the energetic and youngest son. All three children are brilliant and they had to be, for they carry a good portion of the movie on their shoulders.

Rounding up the cast are Disney Legends Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke. Angela plays the balloon lady, a treasured character from the books. Dick Van Dyke plays Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank and the son of the character he played in the original movie.

The music of Mary Poppins Returns is purely magical. The team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman channeled their inner Sherman Brothers to create music and lyrics that fit not only into this sequel but sound like they could have been in the original. The team created nine original songs and every single song moves to advance the story. From lullabies to showstoppers, the songs are a pure joy to hear and to see on the big screen. 

The hand-drawn animation, yes, hand-drawn animation in the film is spectacular and made me miss this art form even more when I saw it on the big screen.

Director Rob Marshall and his team took the very challenging idea of creating a sequel to one of the most beloved Disney films of all-time and created something special. Mary Poppins Returns feels both fresh and nostalgic at the same time. The performances of Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, and the Banks children are powerful and emotional. The music and songs will make you dance, sing and at times even cry. You will leave the theater, not only with a huge smile on your face, but feeling like everything is possible, even the impossible. The world right now needs some hope. Mary Poppins is the person who can remind you that there is hope and wonder in the world.

Mary Poppins Returns opens in theaters December 19th.


  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! Cannot WAIT to see!

  2. I cannot wait. I get to see an advance screening on Monday. :D