Best Kids' Movies

Mary Poppins Returns – Film Review

Mary Poppins Returns – Film Review by Katie McCann

Director: Rob Marshall
Writers: David Magee (screenplay by), David Magee (screen story by) etc.
Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw

With any remake or sequel there are huge expectations and none more so than for Disney’s latest; Mary Poppins Returns. It is a sequel to the 1964 mega hit musical that defined most people’s childhoods and still is part of Christmas day spent round the telly. Stepping under the umbrella this time is Emily Blunt, who leads an all-star cast on this new adventure with many familiar turns.

Set in the 1930’s the Banks children of the first film, Jane and Michael, are all grown up. Michael has recently lost his wife and is struggling under the weight of raising his three children alone. Yet, just when all hope seems lost who should appear from on high but the one and only Mary Poppins, followed by Jack a smiling lamplighter who apprenticed with Bert from the first film. What follows are songs, fantastical animated adventures and heart-warming moments for all the family.

Disney have essentially pulled a Force Awakens here by making a sequel that is really a remake dressed as a sequel with a new cast, plus a lot of new bells and whistles. While this is a new story with its own plot the beats of the film hit almost exactly on the original. Such as a trip into a drawing {this time a painting on a ceramic bowl not the street), a visit to a relative who finds themselves stuck on the ceiling (this time played by Meryl Streep) and of course there is the ominous figure of the Bank (with a few old friends from the original still knocking about).

Yes, the story isn’t entirely original and the songs might not be as totally iconic as the original Sherman brother’s soundtrack, but it is such good fun you can’t help but leave the cinema with a smile on your face. It is pure joy from start to finish and both Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda do fantastic jobs of capturing the magic we have come to expect from a jolly holiday with Mary Poppins. The big all out musical numbers are jaw droopingly good and at times, under the masterful direction of Rob Marshall, the film soars higher than any kite possibly could.

It is worth noting there is a cameo at the end during the final song (I won’t give it away) that had me waltzing out of the cinema and humming the tune all day long, which I feel is ultimately the point of the film. It might not be practically perfect in every way but it is pretty damn close and is sure to make a big splash this Christmas season.



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