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‘Mary Poppins Returns’ is a Delightful Tale Worthy of Its Predecessor – Review

In Mary Poppins Returns, the Banks children are all grown up. After the sudden death of his wife, Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is struggling to make ends meet and keep up with raising his three children. While his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) offers her help when she can, it isn’t enough and Michael is on the verge of losing their family home. With the world around him crumbling, Michael has no idea how to pick up the pieces of what their lives used to be.

Desperate to help, the children John (Nathanael Saleh), Anabel (Pixie Davies) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) have taken it upon themselves to act more like adults, than kids. One day, after receiving some bad news about the house, the trio set off for a trip to the store to get something to have for breakfast. Without enough money in their pockets, Anabel and John try to find the best way to get the most bang for their buck, while their little brother Georgie, runs off to chase a loose kite that has certainly seen better days. Annoyed with their brother, but also not wanting to lose him, Anabel and John set off on a chase after him, watching on in shock when his kite seems to have latched onto something, or rather, someone.

Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns (Courtesy of Disney Studios)

Enter: Mary Poppins. With the help of lamplighter, Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), Georgie pulls on the kite string to pull Poppins down to the ground. With her umbrella in hand, hat atop her head and a whimsical smile on her face, the beloved nanny surveys the children who are all messy from the chase, and alongside Jack escorts them back home. Michael and Jane are shocked to see their former nanny, believing that they would never see her again after she left when they were children. But here she is, standing right before them, ready to take care of the Banks children once more. Little do Michael and Jane know that Mary Poppins isn’t just talking about Anabel, John, and Georgie. The Banks children will be in for quite a few surprises and some dramatic flair, as they set out to help their father keep their home with the help of the wonderfully whimsical Mary Poppins.

Many of us have had the pleasure of seeing the original 1964 classic, Mary Poppins. The role of the magical nanny was aptly played by the one and only, Julie Andrews, and it was hard trying to picture someone else filling those shoes. However, Emily Blunt came in with a captivating performance that made the classic character feel brand new again. With tons of charisma, Blunt played Poppins to perfection. Co-stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, and Julie Walters, were just as pitch perfect as Blunt, and just as fun to watch. Whether it be as part of a musical number, or just a bicycle ride to the bank, every moment from all the actors was great. Each and every one of them played off of one another’s strengths, making for great on-screen chemistry.

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack and Joel Dawson as Georgie in Mary Poppins Returns (Courtesy of Disney Studios)

Of course, we cannot talk about Mary Poppins Returns without talking about the music. Not only is music a staple for Mary Poppins, but it’s also an element of what brings together the various characters throughout the film. Music has a kind of quality that brings people together and also has healing properties, allowing people to tap into their feelings, or relating the lyrics to something that may have happened to them. In this sense, Mary Poppins Returns did a great job. The musical numbers were fun and catchy. Actually, thinking back on it, there was probably only one that I wasn’t a complete fan of, but the others were on par with the songs from the original film.

Directed by Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns is a delightful nostalgia-filled ride, with something for every member of the family. Be sure to check it out in theaters on December 19!

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