Mary Poppins, released in 1964, is among the Disney films I did not watch until my early teen years. Perhaps more than any other film I had watched until then, Mary Poppins stunned me and inspired me to look more closely at how films are made. If you know nothing about the production of Mary Poppins, allow me to assure that it was nothing short of spectacular and innovative.
Therefore, when I heard Mary Poppins would return to film in 2018, I was excited beyond words. If you are avoiding Mary Poppins Returns because you fear it will not live up to the original or because you suspect it may be a cheap retelling of a perfect tale, you may put those thoughts to rest.
Mary Poppins Returns is truly unique in its ability to maintain the spirit of the original film while also breathing new life into it. Although the cast is new, they each pay special homage to the original story, especially Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the Leery (Lamplighter) and Emily Blunt as the title character. Jane and Michael Banks, although grown, can be easily remembered as the children they were in the original film. Michael's children John, Annabel, and Georgie, while continuing the themes of innocence set forth by their young predecessors, also bring their own challenges to Mary Poppins.
It is impossible to witness the stunning visuals of the film without noticing the nods to the original. The choreography and costumes alike, though new, are undoubtedly inspired by the past. The music, my personal favorite part of Mary Poppins, perfectly manages to teach new lessons in the previously established style of Mary Poppins.
I find most notable Richard Sherman's (one of the original composers for Mary Poppins) role as a music consultant The willingness to include some of the creative genius, which made Mary Poppins, of Sherman and, briefly in the film, Dick van Dyke, demonstrates remarkable respect and appreciation of the past.As always, Mary Poppins has a way of telling you whatever it is you most need to hear. Whether you need to remember that "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down," or "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" can be used to describe any big feeling, or that sometimes what's really important is taking the time to "feed the birds," Mary Poppins is there to remind you. Mary Poppins Returns does a profound job in continuing this special talent for telling the audience what basic fact of happiness they have likely been overlooking or forgetting for a very long time.