Clutching her bird headed brolly and eternal carpet bag, Mary Poppins swoops back into Cherry Tree Lane after a staggering fifty four years. This might just be the longest awaited sequel in cinema history, nevertheless Disney effortlessly recapture the magic of the 1964 original. Whilst shes gained a new face along the way, this no nonsense nanny returns with the same glossy dance numbers and pish-posh principles.
Rob Marshall, director of the hugely underrated Into the Woods, picks up the seemingly insurmountable challenge of bringing back this pop culture icon - a character who has influenced multiple generations across this half century. Twenty years or so after she first helped the Banks children the astonishing au-pair revisits a grown up Jane and Michael Banks and Michael's three children, helping them through times of hardship, reminding them of the magic that has been long absent from their lives.
Serving up several spoonfuls of sugar, Mary Poppins returns in this practically perfect sequel. Reverting to the classic Disney blueprint interwoven with 2D animation, the magical nanny makes a tremendous comeback in vain, mirror glancing glory - with Rob Marshall and his creative forces showing clear homage to the original Chim-Chimney adventure. although Mary Poppins Returns rides the coat tails of its predecessor, this babysitter’s second coming demands a roaring round of applause. In typical Disney fashion, Marshall has crafted a decidedly bitter sweet experience - but for all the melancholy aspects of its narrative, Mary Poppins Returns boasts a selection of lovely jubbly tunes laced with bona fide life lessons for the whole family to enjoy. Very much in the spirit of the original, this colourful caper obtains an extremely positive but not entirely fantastic outlook on life, examining what it means to be the very best version of yourself as well as having fun whilst do it.
Emily Blunt is simply electric as the latest version of the magical nanny. To clarify, she is not a Julie Andrews lite, but easily the most compelling element in this concoction of sequins and glitter. The moment she floats down on Georgie Banks' kite the entire screen lights up like a Christmas tree. Blunt is, well, blunt - her spin on Mary Poppins is sharp and curt, unlike the smiley Andrews - helping people at a distant rather than solving all their problems at the click of her magic fingers. Blunt gives it her all, especially when it comes to the musical sequences - who knew she had such a good set of lungs. She is gloriously cutting and her enthusiasm is infectious.
In fact Mary Poppins Returns sees no wasted cast members - the veteran actors are particularly well used. Lin Manuel Miranda is Dick Van Dyke lite however, even down to the wonky cockney accent - but with that he also captures the charm of Jack. Emily Mortimer and Ben Whitshaw are great as the grown up Michael and Jane Banks, as well as the new generation of Banks kids who are equally talented. Meryl Streep makes a surprise appearance as the bonkers and fabulously over the top Cousin Topsy - who will leave fans longing for another juggernaut performance.
This sequel really is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Just like a party popper, Mary Poppins Returns ends 2018 with an almighty bang, colours and music wizzing across Cherry Tree Lane. This top notch adventure is like taking a trip in time, transporting you back to the magic of old-school Disney, the innovative costume design and exciting choreography is accompanied by Marc Shaiman’s sugary sweet score. As far as modern live action Disney live action flicks go, Mary Poppins Returns reaches Jungle Book territory. This melodic spectacle is worth every sixpence, confirming that ionic characters can be brought to life once again.
Mary Poppins Returns:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.