Mary Poppins returns to the Banks household to help Michael
and his own children through a difficult time in their lives.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Directed by Rob Marshall
Written by David Magee
Starring Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw,
Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep,
Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson
Sequel to 1964's Mary Poppins
Based on characters created by P.L. Travers
Mary Poppins, more so than most Disney films, is a family staple that is passed down through generations as the quintessential family musical. Or at least, that's how it was with my family. Regardless, when Disney announced they were revamping the character for a new generation, I was skeptical. After all, it would be impossible to replicate the timeless magic of the 1964 classic. I'm glad Disney decided to do a sequel instead of a remake, as revisiting the Banks children as adults with families of their own helped make Mary Poppins Returns a welcome sequel with its own magical flourish that doesn't step on the toes of the original.
Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is a widower with three kids who is on the brink of losing his family's home to the bank. His sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) tries to help, but nothing can be done. Sensing the Banks family is in need of a bit of magic, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt, in an example of perfect casting) returns to show his children how to embrace their imagination and to show Michael that no matter what happens, he'll always have his family. It's the same lesson his father learned in the original, though now it resonates with a whole new generation.
With welcome special appearances from Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke, and Angela Lansbury (in a role that was tailor made for Julie Andrews, but is still a fun moment), Mary Poppins Returns is the feel-good winter hit that stands alone as a fun movie without tarnishing the memory of its predecessor. The songs are catchy and the use of hand-drawn animation is a nice throwback to the classic Disney era. There's no doubt in my mind that this film will be yet another monster success for Disney's revival period.