Mary Poppins Returns

 

Directed by Rob Marshall

Starring Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda

Music and Lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Williams

Based upon the Mary Poppins Novels by PL Travers

 

Wow!!!  That says it all after seeing the sequel to the 1964 Walt Disney Studio hit Mary Poppins.  Mary Poppins Returns is a marvelous magical musical movie, and where Disney returned to it’s roots with The Little Mermaid back in the early 90s. now Disney has gone one better and may have made the best movie in the history of the studio.  If The Academy does not give this film a nomination for best picture they’ll have me to reckon with.

Mary Poppins returns hits theaters on December 19, 2018 but don’t wait go and and grab your tickets now as this film is destined to become a Disney classic.

PL Travers wrote a total of five Mary Poppins books and so there was a wealth of material for the Disney studio to delve into for the plot of this new film.  The film takes place some 20 years in the future of the original Mary Poppins film which, as you may recall took place in 1910.  Jane and Michael Banks have grown up.  Michael has married and has three children, his wife, before the film begins, has passed on.

Michael, grieving for his wife and unable to run the home he grew up in, is about to lose the house to the bank.  Realizing that his father left him shares in the bank that he owes money to, Michael desperately tries to find the certificates amongst his father’s papers in the attic.  While searching he finds the kite that that he, Jane and his parents used to fly he takes the kite to the dust bin.  The kite, almost magically blows away until the string finds it way into the hands of Michael’s youngest son George.

The kite is now being pulled so hard by the wind that George is about to be lifted off his feet until he is caught by Jack, the London Lamp Lighter. Played by Lin Manuel Miranda.  Jack looks  up at the kite and with an expression of pure joy on his face exclaims, “As I live and breathe,” and Mary Poppins Returns on the string of the kite.

I don’t want to give away much of the plot to this delightful film.  Doing so would spoil your first time seeing it.  What I will say is that the story is masterfully written with a villain, played by Colin Firth and a series of adventures that not only teach the children but also their father.

The film is filled with bright color and some truly joyous songs.  It brings you back to the best of the movie musicals and a style of film making that has not been done in many years.  Emily Blunt’s performance as Mary Poppins, though quite different from Julie Andrews,’ is delightful.  She is still an enigma but full of fun and adventure.

Lin Manuel Miranda was born for musicals.  He has a look of pure joy on his face from the very beginning of the film.  You can see how much he loves what he is doing and he is perfectly cast as Jack.

There are some people that are going to say that no one should play the role of Mary Poppins except Julie Andrews.  Julie Andrews did a wonderful job playing Mary Poppins, but she wasn’t the first.  That honor goes to character actress Mary Wickes who played her in the very early days of television.  Iconic roles are always taken over by someone else.  We have had seven good men play Superman and Seven play Batman.  Julie did a wonderful job as Maria in The Sound of Music but that role was originated by Mary Martin on Broadway and then turned over to both Florence Henderson and Shirley Jones before Julie did it.

No part should become the soul property of one actor or actress.  The public lose out when that happens especially when there is more story to tell as is the case with Mary Poppins.

Now run and reserve your seats early for Mary Poppins Returns which is sure to be the delight of the holiday season.

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