We recently were invited to a screening of the new movie “Mary Poppins Returns” at the Regal Battery Park Stadium movie theater in Manhattan.
The movie, which was directed and produced by Rob Marshall, opens Dec. 19. It stars Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, a funny lamplighter, and Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins, the nanny. As if seeing the movie wasn’t special enough, a few days later, we were able to meet and interview Lin-Manuel Miranda!
The story takes place during the 1930s, which is the same time period as the original book written by P.L. Travers. There is a lot of focus on cannons and clocks, just like the original.
The sequel is also similar to the first in that Mary Poppins comes to help the Banks family. Only now the young children (Jane and Michael) are grown up, so she comes to help Michael and his children. He has three children and is having some problems paying his bills. They still live in the same house on Cherry Tree Lane. Along with Jack, Mary Poppins and the children go on magical adventures that include jumping into a china bowl and becoming part of the scenery. They encounter several real and animated characters. Dick Van Dyke, who played Burt in the original film, even makes an appearance. We liked how the original "Mary Poppins" ends with a kite scene and the new one starts with one. In the kite scene, actress Angela Lansbury stars as the kite lady, and her singing is wonderful.
There are many songs and dance numbers that will keep you singing and dancing during the movie. In one of our favorites, Jack and the lamplighters sing and dance to “Trip a Little Light Fantastic.” We also loved the song “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” during the adventure in the china bowl. Another favorite scene is when they go to visit Mary Poppins’ cousin Topsy, who is played by Meryl Streep. It was so silly and fun! There are some sad points too, which is why Mary Poppins uses her magic and songs to help the family. This is the reason that Mary Poppins returns, to help the Banks family find happiness.
We really enjoyed Jack's and Mary Poppins’ characters. They were very similar to the original movie but at the same time they were very different. We loved Jack because he never forgets how it is to be a kid. Mary Poppins is very sarcastic and strict but does show that she has a softer side. The costumes are amazing, and Mary Poppins had so many. We loved how the characters mixed with the animated characters just like in the first movie. All of the music in this movie is new and was written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Without giving too much away, “Mary Poppins Returns” is a movie that will make everyone feel good. While you are waiting to see it, try watching the original. We did and we loved it, and it was fun to watch it with our parents, too.
Rating: 5 smiles out of 5