Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days unless he can pay back a loan. His only hope is to find a missing certificate that shows proof of valuable shares that his father left him years earlier. Just as all seems lost, Michael and his sister receive the surprise of a lifetime when Mary Poppins returns. The beloved nanny from their childhood arrives to save the day and take the Banks family on a magical, fun-filled adventure.

Mary Poppins Returns Review

I stepped back into my childhood on Thursday afternoon. I went home to No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane and fell in love again. The familiar home, the park across the street, and the ominous bank all come together in a story of love and loss. While Mary Poppins is there to care for the new generation of Banks children, she is really there for the entire family. It’s nostalgia at its finest.  Mary Poppins Returns is delightfully whimsical in the best possible ways. It is, in fact, practically perfect in every way!

Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Practically Perfect In Every Way

Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, & Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns

Emily Blunt captured the spirit of Mary Poppins beautifully. Her rapid-fire speech was stern yet inviting. She was approachable despite her aloof nature. Blunt deftly portrayed the duality in Mary Poppins’ character. What was particularly striking to me was how Blunt made the character her own. She did not try to be Julie Andrews being Mary Poppins. Of course, the signature mannerisms were there (the winks, the slight smiles, the faux modesty). Yet, Emily Blunt pulled off the ultimate feat….she made an iconic character wholly her own.

Aiding Emily Blunt is the ever-charming Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack. He opens the movie and is, of course, an immediate draw. His sparkling eyes and roguish smiles will have you smiling along with him. You won’t really know why you’re smiling, but trust me, you will be! His energy and distinct voice add an extra layer of levity to Mary Poppins Returns. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – a nod to “Step in Time” – is pure energy and fun. Plus, the sweet blush of romance between him and Jane Banks gives audiences the “aw” factor!

Mary Poppins Returns has plenty of cameos that will tug at your heartstrings. None more than Dick Van Dyke. There are other wonderful cameos that I will not spoil. Suffice it to say, each one left me smiling.

The Music of Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns offers familiar settings with all brand new music. Obviously, comparisons to the original Mary Poppins were going to be drawn. Unfortunately, the songs from Mary Poppins Returns are simply not as memorable as that of Mary Poppins. You probably won’t walk out humming any of the new tunes. But, to be fair, the bar was set fairly high.

Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Practically Perfect In Every Way

Nathanael Saleh, Pixie Davies, and Joel Dawson as the Banks children, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack in Mary Poppins Returns

However, this is not to say that the songs are not enjoyable. They are fun and bring a great deal of emotion in various scenes. For example, when Mary Poppins sings “The Place Where the Lost Things Go,” it’s truly a magical moment. The scene showcases Mary Poppins’ warm heart as she consoles the children over the loss of their mother. Moreover, when the children, in turn, sing it to their father, it brings home how much Michael and his children have switched roles. Then, there is the snarky “Can You Imagine That?” in which Mary Poppins mocks the magic she puts on full display in front of the children. Last, there is the opening and closing song performed by Jack. “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” is essentially a love letter to London and it’s…well….lovely.

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Overall, though, it’s the original score that truly shines and captured my heart. Specifically because of how it honored the original Mary Poppins. Beneath the new music, strands of “Feed the Birds,” “The Life I Lead,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and more can be heard. The hints of those original songs come at the most touching moments, reminding us that this family has a history.

Final Thoughts on Mary Poppins Returns

Go see this movie! It’s magical and wonderfully done. It’s visually stunning and the costumes are absolutely glorious. As a sequel to a beloved classic, Mary Poppins Returns will make its own place in your heart. You’ll enjoy the romp through the imagination of P.L. Travers and the wit and wisdom of a nanny whose heart is full for the children she travels the world to care for. Mary Poppins Returns is a classic on its own!

Content Note: PG

Where to Watch: Go see the movie while it’s still in theaters!

Have you seen Mary Poppins Returns? What did you think? Let me know below! 


Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

OVERALL RATING

“You had me at hello.”

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