When I first heard the title for the Mary Poppins sequel I immediately thought of how much it sounds like a superhero film. Mary Poppins Returns like she’s back to save the kids of London from terrible danger but in this film, she’s dealing with her own problems as well. You know like in Spider-Man 2 when Peter needs to start wearing his glasses and stuff again except for Mary Poppins it’s like she needs to be more whimsical. From any way you look at it, a Mary Poppins sequel seems kind of bonkers, despite the books being more than one. Without Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins can it really succeed?
Yes. It really can. Thanks to an excellent Emily Blunt, a wild imagination and a catchy soundtrack.
Mary Poppins Returns follows the story of a now grown up Michael Banks whose wife has died and he is now left alone with his three kids and growing debt. Working too hard and without getting the help from his sister, Michael is in dire need of help as he becomes more adult than a child. One day his youngest child, Georgie, with the help of lamplighter Jack catch Mary Poppins on a kite and Mary Poppins arrives to save the Banks children, and Michael’s children.
The key aspect for Mary Poppins Returns to work is to catch the same spirit and imagination that the original perfected. Returns covers a similar adventure storyline that the first film does, exploring the surroundings of Cherry Tree Lane, except this time, focusing more on life within the Banks household and the items inside.
A fantastic journey into the Banks children mother’s bowl creates a delightful song and some spectacular animation that looked out of place in the trailers but fits in within the film itself. The Royal Doulton Ball song is one of my favourites from the soundtrack and features a similar style to supercalifragilisticexpialidocious but with a lower difficulty level.
Other songs like Jack’s lamplighter’s group, which features Mary Poppins spitting Leary speak out like she’s a 20th-century old-timey rapper is another hit. Nothing, however, beats Returns’ finale song Nowhere to Go But Up.
It is Nowhere to Go But Up which best describes the film. Throughout the the film you’ve hard Emily Blunt performing brilliantly as Mary Poppins, I’m talking Oscar-worthy, but the overall cast is fantastic as well, especially the kids who are clearly rising stars. This song’s set design and imagery is a great example of how bright and colourful the film is and how everything on screen just makes you smile.
It is unfortunately in this section where the film’s weakest point happens and that’s the lack of Julie Andrews making an appearance. Call it nostalgia and thinking too much of the past but a small moment of Andrews at the end of the film would’ve topped off the whole thing. It instead feels like it’s missing out on that moment and it sours the experience a tad.
Mary Poppins Returns was never going to be as good as its original. Its music couldn’t possibly live up to the hits that Julie Andrews sang all those years ago. One thing that Returns does is come so close to achieving that and it is a must-see, even if you just want to go and smile at a screen for two hours. Mary Poppins Returns is a happiness fever I loved catching!