Mary Poppins Returns (PG)

Based upon Pamela Lyndon (P.L.) Travers’ The Mary Poppins Stories (Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935), Mary Poppins Opens the Door (1943), Mary Poppins in the Park (1952), Mary Poppins From A to Z (1962), Mary Poppins in the Kitchen (1975), Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (1982) and Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (1988 )), directed by Rob Marshall, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns is the instant classic I’ve been waiting for! This is not a remake of the original Mary Poppins (1964). It is a sequel of sorts; a continuation of the story as Mary Poppins returns to the Banks’ household now that those children from the original are grown and in need of her assistance once again.

I don’t have one bad thing to say about this film. Well, I do, but I won’t because it’s not worth mentioning and my issue is resolved within the film itself. Honestly, the original was not one my childhood favorites. I didn’t see the original until after my daughter was born, so my perspective on the comparisons between the two films is quite different than that of someone who grew up watching the classic. However, I have owned the Disney Album since the age of six (It’s somewhere around here. Please don’t ask me to put my hands on it and pull it out to prove it.), so I was familiar with the classic songs and heard the movie long before ever seeing it.

The set design, costumes, animation, art, sound, special effects, acting, music, original songs (some, of course, more than others), guest stars, all were all amazing. The fantasy sequences are satisfying. The children are cute and not annoying at all. This film captures the spirit of Disney perfectly. It has been 54 years since the original Mary Poppins was released, and if the quality of the Mary Poppins franchise remains this high, a sequel could be made every few years and I would have no problem with it. Mary can go visit a new family with a new set of problems and I would be there for all of it! I mean, don’t you want to know what Mary does when she’s not helping the Banks family? I know I do.

After watching her in A Quiet Place (my review in the link) I knew she was growing on me. Emily Blunt has officially become someone I would go to any movie to see. Until she is not. Yes. She snuck up on me and won me over. Blunt commits to her roles so wholeheartedly and she chooses them wisely and well. There is no competition or comparison between Blunt and Julie Andrews here. Blunt has fun with this role and makes it her own. Lin-Manuel Miranda is utilized in the best way and is right in his element. I’ll even allow for his poor British accent because he remains consistent with it. He is the perfect fit for this film and provides his unique musical style to jazz things up.

The music is sublime, as we move from song to song, sentiment to sentiment, reminiscent of the prequel, with each song getting better and better. By the end I was rocking out in my seat.

What a great screenplay (co-written by Marshall, David MaGee and John DeLuca) that pays homage to the original while making something that feels fresh and new. Still set in the past, and we know it was originally a 1930’s depression-era setting, you cannot say what year Mary Poppins returned and this is what helps to make it a timeless classic. It is odd that it feels like the exact same era as the first film after the children in the first installment have grown up; but Mary Poppins is not only age-less, she is time-less. So I forgive it! That is part of the charm of the sequel!

The elements of fantasy are fun, entertaining and suspenseful.  Those moments not only brought out my inner child, they reminded me what good, old fashioned, musicals were like when stars had to be a triple threat, able to dance, act and sing (or at least do one uniquely and/or exceptionally well), in order to even get into the game. Blunt and Miranda are a charming pair in this way, as he forces her to up her musical and performance game and she rises to meet him in the challenge in the best way.

The much anticipated Mary Poppins Returns earned 9.5 out of 10 bloops. Although I cannot declare it a “masterpiece” it is an excellent film I wholeheartedly enjoyed more and more as it went along. I came home and wanted to go back out and watch it again and would read the book series if I had the time. Adults, it is safe to take the kids, grands, great-grands, nieces, nephews or a class. You will not be bored.  Can’t guarantee you won’t fall asleep because when you’re tired and the lights go out it’s always a crapshoot, but you don’t want to miss this film. It literally took me longer to insert the hyperlinks here than to write this review. This is by far one of the quickest and easiest reviews I’ve ever written. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to find somebody’s child (I have 17 nieces and nephews who have about 20 kids among themselves, so surely there should be at least one little sprout available somewhere) to take, just so I can see it again this weekend and watch them enjoy it.

Thank you for reading. You can scroll all the way down to the bottom of this page, hit the “follow” button and enter your email address to subscribe to bloopbymimi, and never miss a review; or you can follow me on twitter (which I must get more savvy with and active on!) @bloopbymimi1

Bloops:

1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

What I’m Seeing Next

If Beale Street Could Talk will be reviewed next. I saw it days ago and is one of the more difficult reviews (the opposite of Mary Poppins Returns) that I’ve ever had to write. But I’m almost there.

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