Film discussion

2018 Movie Preview: Mary Poppins Returns

It has been 53 years since Mary Poppins first burst across the big screen with her no-nonsense optimism, magical carpet bag and a spoonful of sugar. It feels that now more than ever the world could use a little musical joy and luckily for audiences the enigmatic nanny will be returning to cinemas in December 2018.

Mary Poppins Returns picks up 20 years after the events of the original film released in 1964. Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to visit the Banks children, Jane and Michael who are now all grown up and living in 1930s London. Micheal Banks (Ben Whishaw) has suffered a devastating loss which has left himself and his three children Annabel, Georgie and John depressed and deflated. Mary bursts into their life and with the help of her friend Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) brings joy and excitement back into their family.

The film promises to have as many toe-tapping tunes as the original and be a visual treat. A short teaser trailed that was released online, shows Emily Blunt dressed in a beautiful bright costume of a blue coat and some snazzy red gloves with a matching hat, perhaps promising that the costumes and cinematography will be more vibrant than the original film.

The 1960s musical had some impressive effects for its time, a memorable scene being the cast of characters floating up to the ceiling of a room while hysterically laughing. With the introduction of computer generated animation and special effects, we can only imagine the multitude of exiting and crazy scenes that could be included in this new film. Early footage released at a recent animation panel at a Disney expo made the audience roar with excitement.

Mary Poppins Returns also boasts an impressive cast with actors such as Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters and Angela Lansbury starring in the film. Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert the chimney sweep from the original musical is also making an appearance. He is rumoured to be playing a bank manager who at one point dances on a desk! Perhaps the most exciting casting is Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, who may be a descendant of the original cockney Bert.

Not only does Blunt look the part of Mary and sound it with her clipped English accent, but she has proven that she can sing in the film musical Into The Woods and also possesses considerable acting skills recently exhibited in Sicario and The Girl on the Train. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is composing original songs for Mary Poppins Returns is well known for his work on Hamilton, the award winning Broadway musical he wrote, composed and starred in. Most recently he co-wrote the songs for Disneys’ animated film Moana, of which the main song was nominated for an Academy Award.

The director and producing team are Rob Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt who have all worked together on Disney’s Into The Woods. David Magee, who has previously penned the bittersweet Finding Neverland and recently adapted The Life of Pi for the big screen, is writing the script. The filming is taking place in Shepperton Studios in the UK and at locations around London such as Buckingham Palace, giving the film a truly English atmosphere.

With all of the talent and resources connected to Mary Poppins Returns, we are hoping for moving dialogue, cheerfully didactic songs and a visual spectacle. We expect it to be a feel-good film that leaves you exiting the movie-theatre with your feet dancing and a smile on your face.

Are you looking forward to the return of Mary Poppins? Let us know.

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