Mary Poppins Returns, in theatres December 19th, starts with the song “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” sung by the talented Lin-Manuel Miranda, playing Jack, a lamplighter in Britain during the Great Depression. Then we are quickly introduced to the busy household of the grown-up Michael and Jane from the original 1964 Mary Poppins. Michael’s wife died a year earlier, so Jane is helping to raise the kids. Things are chaotic and unstable, and the adults are distracted by the possibility of losing the house because of some important documents that are lost. So Mary Poppins appears, played by Emily Blunt and ready to get to business attending to the kids. Spit spot!
The rest of the movie is quite the ride that bounces between reality and fantasy – as does the original – but with a lot more speed, distraction, and hyperactivity. There are so many visuals, so many effects, such busyness – it’s a fast-paced nostalgic ride on steroids.
I’m still recovering from my “high” seeing the new Mary Poppins Returns this week. I expected excitement and special effects galore, and I was certainly entertained, but I was also a bit exhausted.
First, Mary Poppins barely settles in before insisting on giving the kids a bath (can’t they get acquainted first?). But that turns out to be no bath but a fast but magical journey to an undersea world.
At another point, Mary, Jack and the kids travel to another world inside a china bowl, where Poppins and Jack do an impressive stage performance for a full audience of animated animals. This is where we hear songs with too many words like “A Cover Is Not the Book,” though the singing and dancing talents of Miranda and Blunt are quite impressive. [Read more…]