I have heard decidedly mixed reviews about the sequel and return of Mary Poppins in the new Disney film. It had sounded as if many people liked the film, but did not love it. To me, the film is magic.
This was way better than I anticipated. I loved this film. I loved the portrayal of Mary Poppins by Emily Blunt, stepping into the shoes of Julie Andrews. I thought Lin-Manuel Miranda was wonderful. I loved most of the music. There was just so much to love.
Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) has had some troubles. Since his wife passed away, Michael has been struggling. He is about to lose his house and his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) wants to help him. Because of this, Michael’s children have had to grow up quicker than they should.
Enter… Mary Poppins, who returned as if she hadn’t aged a day, and takes up her mantel as the nanny for the Banks children, helping teach lessons to everybody, especially the adults.
Now, the film itself really hits the same beats as the original Mary Poppins. There is the animation section. The big dance number from the lamplighters instead of chimney sweeps. The bank drama was here as well.
However, that did not matter. There were so many wonderful scenes here. I found myself completely engulfed by the story and the songs. I had tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face from the joyous nature that I was feeling.
Emily Blunt was perfectly cast. I can’t imagine the idea of having someone try to take the role of the iconic nanny over but Blunt does it unbelievably well.
The new Banks children are played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson and they do some great work here. The children in this movie had to be charming and solid because they carry a lot of the narrative and if they are average, this movie does not work at all. Thankfully, these kids are great.
There were also several fun cameos, including Dick Van Dyke (who can still break a move), Meryl Streep and Angela Lansbury.
I am so happy that I finally saw this tonight. I took my mother to this on Christmas Eve and I was very happy to share this experience with her.