Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters on December 19! What should you know before you head to the movies?
Should you watch the original Mary Poppins first?
Well, yes and no. Yes, you should absolutely have seen Mary Poppins first because it’s a classic and you’ll love it and what kind of monster wouldn’t want to watch Mary Poppins? But no, it’s not necessary to have seen the original to follow along with the plot in Mary Poppins Returns. Familiarity with Mary Poppins will help you catch all of the Easter eggs in the film, though, which is always part of the fun.
Is it just as good as the original?
It’s hard to compare Mary Poppins to Mary Poppins Returns in any sort of an objective fashion. The original movie is a much beloved classic. Mary Poppins Returns has many of the same characters, and many of the same themes, but it is a different movie. Technology has improved dramatically, and you’ll see that throughout the movie, but especially in the animated sequence. Additionally, Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins isn’t a carbon copy of the Julie Andrews version. One thing that came up several times during interviews with the cast was Dick Van Dyke’s work on the film. He said the set has the same energy of the original film. That holds true when you watch Mary Poppins Returns. There’s a comfortable familiarity there.
Is it right for the entire family?
Here’s another yes and no answer. The movie is rated PG and has a run time of 2 hours and 11 minutes. Little ones that struggle to get through an animated feature that clocks in under 90 minutes might get antsy during this one. There’s a chase scene that might be slightly intense for the very young. (Although it takes place during the animated sequence, making it not particularly scary.) The film also deals with the death of a parent. There’s no language, violence or adult content, so beyond those things I mentioned, head to the movies without worry.
But…if you have a family member who just isn’t into musicals or doesn’t like a good dance number, leave them at home. The movie is absolutely packed with musical numbers, and you’ll enjoy yourself more if you’re not sitting through it with someone rolling their eyes every time someone breaks into song.
What about that music?
Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman did an incredible job constructing the music in Mary Poppins Returns. Legendary composer Richard Sherman served as a consultant. There’s a clear musical blueprint from the original film that was used to construct the musical tone for Mary Poppins Returns. The film’s nine new songs are already in heavy rotation in my house now that the soundtrack is available.
How about those Easter eggs?
Ah, you caught that when I mentioned them before? Well, yes…there are Easter eggs, but this movie isn’t packed full of them. There’s a piece of furniture in the Banks home from the original film. The attic is home to several items from Mary Poppins. A character from the original film makes a cameo and actually repeats one of her lines. There are musical nods within the score towards the end of the film. And yes, Dick Van Dyke is there. And there might even be a wooden leg named Smith…you’ll just have to watch for yourself to see.
Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters on December 19, 2018!
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.