There’s always a handful of films that instantly transport one to that magical time of being a child without a care or worry in the world. Mary Poppins would be that film for me. Why? It literally was the first film my mother introduced me to as a little girl. Who can forget Julie Andrews singing “Spoonful of Sugar” or Dick Van Dyke on that roof dancing his heart out in “Steppin’ Time?” Those memories are permanently seared in my brain, so needless to say, the bar was set high and my speculation of Lin Manuel-Miranda and Emily Blunt in this sequel was on high alert.
Emily Blunt is, as Mary Poppins would say, “…practically perfect in every way” in Mary Poppins Returns. If anyone were to pick up the mantle, Blunt is the one to take it the distance. Her singing, dancing and overall persona as our favorite magical nanny makes the most skeptical of believers fall in line. Her chemistry with Lin Manuel-Miranda is bananas, who’s proving to audiences and critics alike that there is more to his talent arsenal than rhyming. Miranda is absolutely adorable to watch and the screen lights up each time he steps onto it. Colin Firth is deliciously evil as banker William Weatherall Wilkins. Cameos from Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury are delightful and heartwarming, but the overblown musical number with Meryl Streep as Topsy I could’ve lived without. Don’t get me wrong, I love some Meryl Streep, but just felt like her character or that number did little to enhance or move the story along.
The people of color inclusion is sprinkled about and much appreciated. Rob Marshall is doing for musical theatre on film what Ryan Murphy is doing for the genre on the small screen. Bravo!!! There are songs and musical numbers for days, but overall Mary Poppins Returns is a film that will have you floating on air and wishing for a time when life was a little simpler and a little lighter in tone. just in time for the magical Christmas holiday, Mary Poppins Returns floats into theatres in December 19th. Take the whole family and leave feeling a thousand times better than when you went inside.