Title: Mary Poppins Returns
Some Actors: Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Emily Blunt (Into the woods), Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!), and Ben Wishaw (A Very English Scandal).
Age Group: Grade Schoolers and Above
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
You probably grew up with the movie Mary Poppins. I know it was one of those movies for me that you show a kid and then that’s all they want to do is watch it over and over. It’s a definite family classic with a special place in many people’s hearts. Maybe you’ve also heard, then, about the subject of this review: the not-so-long-awaited, but still hypable Mary Poppins Returns.
I know when I heard about this I was dubious, which I think is a perfectly natural reaction. I mean it’s been, what, fifty years? But don’t get me started on the movie industry (that’s a whole other blog post-seriously). Despite any initial reactions, though, I still really wanted to experience this new film and enjoy it heartily.
So you could say I went into the cinema with high expectations since it was getting lots of news coverage, plus it was a musical, and it even starred Lin-Manuel Miranda! Into the cinema I went…
The beginning scene put my nervousness at ease with familiar looking sites and melodic song. I was a little contemplative when Mary was first introduced; She seemed much more proper than the old one, but I honestly liked that the actress gave the part some of her own flair. From start to end the film progressed and I enjoyed it! I could definitely see some similarities to the original plot, but that wasn’t particularly surprising.
Overall, I’d say Mary Poppins Returns was worth it to see, but not something I’d make a big deal about seeing again and again. This has to do with the major upside and the major downside of it for me. Let’s start with the downside so we can end on a positive note!
I’m a happy, fun-loving person and that’s why I love Mary Poppins so much! It’s all about enjoying life and staying positive. In the first movie there’s a whole scene where basically all they do is laugh! That’s what I’m talking about! Unfortunately, there were one or two moments in particular where I felt that the happy childlike aspect was lost, when this was so completely present in the original. The children in this sequel are the focus of one scene where a cartoon wolf attempts to abduct them. Of course, they escape, but the whole deal was very dramatic. There’s tons of scary music, sound effects, and yelling. Now I can tell you right now if I’d seen that when I was younger I would’ve been scrambling into my mother’s lap. To me, this scene seemed too intense and altogether unnecessary for a kids’ movie. But, hey, this is Hollywood, so was I too surprised? No, just a little disappointed.
Luckily, my big highlight of the film, the music, helped balance my view and settle on my eventual rating of 3.5 stars. Yes, as a big musical fan, I really like the songs (and the impressive choreography). Of course, “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” is a favorite as well as “Nowhere to Go But Up.” However, one of my true favorites might just be the opening one: “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky.” Maybe I am biased since it is the solo song of Lin-Manuel Miranda, whom I greatly admire, but I love the melody and happy-to-be-alive feeling that emanates. Although I did say I wouldn’t watch this film over and over, I will certainly listen to it!
Based on these thoughts, would I recommend seeing it? Yes, but especially if you liked the first one. I would warn you against bringing really small children with you and suggest being open-minded to have the best experience.
Happy reading 2019–Let’s fly together!