Film review: Beloved Mary Poppins is back

Mary Poppins Returns

As Disney reboots its treasured back catalogue, another classic character returns to the big screen more than 50 years after she first appeared.

Words by Kevin Sebastian

Mary Poppins Returns sees everyone’s favourite magical nanny played almost flawlessly by Emily Blunt, who pays homage to the original Julie Andrews iteration. With a very high bar to hit, we’re happy to say that Poppins Returns does it beautifully. Blunt play Poppins without fault; she also makes the role her own while reminding us of everything we loved when Julie Andrews helmed the character. There’s a vivacious delight and whimsy that leaves the viewer feeling a lot lighter of heart.

The whimsical sequel takes place 25 years after the events of the original. The Banks children are grown up and little Michael now has a family of his own. We won’t give away too much, but the movie deals with a deep sense of loss and trying times to which most will relate. London is in ‘The Great Slump’-  a mirror to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Between having to deal with a potential job loss, a heartless boss and looking after his family, Michael Banks could use a lift and that’s where Mary Poppins appears once again.

We admit, we have a fond weakness for musicals and whatever Disney produces seems to resonate well with us. (Frozen being the exception. Don’t @ us). This film is a beautiful harmony of Broadway meets old-school Disney. There are cameos from the original cast, sing-a-long hits and a stellar performance from Lin Manuel Miranda, who plays Jack the chimney sweep (apprentice of Bert from the original film).  It all brings a certain nostalgia from the 1964 original but doesn’t rely on it too much to create an original story that adults and children alike can relate to.

When you leave the cinema, don’t be surprised when you hop, skip dance and ‘Trip a Little Light Fantastic.’

In UAE cinemas now. Rated PG. Also starring Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters and Dick Van Dyke.

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