Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
By Livia Peterson
Compare Mary Poppins Returns (2018) to Mary Poppins (1964) and nothing compares to the original. P.L. Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins series would be utterly disappointed. Travers was determined to not provide the motion picture rights and avoided Mary Poppins to be sequelized, as demonstrated in Saving Mr. Banks (2013). Yet, here we are with the iconic nanny featured in a sequel.
The Great Depression is at its height during 1935 in London, twenty five years following the original film. The adult Jane and Michael Banks (Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) still reside on Cherry Tree Lane, miss mortgage payments, and the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank threatens to repossess the childhood home. While the lamp lighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of theatre sensations In the Heights and Hamilton) helps the Banks family, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrives to teach the Banks children Annabel, Georgie, and John some manners with whimsy and assist to save the home.
Anchored by the charming performances by Blunt and Miranda and catchy, subpar tunes, today's children are bound to be enchanted and the adults will receive nostalgia. Some sequences are impeccably fitted for the stage, especially featuring Miranda and the ensemble tune Trip a Little Light Fantastic. The rapid conclusion contradicts why Mary Poppins arrived in the first place even though the delightful tune Nowhere to Go But Up reminds us why Poppins is rooted in our pop culture.
Mary Poppins Returns is magical and provides the perfect spoonful of escapism to forget about the depressing American politics and more. Poppins' one and only whimsy will never die as long as we remember to believe everything is possible, even the impossible. B+