Here’s the thing about musical sequels- they usually do not work. I know “Mamma Mia: Here We Again” worked. On January 10th, I watched “Mary Poppins Returns”- the question was would it work as a sequel. I would have to see for myself. The original had so much charm and magic in it found in the acting and the songs.
“Now an adult with three children, bank teller Michael Banks learns that his house will be repossessed in five days unless he can pay back a loan. His only hope is to find a missing certificate that shows proof of valuable shares that his father left him years earlier. Just as all seems lost, Michael and his sister receive the surprise of a lifetime when Mary Poppins — the beloved nanny from their childhood — arrives to save the day and take the Banks family on a magical, fun-filled adventure”
From the beginning, I knew we had another sequel that worked. It started with Jack (Lin Manuel Miranda) doing his job as a lamp lighter. He was the counterpart to Bert, the chimney sweep, in the original. I knew it worked because I enjoyed the first song. When you know that from the start, that says something. I later learned in the film that Jack was an apprentice to Bert, which does help connect this film to the original. I loved Jack as a character- he seemed to love the Banks children as much as Bert loved Michael and Jane.
Georgie, Anabel, and John are the new Banks children in this film. Georgie is the youngest, who has the biggest imagination of the three who keeps on wondering off. The other two are so protective of Georgie, it seems, as they go after him when he wonders off. Love these children.
Emily Blunt has huge shoes to fill as she takes on the role of the fun-loving and magic-filled Mary Poppins. She makes Mary Poppins her own- not a carbon copy of Julies Andrews. She has everything you would expect in Mary Poppins- fun and the magic. She has them swimming in a bathtub and spending time in a pot.
Michael Banks is in a financial crisis right now. He has moved on to work at a bank (just like his father). Their family has fallen on hard times- he lost his wife about a year ago. If they can’t pay off a loan, it means losing the house. It is so different from seeing him as just a child to him as an adult. The same applies to Jane as well.
There are new characters as well- Jack I already mentioned. You have Mary Poppin’s cousin, who is hilarious in some ways. Wilkins is our chief antagonist, who at first glance does not seem like he his, but as the story advances, you realize that he is. There are characters that are memorable that are not named like the balloon lady.
The songs are KEY to any musical. They give a music its charm and heart. If I didn’t like or love these songs, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this movie in any way. I keep on forgetting the names of them, though.
Underneath the Lonely London Sky- I already said I love how it begins with Jack doing his job while riding a bicycle. It is like Bert doing the chalk drawing in the original. Very similar- something you would expect from a Mary Poppins film. The overture starts right after that.
Can You Imagine That- This is a fun number. This one takes place in the bathtub. It has a lot of magic in it. Loved this scene- one of my favorite songs from the musical.
The Royal Dulton Music Hall/ Introducing Mary Poppins/ A Cover is Not That Book- this all takes place in the pot- it is where the animated part of the film happens.
The Place Where Lost Things Go- This is the lullaby that Mary Poppins sings to the kids. It is something that Mary Poppins does- it is part of who she is.
Trip a Little Light Fantastic- this is pretty much the “Step in Time” number. It is found between all of the lamp lighters. It is a fun dance number, and love all of the lyrics. It is amazing how certain song are kind of similar to some of the original songs from this movie.
No Where to Go But Up- Another fun number. It is a very fun number to watch.
So Mary Poppins returns is another sequel that works. It has the same kind of feeling that the original had. The magic, the innocence, the fun, the animated aspect, and songs numbers that still have that same kind of feeling (just in a different way).