Of course I enjoyed Mary Poppins when I was a kid, but I have no interest whatsoever in watching Mary Poppins Returns. That ship has sailed for me – I’m too old and grumpy to care about this, but it’ll likely hit $700 million globally. Disney shareholders and parents will be happy but I’ll remain ambivalent.
Emily Blunt is the new Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke is the old Dick Van Dyke. Some things change and others remain the same.
“Mary Poppins Returns” stars: Emily Blunt as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure; Lin-Manuel Miranda as her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London; Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; and Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy.
The film also introduces three new Banks’ children played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.
The film is directed by Rob Marshall from a screenplay by David Magee and screen story by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca based upon The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are Marshall, DeLuca and Marc Platt with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer and the music is by Marc Shaiman with songs by Shaiman and Scott Wittman.