I’ll admit, like many I was skeptical when Walt Disney Studios announced they were going to release a sequel to Mary Poppins, the classic children’s film starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It was staple of my childhood growing up! Can anyone truly put on the black boater and carry the magical carpetbag of Mary Poppins with the same calm and dignity as Julie Andrews?
The first trailer is a magnificent effort to disprove our doubts. Disney has made an earnest attempt to recapture the magic of the original film, even including animated sequences that look like the hand-drawn animation of the original. Emily Blunt is striking as Mary Poppins—ageless, charming, stern but loving. Lin-Manuel Miranda has big, soot-stained shoes to fill as Jack, heir to Dick Van Dyke’s capering character from the first film, but he brings an innocent sense of fun to every moment he appears in the trailer. By all accounts he has a terrible accent, but so did Dick Van Dyke! Blunt and Miranda are joined by an amazing roster of stars including Ben Whishaw, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and Dick Van Dyke himself!
The story is pretty simple. In a certain sense, the story is unimportant. It’s the same story, more or less, because that’s the story that we want: someone who appears to help us reconnect with our parents and rekindles hope and happiness after a tragic loss. Mary Poppins returns to help the next generation of Banks children after their mother passes away, turning ordinary chores and dark days into whimsical adventures. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)
Mary Poppins Returns is in theatres December 19!