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Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns

Starring: Emily Blunt, Ben Wishaw, Emily Mortimer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Walters (Rated G – 130 min).

Perfect in every way indeed, almost flawless Disney follow-up decades after the original Mary Poppins delighted audiences with musical pizzazz and animation delights. 1964 original had Julie Andrews as the umbrella floating, singing, impressionable nanny to the Banks household bringing delight and hope to all whom she encounters.

Already an award nominee for her updated portrayal, amazing Emily Blunt takes up the role with pure swift enchantment creating her own legacy of the timeless character. She’s grandiose. After tragedy has struck leaving the next generation of Banks children without a mother, returning literally out of the blue to help the family once again, the hybrid of lavish musical sequences and animated interludes holds up into perfection not missing a beat for laughs, sad emotion and joy, it’s all here.

Colin Firth, Julie Waters, Meryl Streep, David Warner and an appearance by legendary Angela Lansbury are only scratching the surface of a sharp performance ensemble giving it their all. Purists of the original may not be as impressed as I. Could also be viewed as a standalone film, possibly, older children and theatrical minded families will find it a complete delight, although those not accustomed to musicals could no doubt get agitated or bored.

The role of Bert the chimney sweep has been transplanted to Jack the lamp-lighter (Lin-Manuel Miranda), a nice touch and one of many twinned with aspects out of the original.  A late appearance by 1964 alumni Dick Van Dyke, energetic fun icing on the Poppins cake.

Shane A. Bassett

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