I was invited to see a pre-release of Mary Poppins Returns as a member of the media. All words and thoughts my own. Affiliate links included. When you purchase anything via these links, I make a small commission. Very small. But very appreciated. Thanks for loving ohAmanda!
MARY POPPINS RETURNS! MARY POPPINS RETURNS! MARY POPPINS RETURNS!
I can’t even.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS.
I was invited to a screening of Mary Poppins Returns a few weeks ago and I moved heaven and earth to get my kids taken care of so I can scoot off to see it.
As with every Disney remake, I am appropriately shocked when they announce it. I have my upturned nose and the how-dare-they look down pat. But then, when I sit in the theatre and am immersed in a new take on my favorites, I end up falling in love all over again. (See: Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella) (Do NOT See: Jungle Book and Maleficent)
You know where this is going, right?
OK. Let’s do this thing right…
Jane and Michael have grown up and become official grown-ups with problems of their own. Michael’s kids have taken those problems on themselves and become too grown up for their own good. That’s when Mary steps in. Mary’s adventures with the children lead to…well, a happy ending.
WHY YOU WILL WANT TO SEE MARY POPPINS RETURNS THE VERY SECOND IT IS RELEASED ON 12/19
Because it is Mary Poppins. I mean, honestly, I can’t do an actual nuanced review of this because I so totally love Mary Poppins. All things Mary. I mean, she’s practically perfect in every way.
WHY YOU WILL NOT WANT TO SEE MARY POPPINS RETURNS
You don’t like classic Disney musical movies with fun music and feel-good characters. *shrugs*
A BIT MORE GUSHING
Let’s just say it like this: imagine there was an alternate reality where Walt Disney and the Sherman Brothers wrote a different Mary Poppins movie in 2018 and Emily Blunt was Mary Poppins. THIS is the movie that would happen.
It was like every single thing you loved about the first one was somehow in the movie, or referred to in the movie or nodded to in the movie or just built upon. Go ahead. Think of something you love about Mary Poppins. I’ll wait.
Oh, the blank, shocked, aggravated yet sly face of Mary Poppins when someone questions her? CHECK.
OK. Yes, Mary’s iconic shoes in first position? CHECK.
How about a quick trip to a cartoon land full of rollicking music and zany characters? IN SPADES.
A charming, singing male sidekick? INDUBITABLY!
Adorable children? JUST LOOK AT THEM!
And an all-male dance number that just won’t quit? OH, BABY!
Hilarious side characters who have their own awesome turn-the-world-upside-down lives? YES, INDEED.
Dick Van Dyke? UHM. I THINK I CRIED.
THINGS TO TALK ABOUT (includes spoilers)
The children’s mother // Michael’s wife has recently died and he is having a very hard time dealing with all of it. He sings a beautiful song (such an echo of George Banks’ song) and ends with this question, “where’d you go?”
Mary Poppins then sings a song called, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” to help the kids deal with and understand their mother’s death. Two lines of significance:
“Nothing’s gone forever, just out of place” and
“[she is] smiling from a star that she makes glow / Trust she’s always there watching as you grow / Find her in the place where lost things go.”
As Christians, life after death is not a black hole, a question or a limbo-land where we are “lost things”. Instead, it is a continuation of life, eternal life with our Lord and Creator. This is a perfect opportunity to discuss what happens when we die. Read 2 Corinthians 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57, John 14:1-3, John 11:25-26 and/or Romans 8:38-39 to see more about death and life. See Randy Alcorn’s book Heaven and Heaven for Kids for more great questions and answers.
Note: Although there is definitely a focus on the mother’s death and the family’s reaction to it, it was not overly sad or emotional. However, if your child is sensitive, be aware of this point.
A kidnapping scene // Honestly, this makes the movie sound much more serious than it is. But, there is a part when one of the cartoons throws the youngest Banks child into a cart and drives away. I don’t know if it was super scary, but a child sensitive to that may not like it.
This is seriously the worst movie review ever. Basically, I gushed for like an hour after I saw the movie. I don’t know if it was practically perfect in every way. It was certainly a bit more cartoonish than the original. Maybe a bit more fantastical. I was super judgmental the first two songs to make sure it could live up to Julie Andrews, the Sherman Brothers, Dick Van Dyke, Walt Disney and the original. And although NO ONE could ever be them, and nothing could BE the original, I thought it paid great homage to the world they created.
I’m sure there’s other things to talk about and highlight. But, I don’t really want to discuss every detail and scene because if you are a Disney/Mary Poppins fan like me, you’ll want to experience it yourself. Just know there are lots of lovely little surprises in store!
Overall, it was incredibly fun, heart-warming, exciting and full of the music and magic that made the first movie so special.