That was the charge given to screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland, Life of Pi) and director Rob Marshall (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Into the Woods, upcoming The Little Mermaid). Set twenty-five years after the Julie Christie and Dick Van Dyke original, the film finds Poppins returning to the family of Michael Banks, one of her original mentees, after his wife dies.
Joining Emily Blunt who plays Poppins are Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep. [Van Dyke plays the son of his ‘other’ character from the original film, Fidelity Fiduciary Bank chairman Dawes.] Again arriving as a necessary nanny, this time to Banks’ children Annabel, John, and Georgie. Of course, you also need a cockney lamplighter, Jack (Miranda), to fully echo the original musical with all of its mirth and tunes.
On the Blu-ray combo pack of Mary Poppins Returns, a menagerie of special features fill out the collection. There’s the sing-along edition, deleted songs like “The Anthropomorphic Zoo,” bloopers, and “The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins.” Those who have been hungering for a song-and-dance sequel will appreciate this. Others who’ve somehow missed the original may be more in the dark!