Mary Poppins Returns and with it, so has Disney Movie Magic

Title:  Mary Poppins Returns
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Starring: Emily Blunt, Ben Wishaw, Emily Mortimer, Lin Manuel Miranda
Release Date: December 19, 2018
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Rating: PG
FA Scorecard: A+++++

Michael Banks is no longer a little boy chasing a kite. He’s an adult with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Widowed, with three young children, he’s in financial difficulty and about to lose the family home. Even his sister Jane, is unable to help him get through the difficulty and there seems to be no way that he is going to be able to get them out of this problem. And we all know what happens when everything seems impossible, right? That’s when Mary Poppins shows up.

There are words that I feel get overused in the English language so you will rarely, if ever, see me use them in a review. However, while I was sitting in the theater, the only thing I could think was that Disney had achieved both extraordinary and exceptional with this film. I was excited going into it, but cautious. Modern remakes or sequels can often lose the heart of the original. This movie carried on as if Mary Poppins had never gone away in the first place. This wasn’t just a film. This was, without a doubt, cinematic magic back on the big screen. This movie is what films were meant to be.  From the first moment the screen lit up, it embodied the very spirit of Walt Disney.

The soundtrack was gorgeous – but were we expecting anything different with Lin Manuel Miranda involved? I mean seriously though, several of the numbers were breathtaking in scope and felt like a Broadway show. At one point after everyone was finished dancing, there was silence in the theater and my daughter said, “Don’t you want to stand up and applaud?” Yes, I did!

The costumes, the sets, the scenery and the magic of animation transported us to a completely different world. Familiar but new, it was wonderful to revisit the Banks family.  From the gorgeous shoes on Mary Poppins to her perfectly tipped hat, there were no details missed iin any outfit. When the family escapes into another world (similar to the sidewalk chalk) every scene was pure movie magic.  Not surprising that we can do more than they could when the original came out, it still managed to capture the mystery and imagination of the moment. We all joined the Banks kids in being delighted with Mary Poppins and her adventures.

I could not get over how gorgeous and beautiful this film was. We stayed until the very end of the credits (there is no end credit scene by the way) and still sat there for a few minutes, just not ready to break the atmosphere of the film.

Personally, I think it’s been way too long since audiences at movies have experienced pure joy, hope, and delight on the big screen. This is exactly the movie that the holiday season needed.

Though I had been looking forward to this film, I was surprised at how much I loved it. In fact, we left the theater (first showing this morning) and I purchased tickets for my family to go watch it again tonight on IMAX.  It deserves to be savored in theaters. This movie is a cinematic spectacular that could easily be called Supercalifragilistic….well, you get it.

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