Mary Poppins Returns

Film, Family and kids Now showing
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(3user reviews)
Mary Poppins Returns

Emily Blunt is hypnotically charming in the year's sweetest surprise - a big-hearted cinematic high.

Delivering old-school, kite-flying, chimney-sweeping nostalgia, Disney’s improbable sequel – coming a full 54 years after the original fantasy – is a risk that magically pays off. ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ is a defiantly nostalgic musical, not only in its gaslit 1930s London (the days of the ‘Great Slump’, as we learn), but also via its songs. Ace composer-lyricists Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman nail the retro mood.

Even though this is a treat for Poppins fans of a certain age, flashes of modernity sneak through in Emily Blunt’s knowing nanny, purring through her impeccable pronunciation. ‘One never discusses a woman’s age,’ she snaps at the mystified now-grown-up family she all but re-adopts as her new personal project when, a generation later, her nannying is needed again. Mary’s umbrella-assisted descent from the heavens is a stand-up-and-cheer moment (as is a fleet-footed cameo by that original cock-er-nee, Dick Van Dyke), but there’s a deeper satisfaction in the songcraft that gives a thirtysomething Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) the quiet, McCartney-esque ‘A Conversation’, pitched amid his grief and loneliness.

That is to say, there are kids in this update (a trio of relentlessly upbeat adorables) but they’re incidental to the real kids – lost adults who can get a handle on life’s cruel realities. Like the 1964 film, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ vibrates with economic anxiety: This time, house repossession and homelessness. It won’t take the wide-eyed presence of Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda (or a scene-stealing Meryl Streep as Mary’s vaguely Eastern European cousin, Topsy) to put you in mind of Brexit tensions or America’s own xenophobic moment.

The movie’s response is British in the most wonderful way: socially minded, psychedelic (brace for some truly hallucinogenic animation) and optimistic. Mary, for all her chipper rectitude, is the film’s angel of compassion. When Blunt, in strong voice, sings a new song, ‘The Place Where Lost Things Go’, she’s offering up a cosmic coping strategy. ‘There’s nowhere to go but up,’ sings the cast, buoyed by balloons and a spirit of hope that’s been gone too long.

By: Joshua Rothkopf


Release details

Release date:
Friday December 21 2018
130 mins

Cast and crew

Rob Marshall
David Magee
Emily Blunt
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Ben Whishaw
Emily Mortimer
Colin Firth

We've found 44 cinemas showing 'Mary Poppins Returns'

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Average User Rating

2.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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3 people listening

Emily Blunt does a professional and competent job in the lead, but lacks any charisma. The story is very thin, and really just a repeat of the original.

The best thing about the film is the performance of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who brings an element of fun to his scenes. The cartoon insets are rather clumsy &  old fashioned. Why all this criticism for a kids film you may ask, well I just think that great kids films last for ever, which the Disney studio should know, & I just wish they would resist recycling their old hits in a desperation search for more money.

I went into this movie with low expectations as a fan of the first movie.

Disney has been able to create a sequel which stands up in it's own right without ruining the charm of the first ones.

The songs provide nostalgia while adding a contemporary flare, emily blunt excells as Mary poppins and all the other characters adds and progress the story well.


I must admit that the movie failed to engage with me. The visuals were stunning and the CGI seamlessly embedded itself into the film. The kids were adorable and it was nice to see Emily Blunt’s interpretation of the role. However, I felt that the film tried to slavishly copy the formula of the original so there were no huge surprises. I’m not sure if any of the songs will be future classics.