Quality Children's Entertainment Family Movie Reviews

Mary Poppins Returns – A Charming Musical Filled To The Brim With Imagination And Whimsy

In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail Zoe L. comments, “What I really love about this film is that it has a great story, acting, singing, dancing and music. I particularly loved the live action mixed with vibrant colorful animation.” Benjamin P. adds, “Mary Poppins Returns is a charming musical filled to the brim with imagination and whimsy. It is quite entertaining and Emily Blunt is very good as the magical, manners-focused nanny.” Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror wraps it up with, “The costumes are alive with color. The cinematography is outstanding and depicts details to marvel in when you see the film the second or third time! The acting is superb and there are some surprises, too! Adults will be happy to see appearances by two old favorites. Suspend belief and see Mary Poppins Returns! It is practically perfect in every way!”

Mary Poppins Returns
By Abigail Zoe L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

The movie, Mary Poppins Returns is a beautiful classic movie. I totally enjoyed it and can’t wait to watch it again. However, it is different from what I thought it would be. I thought I was going to see a remake of the original Mary Poppins, you know, the one made famous by the incredible Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. However, Mary Poppins Returns is a sequel.

The story takes place 25 years into the future of the Banks’ family and the brother and sister are all grown up now. Mr. Banks has recently lost his wife and is devastated. The family is losing their home because they are behind on payments. Fortunately, for the Banks’ family, Mary Poppins (played by the multi-talented Emily Blunt) returns to help the family.

What I really love about this film is that it has a great story, acting, singing, dancing and music. I particularly loved the live action mixed with vibrant colorful animation. There are also golden nuggets of lessons to be learned in life, which I’ll share shortly.

Lin-Manuel Miranda is Jack in Disney’s MARY POPPINS RETURNS

One of my favorite parts in the movie is when Mary Poppins makes her grand entrance gliding down from high in the sky with her umbrella. Another awesome scene is when Jack (played the brilliantly talented Lin-Manuel Miranda) uses a ladder to climb the multi-high clock tower. Another really cool scene is when all the characters go down a tub drain and enter a whole new world where they swim and sing. 

I love the singing voices of Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda. It is great to see a cameo appearance by the amazing Dick Van Dyke (as Mr. Dawes Jr.) who runs the bank. He literally lit up the film when he appears and dances on a desk. Angela Lansbury’s cameo as the Balloon Lady was also just perfect. She has one of those voices when you hear one word you know it’s her.  

The messages of Mary Poppins Returns are important for all of us to remember – never lose hope, try to look at the brighter side of things and don’t forget what it is to be or have the heart of a child. I recommend this for ages 5 to 18 and also for adults. This film comes to theatres December 19, 2018 and I think you will love it, too. I joyfully give Mary Poppins Returns 5 out of 5 stars!

Mary Poppins Returns
By Benjamin Price, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13

Mary Poppins Returns is a charming musical filled to the brim with imagination and whimsy. It is quite entertaining and Emily Blunt is very good as the magical, manners-focused nanny.

The storyline follows the title character as she returns to the Banks’ family home, decades later. Siblings Michael and Jane Banks are grown up. Michael, with kids of his own and mourning the loss of his wife, is about to lose the home that they have lived in since they were children. Poppins descends from the London sky, ready to help the Banks’ family with their plight and teach Michael’s kids to use their imaginations and improve their manners. The bank has given Michael a few days to pay off his house, setting off a countdown for Poppins, the Banks and a lamplighter named Jack to save the home.

Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) and the Banks children with a crew of street lamplighters.

The story is interesting. Michael Banks has hit rock bottom. His wife has tragically passed away and he’s about to lose the home he has lived in since childhood. The only thing that brings him joy is the comfort and company of his family. It’s a sad place to start, but it’s a great scenario for Mary Poppins to come to work her magic. The idea of losing your home is pretty realistic and the contrast with such a fantastical protagonist and situation, provides an aspect that I quite enjoyed.

Emily Blunt is very good as Mary Poppins. She puts her own twist on the character, yet you can still trace it back to the earlier onscreen depiction of Poppins. Blunt gives the character a sharper, comedic edge. Her Poppins is much more witty and sarcastic, but still gives a sense of compassion and care for those around her. Blunt really dives into the role and cements her portrayal in a charismatic way. She steals the show in nearly every scene.

I recommend Mary Poppins Returns for ages 5 to 18, due to some dark themes. Adults and fans of the original Mary Poppins will enjoy this film. I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. The film has lots of charm and it’s great to see Poppins sail back onto the screen once again.

Mary Poppins Returns
By Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

The magic of Disney reappears in Mary Poppins Returns, directed and produced by Rob Marshall! Do you remember when Mary Poppins flew in to save the day for Michael and Jane Banks in Disney’s Mary Poppins debut 1964? It was a magical time as she popped in and out. Today, we relive the magic as Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) flies in to assist Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) and his housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters), bring order to his home and care for his three children –  Anabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) at Number 17 Cherry Tree Lane, London following a terrible loss.

Jack (lin-Manuel Miranda), Annabel (Pixie Davies), Georgie (Joel Dawson), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt).

The story begins with a fabulous musical dancing and singing performance by Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda), a city lamplighter and a man who has a soft spot for Jane Banks (Emily Mortimer), Michael’s Sister, for most of his life. Liveliness quickly subsides to concern as Michael Banks’ home, their childhood home, is tapped by the repo man, in the form of two bank solicitors. The timeframe is 1930s depression-era London and many are strapped, yet there is one person who relishes the misfortune of others, William Weatherall Wilkins (Colin Firth), president of the bank. You see, the bank is quite happy to collect on other’s misfortune and the Banks family is a target for this greedy man.

Emily Blunt is Mary Poppins

With Mary Poppins at the helm, joy and wonder return to the children. She takes them on many colorful adventures including a visit to see her cousin, Topsy (Meryl Streep). The adventures are full of action and I found myself lost in their magic and not wanting them to end. There are big musical numbers in their travels. The film travels the road to musical and intrigues imagination along the way.

I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, as well as adults. The costumes are alive with color. The cinematography is outstanding and depicts details to marvel in when you see the film the second or third time! The acting is superb and there are some surprises, too! Adults will be happy to see appearances by two old favorites. Suspend belief and see Mary Poppins Returns! It is practically perfect in every way! This film opens in theaters nationwide December 19, 2018. See it!

Images © 2017 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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