Darlings, Disney released a motion poster of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns.
We have things we want to say.
First, let’s get this out of the way: We don’t have a problem with this movie being made. There was more than one Mary Poppins book, after all. Besides, we’re on our sixth Spider-Man movie in 16 years. We think the culture can handle a new Mary Poppins film every half-century or so. Author P.L. Travers was famously disappointed with the sugary-sweet Disney take on the character 50+ years ago, and while Mary’s still firmly nestled in the corporate breast of Disney, Inc., we tend to think a 2017 adaptation (not to mention the casting of Emily Blunt herself) offers opportunities to expand on Julie Andrews’ original performance by offering up a slightly more acerbic take on the character, more along the lines of Travers’ vision.
What we didn’t expect was that the updated take would wind up giving her a bit of a fashion makeover as well:
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) July 15, 2017
We’re just not sure about that costume. It’s tough to articulate exactly what the problem is here, but to us, this looks over-designed (ombre vertical stripes, double capelet, diamond enamel buttons and a diamond enamel buckle, red leather gloves, orange polka dot scarf and whimsical bird hat), a bit too “high-fashion, (could’ve walked right off a Thom Browne runway) ” and also a bit too self-consciously whimsical. This seems to owe more to Willy Wonka than to the original idea of an imperious, if practically perfect English governess.
If you told us this was Mary Poppins’ sister or cousin, we’d have every reason to think it was a great design, but for Miss Mary “Spit Spot” Poppins herself, it comes off a bit more fanciful and stylish than we would have considered. This takes place decades after the original film, so we never expected her to show up in Julie Andrews drag. An update was needed, both for story purposes and to serve the preferences of a modern audience. And the work on this costume is gorgeous on its own merits. But it’s definitely taking the character into a much more whimsical, child-friendly direction – at least from a visual sense.
[Photo/Video Credit: Walt Disney Studios]