Disney, PUSHING ALL YOUR BUTTONS AT ONCE:
Yeah, that’s not gonna flop.
We’re trying our best to retain a cynical, critical tone here because that is two straight minutes of the entire western world’s childhood nostalgia buttons being furiously banged upon. On the other hand… dammit, it worked.
Several questions are being answered here. Can someone else step into Julie Andrews’ sensible shoes? Apparently, the answer is yes, so long as it’s Emily Blunt doing Received Pronunciation an octave lower than her normal speaking voice. The second question: Can you make a Mary Poppins film in 2018 and have it work? The answer is yes, so long as you do everything possible to replicate every scene from the original, only with much better special effects. How are we doing so far on the cynical tone?
We are charmed nonetheless. The Disney brand is exceedingly good at a lot of things, not least of which is making audiences’ hearts swell with emotion. We simply can’t imagine this being anything but a monster hit.
Also: we’re charmed and intrigued by the costume design, which seems to stick very closely to a “match everyone in a scene” approach that tends to heighten the storybook feel:
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.
“Mary Poppins Returns” in theatres December 19!
[Stills: via Tom and Lorenzo – Video Credit: Walt Disney Studios via YouTube.com]