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Some movies just have a way of capturing a moment or an element of the zeitgeist. Whether it's an intensely political film like The Big Short or a culturally significant movie like Black Panther, a studio can often use the atmosphere of a given era to inform its development decisions. Such is the case of Mary Poppins Returns, as producer Marc Platt opened up to CinemaBlend and other outlets during a visit to the film's set last year and explained that the film's sense of optimism played a significant role in the decision to make it. Platt said:
It's interesting, because as the months have evolved, and the world around us has turned slightly crazy, what you realize is the magic, the hope, the optimism, the connectivity that Mary Poppins brings as a character, to the family, and the world around her, is really what I think people are yearning for. To be transcended, all our craziness, to feel warmth and comfort of a familiar character and yet take an original journey with that character. In a world that has magic, in a world that is music, and a world that is joy, and a world that is love, and brings us back to our innocence and our childhood. Something we could all use a healthy dose of.
Mary Poppins Returns takes place decades in the past, so it doesn't necessarily pull issues straight from the headlines. Having said that, as Marc Platt explained during last year's set visit: the film is very much defined by our current era, taking aim at the worries and concerns that plague modern moviegoers. To combat those issues, Mary Poppins Returns is uniquely suited to bring this character back into our lives and endow important life lessons.
This type of storytelling generally seems to have become the M.O. for many different projects released by Disney in recent months and years. Between movies like A Wrinkle in Time and Christopher Robin, the stories produced by the studio often seem to make a point to directly attack the notion of negativity (quite literally, in the case of Wrinkle) and emphasize hope and optimism over a dark sense of dread. With Mary Poppins Returns, that idea is become even more profound and pronounced by letting the studio return to a beloved heroine who pretty much embodies those ideas.
The hope and optimism that Mary Poppins brings to the table will be fully apparent later this year when Mary Poppins Returns hits the big screen on December 19. Make sure to catch the film when it makes its grand debut, and head over to our movie premiere guide to read up on all of the movies set to premiere on the silver screen in 2018!