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For the past few years, the trend of nostalgia has proven endlessly popular and profitable for the entertainment world. Disney has been capitalizing on this interest from the moviegoers, making live-action adaptations of their animated features. While moves like the upcoming Lion King movie show that it's not slowing down anytime soon, the House of Mouse is also breaking new ground with a Mary Poppins sequel, which is set to arrive this holiday season.
Mary Poppins Returns is the very first sequel to the 1964 classic movie, and will pick up on the Banks family, decades after Mary left them and flew back into the sky. Director Rob Marshall is diligently recreating the world of Cherry Tree Lane, and the upcoming movie will also contain new musical numbers, and even an animated sequence. Emily Blunt is playing the title character, recently explaining how the same animation was being used, saying:
It's all the hand-drawn animation, and they actually got these 90-year-old animators out of retirement. When you're doing those sequences, you're dancing with, like, a tennis ball or a very small dancer in a green-screen suit---like an adult dancer on his knees pretending to be a penguin.
Well, this is awesome. In addition to getting a peek behind the curtain, it looks like the original Mary Poppins animators worked on the highly anticipated sequel. The trailer briefly featured the return the dancing penguins, but this connection is something else.
Emily Blunt's comments come from her recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where the actress discussed all things Mary Poppins Returns. This included her animated musical number alongside the Banks children, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and assorted animated creatures. The scene is only briefly featured in the trailers for the upcoming sequel, but they look almost identical to the one Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke danced in all those years ago. And that's because it's the same minds at work for the new movie.
The recent interview also gives a glimpse into how CGI scenes are filmed on the set. Obviously there are no dancing penguins around, so it takes movie magic and some convincing performances to make Mary Poppins Returns' animated scenes function. Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda danced with tennis balls, imagining the colorful world around them.
One of the biggest questions around Mary Poppins Returns is how the musical numbers will compare to the 1964 original. Hairspray writer Marc Shaiman is composing the new songs, so there will be plenty of comparisons. And with tracks like "Let's Go Fly A Kite", "Feed The Birds" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" in the OG movie, there are some huge shoes to fill with the new soundtrack.
The new tracks and animated sequence will debut when Mary Poppins Returns arrives in theaters on December 19, 2018. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.