The Emotional Mary Poppins Returns Song Emily Blunt Struggled To Get Through

Mary Poppins Returns
(Image credit: (Walt Disney Pictures))

1964's Mary Poppins remains to be a memorable film to treasure, especially the music beautifully sung by Julie Andrews. Aside from her showstopping duets with Dick Van Dyke in numbers such as Jolly Holiday and Chim Chim Cher-ee, there was something especially magical about the soft and sweet moments between Mary and the Banks children. The heart of the film was in the sweet lullabies such as "Stay Awake" and "Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)".

Emily Blunt will have her own heartwarming moment reminiscent of these in Mary Poppins Returns, with the song "The Place Where Lost Things Go." At a press conference I attended for the film, Blunt discussed the beautiful song that Mary sings to the new Banks children, who have recently lost their mother. In her words:

I was so incredibly moved by it that I found it virtually impossible to get through it the first few times I sang it in (composer Marc Shaiman's apartment). It was so emotional for me because I did think of my own children, and these children in the film -- their sense of loss, they're trying to hold their father together and they've dealt with something so profound and so agonizing to lose a parent and to be so young and miss her so much and oh my God, I could cry thinking about it. But it was just, it just moved me so much. And so on the day, it was one of my favorite days on set.

You've been warned, tissues are needed to get through Mary Poppins Returns. The film follows the Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) as an adult struggling to hold together raising his three children keep his finances afloat following the death of his wife. His sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) tries to help too, but when Mary Poppins swings into town to offer her nanny services, it certainly sweetens up the situation.

"Where the Lost Things Go" is a touching track cooked up by composers and lyricists Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, meant to ease the children's loss in their time of need. Emily Blunt continued with these words about the new track:

She recognizes what they need in that moment, and gives it to them in this very tender way. And this song is so true. And she doesn't shy away from the fact that they've lost something, but that there's cracks in the light and there's something to learn from. And the idea of loss being something that they can digest as children and to walk through, you know that you all have to walk through this last bit. Nothing's gone forever, only out of place. It's just such hopeful, powerful way to look at loss.

Tackling loss in a family friendly film is a heavy subject, but it's also a theme that continues what the classic Mary Poppins is remembered for. In the original, Jane and Michael Banks were living in a household with parents detached to them, making them feel lonely and unheard. Enter Mary -- who takes them to imaginative escapes and provides some worthwhile lessons for them and their parents. Dealing with loss through this song brings more heart to the film.

The song also is rooted in P.L. Travers' books, which the story of Mary Poppins is originally based on. Composer Marc Shaiman chimed in at the conference and explained where they got the idea for the song:

The song came from one of the books, Mary's uncle is the man in the moon, and she takes the children there for a tea party, but on the other side of the moon, he tells her, this is where the things that people can't find live -- on the dark side of the moon... We had to find a way for her to sing about loss to the children in ways that they can comprehend, and the song doesn't actually speak of their mother until the final verse, until she feels like they're really getting it, and then to get to hear Emily (Blunt) sing it, I mean, she would come to our apartment where we have a studio. It was just magical to hear her do it.

"Where the Lost Things Go" is one of two tracks to be released ahead of Mary Poppins Returns, coming to theaters on December 19. The moment truly recaptures the magic of the character we know and love and is a core scene of the Disney sequel. Take a listen to the song below:

There's definitely something about the song that tugs at the heart strings, and being able to watch Emily Blunt's Mary Poppins sing it to the Banks children will no doubt make it even more powerful

Mary Poppins Returns will arrive in theaters on December 19th, 2018.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.