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Disney is tugging at the heartstrings of moviegoers this Holiday Season, as it makes a change in its typical programming. Rather than releasing another Star Wars installment, The House of Mouse will go the traditional sequel route with Mary Poppins Returns. A direct sequel to the 1964 original, Rob Marshall's latest musical blockbuster is bringing the practically perfect nanny back to theaters, alongside the rest of the characters and settings from the Disney classic.
I recently had the chance to speak with the cast and director Mary Poppins Returns ahead of its release. During my conversation with Emily Blunt, we spoke about the various animated adventures that Mary takes the Banks children on. And to Blunt, these fantasy sequences have a very specific function to the character. When I asked about the bob haircut Mary rocks in "A Cover Is Not The Book", she said:
Well that was something Rob really wanted. That was a Rob Marshall request. And I just love that, in a way, for Mary, these fantasias and these adventures. Because she is so put together, and so perfect. And so stern, in a way. That the fantasias, I just said to Rob, she's like an adrenaline junky. It's sort of the crazy inner lining to her beautiful blue coat. You've got to see the madness and eccentricity.
This is certainly a great way of looking at Mary Poppins' wild adventures throughout the franchise. Because while she's a no nonsense British nanny, her musical numbers and cartoon adventures show a lighter aspect of the character's personality.
Emily Blunt's comments make a great deal of sense, and show how the Quiet Place actress really thought out her character in Mary Poppins Returns. She certainly had some big shoes to fill, as taking on the role that won Julie Andrews an Oscar is no easy task. But she approached the character methodically, and fleshed out Mary's eccentricity in new and exciting ways for the sequel.
This thoughtful approach to Mary Poppins can be felt throughout Mary Poppins Returns, as director Rob Marshall and the cast seem to have a special reverence for the original Disney classic. Because while new characters and musical numbers were added, the sequel does feel very connected to the 1964 movie.
One exciting change that was made was in the characterization of Mary herself, who is a bit more all-knowing and deliberate in her actions this time around. Throughout Mary Poppins Returns runtime, you can see moments where Mary's humanity comes through, and how she's deliberately trying to help the Banks family.
You can can check out my conversation with Emily Blunt below.
As for fantasy sequences, there's more than one to expect from Mary Poppins Returns. The trailer teased both of these exciting moments, as Mary takes the Banks family on a magical bubble bath, as well as an animated adventure complete with dancing penguins.
Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.