Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Mary Poppins Returns Can't Improve On Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the Lamplighter in Mary Poppins Returns
(Image credit: (Walt Disney Pictures))

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious -- it's the word you say when you don't know what to say, and the proper way to express the speechlessness many of us still get when we watch the original Mary Poppins. The 1964 film hit so many impressive marks: memorable songs, deeply-emotional moments, a timeless message, iconic performances, etc. How does the new sequel Mary Poppins Returns top it?

One of the film's stars Lin-Manuel Miranda talked to BBC News about how the follow-up isn't trying to step on any toes. It just hopes to continue the story of the beloved nanny and Banks children. In his words:

That's an important distinction, because it's not us trying to improve on Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. You can't improve on that, and we know that. The goal is there are eight books by [author] PL Travers, there are some amazing Mary Poppins stories that haven't made it to the screen.

There's little we would change about Mary Poppins, except maybe Dick Van Dyke's over-the-top cockney accent -- but even that's become somewhat of an endearing quality in the film over time. Per Lin-Manuel Miranda's comments, it's clear that he and certainly the cast and crew understand the love for Mary Poppins very well. They didn't want to try to make a better film... because that might not be possible.

Mary Poppins Returns is set 20 years after the events of the classic, with Jane and Michael Banks now grown-ups dealing with financial struggles, the loss of Michael's wife, and the aftermath of how it will affect him and his three children. These are dire circumstances, but when Mary Poppins comes out of the sky and starts to work her magic, it makes for a delightful and hopeful musical. It's a practically perfect sequel for the iconic characters.

The sequel starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda has been warmly received by the majority of critics and is expected to have a strong opening weekend. If audiences go into Mary Poppins Returns expecting the film to exceed the magic of the first they may be disappointed, but the film certainly does a great job of recapturing the magic of the original in its own whimsical and impressive way.

The film also pays tons of homage to Mary Poppins with live-action/animated sequences, huge song-and-dance numbers, and heartfelt moments between the characters. Some critics have said that the songs don't quite have you humming by the end, as much as "Spoonful of Sugar" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." While some songs are certainly better than others, the more one listens to them, they find Mary Poppins Returns isn't so different after all.

Lin-Manuel Miranda thinks they'll last too, but said only time will really tell if they can stick in the memory of those who see the film. The Mary Poppins Returns actor and Hamilton writer sees an exciting movie musical resurgence with this film -- and recent hits including A Star is Born, The Greatest Showman and La La Land. As long as boundaries are pushed with each one, he thinks this "renaissance" will continue. You can see Mary Poppins Returns in theaters now.

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.