Mary Poppins Returns review – not totally expialidocious but still a joy

It was always going to be hard to watch for a diehard Poppins fan, but this sequel to the 1964 classic retains the magic

For decades, I’ve been insisting that Mary Poppins is one of the 10 greatest movies ever made. Despite having watched it 100 times or more, each viewing of Disney’s 1964 masterpiece still reveals something new. Robert Stevenson’s film (from PL Travers’s stories) touched me deeply as a child, and affected me even more profoundly as a father. Just listening to the soundtrack still reduces me to floods of joyful tears.

So it was with some trepidation that I approached Mary Poppins Returns, a late-in-the-day sequel wherein Emily Blunt steps into those magically out-turned shoes and comes down once more from the Lovely London Sky. The creator of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, plays Jack, the lovable lamplighter, who fills the role previously occupied by Dick Van Dyke’s everyman, Bert. Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw are Jane and Michael, the now grown Banks children, sorely in need of a spoonful of sugary wisdom. As for me, I adopted the role of quivering child, praying that this new movie would not trample over my dreams.

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