Rejuvenating the magic of its predecessor | Daily News
Mary Poppins Returns

Rejuvenating the magic of its predecessor

Everyone’s favourite nanny is back in the guise of Emily Blunt in rob Marshall’s sequel to the well loved 1964 walt Disney hit ‘Mary Poppins’. Released more than 50 years after the original, making it one of the longest gaps between sequels, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ essentially puts its characters in the same situation as the rest of the world.

Caught in a time of conflict, and faced with important decisions to make, ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ opens to a frame which seems to be almost a carbon copy of the predecessor with the children of the Banks grazing towards the skies to see a smiling woman with a no –nonsense attitude flying towards them with an open umbrella in her hands. Anyone who has seen the well loved film by Robert Stevenson will recall the sight of Julie Andrews in similar attire descending from the skies before the astonished graze of Jane and Michael Banks.

The film trends along familiar grounds. However though this seems to be a safety net to many, it is the production’s greatest shortcoming because it lacks originality. For example many of the musical pieces included in the tale are catchy and infectious. However you cannot help getting a feeling of déjà vu when you follow the characters through their ventures.

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ seems more like a homage to the evergreen classic than a stand alone film. The audience which might mainly consist of the millions of those who would name the Julie Andrews starrer as one of their favourite movies of all time would no doubt feel a sense of nostalgia when they go through the scenes in the sequel.

‘Mary Poppins’ has become a money spiller for Disney throughout the years. It also inspired the company to make an entertaining production ‘Saving Mr Banks’ which was based on the making of the movie. So it is no surprise that in the modern age of making sequels to successful movies, Disney once again tried to make one on one of its timeless favourites. Adding to this aspect musicals like ‘L La Land’ and the Lady Gaga starrer ‘A Star is Born’ have made big bucks in the market so it is no wonder that Disney looked to ‘Mary Poppins’ to work some magic for them. However it would have been more appropriate for them to keep in mind that it would be quite a task to match up to the standards set by the original.

A commendable aspect in the production is in its stellar cast. Emily Blunt does not try hard to do a Julie Andrews version of the magical nanny. Rather she gives the modern day Mary Poppins a new face and life. The rest of the cast too support Blunt well by doing their bits.

Another noteworthy aspect of the film is its live action and hand drawn animations. They match up to the predecessor’s work and rejuvenate the old Hollywood charm in the modern setup.

Bright, cheerful, optimistic and aspiring ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ is an entertaining watch. Kudos to the team for making a well crafted and well acted production. The only major shortcoming of the production lies in the fact that it relies a lot on the success of the predecessor to weave magic on screen before its viewers. Hence you cannot help feeling that the shadow of its original looming above it, claiming a portion of its own success. 


 

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