Growing up in a family with two sisters, Mary Poppins was our movie of choice and could be seen on our tv screens quite often. I can still remember the day I sat my daughter down to watch it for the first time, then the time we went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. I remember explaining why I thought my daughter was “practically perfect” and why my boys were “quite suspicious”. I even remember when we anxiously waited in line to see Mary Poppins in Disney World last November – I think my smile said it all when she looked at my children’s’ shirts and said, “I can tell you have watched me on television a time or two, am I right?”
She was so right, and I had to hold back my excitement, knowing her smile would fill our screens again this year.
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all-new sequel with a fresh sensibility celebrating the spirit of the original, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
Emily Blunt (“The Girl on the Train,” “Into the Woods”) stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London. “Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods,” “Chicago”). The screenplay is by David Magee (“Life of Pi”) and the screen story is by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca (“Into the Woods”) based upon The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers.
The producers are Marshall, DeLuca and Marc Platt (“La La Land”) with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer and the music is by Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray”) with songs by Shaiman and Scott Wittman (“Hairspray”). The film also stars Ben Whishaw (“Spectre”) as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer (“Hugo”) as Jane Banks; Julie Walters (“Harry Potter” films) as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; with Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy and introduces three new Banks’ children played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.