Chimney Sweep

‘Mary Poppins Returns’ all set to convey again the magic

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski.
Image credit: AFP

The quirky British nanny Mary Poppins flew through the clouds with a black parrot umbrella and held her signature carpet bag in her hand. On Thursday, more than 50 years after the first charming audience worldwide, she celebrated her “practically perfect” film comeback.

Mary Poppins Returns, about 20 years after the movie that starred Julie Andrews, had its world premiere in Los Angeles with a new cast and new music, but with a nostalgic nod to the original.

The 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring Andrews and Dick Van Dyke as the happy chimney sweep, earned Andrews an Oscar for best actress and an award-winning score of classic songs like A Spoonful of Sugar and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

In Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt plays the firm but friendly singing nanny who comes to London at the beginning of the 20th century to look after the children of the now grown-up Banks siblings from the 1964 film.

Like the original, Mary Poppins Returns features fantasy sequences and lots of dance numbers. It even brings back the animated dancing penguins.

“It really is a trip into nostalgia and a tribute to those incredible films that we have all seen and that are so representative of everything we remember as children,” Blunt told reporters on the red carpet.

181201 Mary Poppins 2nd

The cast and crew of ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ – (back row) actress Karen Dotrice, producer John DeLuca, actors Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw, and producer Marc Platt; (middle row) Actors Dick Van Dyke, Emily Blunt, director / producer Rob Marshall, and actors Lin-Manuel Miranda; (bottom row) Pixie Davies and Joel Dawson – at the world premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Photo credit: Reuters

To visit an old friend again

“But we’re doing something new and I think it’s a movie that is just full of emotion and joy.” Hamilton rap musician Lin-Manuel Miranda took on the role of Van Dyke in 1964, but more as a young lamp lighter than a chimney sweep. 92-year-old Van Dyke, who received a standing ovation from the Hollywood audience on Thursday, makes a cameo as a friendly, dancing banker.

Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns marks the first time in 54 years that the character, who was created in PL Travers’ books in the 1930s and 1940s, has appeared again in film. The story was turned into a stage musical on Broadway and in London 15 years ago.

Director Rob Marshall said he got involved in the sequel because he felt the world needed some Poppins magic.

“The world in a fragile place that you know,” he said. “I feel it personally and I know everyone in our movie felt it, the entire cast.” Mary Poppins Returns also stars British actors Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer and Meryl Streep in a cameo role.

The film kicks off its global rollout on December 19 and is expected to gross $ 65 million ($ 238.7 million) in its first week in North America alone, according to box office analysts. It will be released in the UAE on December 27th.

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