Mary Poppins Returns

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

5/5 (1)

What kid wouldn’t like to have a magical nanny?

Back in 1964, that dream governess took the form of Julie Andrews. She starred in the Walt Disney fantasy “Mary Poppins,” based on the book by P.L. Travers.

Those clever Disney folks even made a move about how ol’ Walt talked Travers into letting him make the movie version of her book (Note: that movie was called “Saving Mr. Banks”).

Now, Disney brings us “Mary Poppins Returns.” This time around, that wondrous nanny looks exactly like Emily Blunt.

Julie Andrews won the 1965 Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the original film. She won’t be making a reappearance in this update, although her co-star Dick Van Dyke does a cameo as the son of one of his original characters.

When director Rob Marshall told Julie Andrews the new film was in the works, she exclaimed, “Oh, thank God.” It was always one of her favorite roles.

And when Marshall told her they were thinking of Emily Blunt, she threw her hands up in the air and said “Yes.”

“Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch,” Marshall says, “and I know Julie feels the exact same way.”

Julie Andrews nods. “This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I really want her to take this and run with it, because she will be brilliant.”

“Mary Poppins Returns” is making its holiday appearance at Tropic Cinema.

In this sequel, it’s 1932 and the boy Michael Banks has grown up. Bringing up children of his own in the absence of their mother, Michael needs the help of a nanny. Voila! Mary Poppins returns.

Emily Blunt admits she was nervous about taking over the iconic role. But she opines, “The world is fragile right now, and people need a film like this. It’s incredibly hopeful.”

The original is “seared into my memory,” says Blunt. “I found a great comfort in that as a child.”

You and your child will find this reprise comforting too. Like a spoonful of sugar.

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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