Mary Poppins Returns ★★★½

Faithfully channeling the spirit of original 1964 spectacular in this familiar supercalifragilisticexpialidocious sequel. "Mary Poppins Returns" is led by a marvelous Emily Blunt and carried along with captivating production and animation design. The storytelling is nearly identical to the original and it does linger a little too long but the amount of creativity and fun infused in this film brings back a rare Disney magic that has long since been forgotten.

Emily Blunt is outstanding as Mary Poppins, comfortably flying into the role with ease and precision. Her performance compliments Julie Andrews remarkably well and it hardly feels different between the two, but still allowing Blunt to have plenty of room to play in. Lin-Manuel Miranda is quite good in it but his character of Jack, an apprentice to Bert does feel a little shoe horned into the plot only because they need a type of archetype for this Mary Poppins film to fit the role of 'New Bert'.

That's where the problems start to lie, is within the setup and plot. The original children, Michael and Jane, played by Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer respectively, seem to be exact copies of their parents from the original film. Michael is a father who works at a bank and lost his imagination and spirits due to his strict life that he follows now and Jane now is a Labor Activist, the two contrasting their parents. Not entirely a bad thing, but becomes predictable when the story is set up like this.

Once things kick off and Mary Poppins arrives, we go through the motions of magic, animated worlds and strange relatives to Poppins all while learning to love through family and creativity. Again, the film is fairly entertaining with its flashy animated sequences and dance numbers but you are going to be getting an almost identical plot with some unique moments that stray away from the original.

"Mary Poppins Returns" is entertaining all so familiar in many ways but adds its own unique spins and flourishes to keep itself on its feet.

Justin Robert Vinall liked this review