Disney is ringing in the holidays with the ultimate music and magic extravaganza Mary Poppins Returns, which should be fun for the entire family, including all aunties and uncles, grammies and grunkles. It may even win over your mysteriously dark cousin who just arrived from parts unknown. Today, we have a special look at this sequel fifty-four years in the making.
Get your umbrellas out, and put some sugar in your pocket. You’ll want to be first in line when Mary Poppins Returns opens in theaters nationwide December 19! In Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss.
Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda 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. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer on the Disney sequel.
The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy.
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. Emily Blunt recent spoke to Entertainment Weekly about taking on the legendary nanny character. She had this to say. about her inability to spin while dancing, and how many takes had to be cobbled together for just one scene.
“I have an inability to spin when I’m dancing. It became this in-joke with Rob and John. They were like, “Do not make her turn.” Truly, I don’t know why I can’t. I can pick up other steps fine. And I think the one spin that they actually ended up using in the film… Rob had to use three different cuts to execute. Not three spins, but three-quarters of one spin that I could barely make around. [Laughs] So I don’t know if I ever honed that skill. But certainly with three cuts in there, it looked like I did.”
She went onto say this about discovering the magic behind the character.
“The mystique of her is kind of what I love. And this strange duality, that you’ve got this rather stern front and yet the lining of her coat is completely batty and eccentric and that’s just who she is. It’s like, when she goes on these adventures, she needs it and wants it just as much as the kids. She loves going on these adventures. It’s like her fix, you know? And yet, she pretends it doesn’t happen, and she makes it all about you. So because she is mystical and because you don’t really know what she is and she’s so open to interpretation of what you feel she is or who she is to you, I didn’t mind the unknown of it. It’s something for me think about and imagine my version of what I think she is and where she goes or who she looks after.”
Check out the latest magically sneak peek at Mary Poppins Returns, which arrives direct from Walt Disney Pictures. It will leave you singing and dancing well into the holiday season.