Review Roundup: The Critics Weigh in On MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Mary Poppins Returns opens in theaters everywhere on December 18, and with only a few days left until fans get to see this reimagining of a classic tale, let's see what the critics had to say!
MARY POPPINS RETURNS is set in 1930s depression-era London (the time period of the original novels) and is drawn from the wealth of material in PL Travers' additional seven books. In the story, Michael (Whishaw) and Jane (Mortimer) are now grown up, with Michael, his three children and their housekeeper, Ellen (Walters), living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic nanny Mary Poppins (Blunt) re-enters the lives of the Banks family, and, along with the optimistic street lamplighter Jack (Miranda), uses her unique magical skills to help the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Mary Poppins also introduces the children to a new assortment of colorful and whimsical characters, including her eccentric cousin, Topsy (Streep).
The film is produced by Marshall, John DeLuca and Marc Platt. The screenplay is by David Magee based on The Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers with Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman writing all new songs and Shaiman composing an original score.
Check out the updated reviews here!
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: Belated Hollywood sequels have sunk more often than soared in recent years, but Disney shrugs off those odds with Mary Poppins Returns, an enchanting movie musical that picks up the threads of the studio's cherished original more than half a century after its 1964 release.
Miranda was the casting wild card here, but the Hamilton creator is a snug fit, bringing a pleasingly gentle manner and a twinkle in his eye that make him just as beguiled by Mary Poppins' mad skills as the children.
Brian Truitt, USA TODAY: While narratively no match for the classic Disney musical, the new "Mary" adds new songs and multitalented charisma machine Lin-Manuel Miranda to the mix for one undoubtedly comforting nostalgia-fest.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety: "Mary Poppins Returns," a sequel set 30 years after the first film, isn't the immortal children's movie that the singular, luminous, slightly screw-loose Disney original was. Yet it's a rapturous piece of nostalgia - a film that devotes itself, in every madly obsessive frame, to making you feel happy in the guileless way a movie still could back in 1964.
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: Director and cowriter Rob Marshall (Into the Woods, Chicago) clearly understands the legacy he's taken on, filling nearly every corner of the screen with song and dance and tweedy whimsy - even a featured sequence done entirely in the flat '60s-style animation of the original. But he doesn't seem to quite know how to find a storytelling spine to match Mary's famous rigor; the narrative feels spindly and slightly adrift, a parasol in the wind. And an easy solution for its central STAKES - THE FAMILY must find a misplaced deed by the midnight deadline, or lose their beloved home - is never in doubt.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: What lingers of Mary Poppins Returns is Blunt's winningly efficient performance; Whishaw and Mortimer's mousy sweetness; Julie Walters doing a delightfully huffy turn as the Banks's housemaid, Ellen. There's plenty of fine work here, built with an earnestness sturdy enough to keep the chilly creepy of Disney hegemony at bay. (Mostly.)
Robbie Collin, Telegraph: Mary Poppins Returns really is practically perfect in every way. Walt Disney Pictures clearly realise the legacy of their beloved 1964 musical adaptation of PL Travers' Mary Poppins stories is not to be trifled with.
Nicholas Barber, BBC: It's cleverly done, but the film might have felt more worthwhile if it had anything in it that wasn't a blatant imitation. And, as delightful as much of Mary Poppins Returns is, it isn't quite as delightful as it was the last time we saw it.
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: Diehard fans of the first film will very probably love this sequel, for the undoubted detail and fervour with which it reproduces the template, though with a little more of a Broadway feel than it had in 1964. I admire it for its craftsmanship and technique, like a machine for creating nostalgia.