December 21, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns: Wholesome and Refreshing {a Movie Review}

As parents, we work hard to monitor what movies and TV shows our children watch. When we were little ourselves, we knew that we were good as long as it was a Wonderful World of Disney movie. You know what I’m talking about—remember how it would come on every Sunday night? Oh how I loved all those movies—Pollyanna, The Parent Trap (the original of course), The Love Bug, Davy Crockett, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Shaggy Dog…the list could go on and on. Those movies were great family entertainment. Unfortunately, movies today do NOT have the same level of wholesomeness—and it seems Disney is one of the worst offenders these days. Because of this, we have only taken our WHOLE family to the movie theater three times to watch new movies—preferring to preview them ourselves to make sure they will be okay. I mean—children’s movies---DISNEY movies rated PG-13? Come on! Last night, we took a chance. Last night, my husband treated the WHOLE family to the new Mary Poppins Returns movie, hoping and praying that it would be everything we ADORED about the original—especially the wholesome goodness. I am here to let you know that we found a rare diamond in this world of trash! Today, I decided to give you just a family review of the Mary Poppins Returns movie. It’s not sponsored by anyone or anything. I simply just wanted you to know that this movie is WORTH your time and money!

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When I was given the choice of movie last night, I had to choose between Aquaman, Bumblebee, and Mary Poppins Returns. Now, I have a family of boys. I’m the only girl. So the fact that I could choose ANY movie I wanted, was rare. I NEVER get to pick “girl movies”—so I even double checked to make sure my husband really meant anything…LOL. He did, and so Mary Poppins Returns was my pick of course. Oh how both my boys groaned and moaned. LOL.

But…guess who sat on the edge of their seats enthralled multiple times during the movie? My husband and I kept smiling at each other as we watched the boys watching the movie. No matter how they would later protest, we knew that they were totally into it. And how could they not be?
The music was toe-tapping and fun! The cast did a phenomenal job in their characters. Emily Blunt was the PERFECT Mary Poppins. She has such expressive eyes that sparkle—the same way that Julie Andrews did when she played the role. Emily Blunt truly did the role justice and I can’t imagine anyone else who could have done it. Lin-Manuel Miranda brought a great energy as Jack the “leerie”—a lamplighter. He really shined (pun intended!) when he did a song that included a “rap” interlude. Boy how he drove it home and showed his skills! There was a surprise super fun performance my Meryl Streep who plays Mary Poppins’ hilarious cousin Topsy. So yes—the music was fantastic—although I admit, no song can top Feed the Birds from the original. Oh, speaking of the original music, throughout the movie, they played the instrumental versions of songs from the first movie as “background” or scene change music.

The visual part of the movie was so colorful and amazing. It captured the over the top essence of the first one—but it didn’t go overboard. The animation portion (yes, they added one for this movie too) was so much fun and they used the CLASSIC Disney style of animation—think 101 Dalmatians! It was well worth experiencing on the big screen for sure!

It was NOT a remake in any way. While it paid homage to the original—it had the kite, the “Votes for Women” banner, the snow globe, ect—it easily stood on its on footing.

All in all, this movie was just a wholesome and refreshing breath of fresh air over the usual Hollywood/Disney stench. It was nice to know that it still CAN be done. We left the movie feeling lighthearted and happy. I think we smiled and chuckled throughout the whole movie. My husband (who hates musicals and Disney movies of today) cannot say enough about how much he enjoyed the movie. He says that it was everything he hoped it would be and he’s glad we saw it.

So, if you are looking for an actually GOOD family movie to splurge on right now—please consider Mary Poppins Returns. It’s “practically perfect in every way.”

Good job, Disney! You finally got one right. ★

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