While some of you may have already seen Mary Poppins Returns when it was in the theaters, I didn't, but it's now up on Netflix for those who are interested (or, I'm sure, available for purchase or rent in other places).
First of all, a little disclaimer: I was never a big fan of the original. I didn't hate it, it just wasn't one I liked watching over and over again. Oh, I liked parts of it really well, but the song Feed The Birds always depressed me with its sort of melancholy music. Now don't get me wrong, Julie Andrews' and Dick Van Dyke, and the rest of the cast's performances were great. It just wasn't my favorite, nor one I wanted to watch over and over again. The end was a bit too bittersweet for me, and I always wondered if Jane and Michael's dad kept being as changed and jolly as he was at the end. Sure, a little cynical for a kid or middle schooler, but I just was never quite sure about it. That said, it's wonderfully innovative (especially for the time it released) and genuinely imaginative. (I always liked Mary Poppins' inside-the-sidewalk-picture dress. So pretty!)
As for the sequel, Mary Poppins Returns....
PROS: The costumes are done very well, as per usual, and there are some fun songs, and things that remind me of some of the best scenes in the original. Emily Blunt does a good job of stepping into Julie Andrews' shoes and taking up the Poppins' mantle. I liked the new character, Jack (lamp lighter) and as per usual, Colin Firth is an excellent actor (Mr. Dawes' nephew). The other actors (beyond Dick Van Dyke, and I think Angela Lansbury) I didn't really know all that well. The bath tub scene was a nice new way of Mary Poppins' magic working and I liked it. I did like that Mary Poppins goes up the banister again. I felt like that little thing and the carpet bag were two things that definitely belonged in any sequel about Mary Poppins.
CONS: It feels strange having a sequel so many years after the first (much like I felt about the new STAR WARS movies, and the prequels). In some places it felt like it was trying too hard to be as imaginative and exciting as places in the first one (this doesn't include the sliding up the banister or Mary Poppins' carpet bag, as I said, those were things I thought belonged there and I was glad to see them). The thing is, though, in the process of trying so hard to be like the original it lost some of the charm that the original had. The original was charming because it didn't try to be anything but itself. (And of course, it was pretty innovative, which might be an unfair advantage it has over Mary Poppins Returns). One thing I DID miss from the original was the measuring tape. That was one of those little quirks of Mary Poppins that I missed.
OVERALL: It's all right, and if you're a Mary Poppins fan you might even love it. I liked it, I thought there were some nice scenes and some fun aspects, but I don't feel the need to see it again. The first one is charming and innovative. The second didn't necessarily feel innovative, but it had its fun moments.
So on a scale of 1-5 stars, one being the lowest and 5 being the highest, I give it a 3-star. It's in the middle for me. Not my super-favorite, I'm going to gush over it, but not bad, either. I give a lot of credit to Emily Blunt taking on the role, though. An iconic role like that isn't easy to do and she does do it justice in my opinion.
Have A Fabulously Fun Friday!