“A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”, and “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” are two of the catchiest tunes we hum to from Mary Poppins. The 1964 musical fantasy combines live-action and animation to take us on a fantastical journey that was etched in all our minds for years.
Now, a staggering 54 years later, Mary Poppins is back, in the form of Emily Blunt. Before you board yet another magical ride with Mary, here’s what to know.
1. Still With the Same Banks
In the first movie, Mary visited the dysfunctional Banks family and spread her unique ways of nurturing the kids and advising the parents to improve their family dynamics and disposition. This time around, she returns to the same Banks family, except while she used to look after little Michael and Jane Banks, she is back to care for Michael’s three young children, who recently lost their mother.
2. It’s Okay, We’ll Wait
When Julie Andrews was cast in the first movie, she was pregnant, Walt Disney wanted her badly as Mary Poppins that he waited for her to give birth before shooting begins. Interestingly, history repeated itself with the sequel. When Blunt was cast, she too was pregnant. The production was postponed to accommodate her pregnancy.
3. Watch Out for the Animation
Yes, like the original, Mary Poppins Returns also features a combination of live-action and animation. Director Rob Marshall was determined to use hand-drawn animation for the film’s animated sequences, despite how far animation technology has come; he loved the hand-drawn animation used in Mary Poppins. He was initially under pressure to use computer animation but fought hard for hand-drawn animation to be used instead. Over 70 animation artists specialising in hand-drawn 2D animation were tasked to create the animation sequence.
4. Watch out for Angela Lansbury
Lansbury, most famous for the TV series Murder, She Wrote, was one of the forerunners to play Mary Poppins back in 1954. As we know, Andrews was eventually chosen. In Mary Poppins Returns, Lansbury appears as The Balloon Lady, who didn’t appear in the original film but is a character in the Mary Poppins novels.
5. Stellar Casting
We know the movie stars Blunt, with start of the original film Dick Van Dyke returning. Apart from that, Mary Poppins Returns also features Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer, Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters, Meryl Streep and Lin-Manual Miranda.
6. Where’s Julie Andrews?
While Van Dyke had a small role in Mary Poppins Returns, Andrews doesn’t. She was actually offered the role of The Balloon Lady, but turned it down. But she had a very gracious reason, she feared that her appearance might be too distracting. She said, "this is Emily's show, and I really want it to be Emily's show."