‘Mary Poppins Returns’ leaves audience dissatisfied


Depicts a drawing of Mary Poppins holding out her umbrella. Picture drawn by Joe Caruso.

Benvenuta Berberi, Staff Writer

While the original Mary Poppins brought joy and entertainment, the sequel could be summed up in one word: forgettable.

Director Rob Marshall has already directed three musicals, such as Chicago, Into the Woods, and Little Mermaid; he has also won multiple Emmys. He has also been nominated for multiple Oscars and Golden Globes. Despite his successes, the movie is worse than the original.

The disappointment lie in the songs. Due to the popularity of the original Mary Poppins songs, it was especially disheartening to come to the end of the movie and not have a song particularly stand out.

“That’s an important distinction because it’s not us trying to improve on Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Mary Poppins Returns” had scenes that are too sad for a children’s movie and handled some depressing topics, like the death of a mother, strangely followed by upbeat music.

Casting certain characters also made a distinct change. The actors and actresses that play Michael and Jane in Mary Poppins Returns, Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer, had brown hair and brown eyes even though the original Michael and Jane, played by Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber, had blond hair and blue eyes— defying logic.

According to IMDb, Mary Poppins got 100% Rotten Tomatoes, which is a sizeable increase compared to the 78% Rotten Tomatoes that Mary Poppins Returns racked up. Clearly, the audience conceded which was better.

Nonetheless, Emily Blunt captured the essence of who Mary Poppins was, “practically perfect in every way.” 

Finally, true to his reputation of a sweet, spry actor, Dick Van Dyke strolled on set and danced on a desk despite being 93 years old, which gave the last five minutes of the movie a magical sense of nostalgia.

“I thought there was too much computer animation; sometimes it went on too long and didn’t move the story forward. But I’m hypercritical. Other than that, I think it’s a great tribute to Walt,” said Van Dyke in an interview by The New York Times.