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Mary Poppins Returns: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Mary Poppins Returns, set years after the original Disney movie musical, finds Michael Banks (and his sister Jane) all grown up, and Michael has his own children who are in desperate need of a Nanny. Mary Poppins Returns has a strong moral worldview, with more imagination and less magical thinking, about supporting each other as a family. Adorable and enjoyable, Mary Poppins Returns will entertain the entire family.

After a great song about blessing from above, the movie cuts to Michael and his sister Jane Banks, who are working hard to stay afloat. This has been an especially hard year for Michael and his children, because of the passing of his wife. When the bank shows up to tell Michael he hasn’t paid his loan on the house in several months, he says he’ll pay it ow. They tell him that this isn’t acceptable, and the bank needs the entirety of the loan paid off because he was so far behind. Michael is distraught and doesn’t know how he will accomplish this, but Jane reminds him that their father had stock in the Bank, they just must find the missing certificate saying they have the stock.

Shortly after this, when Michael’s children, Anabel, Georgie, and John are walking in the park, Georgie sees a kite that Michael had thrown away and runs after it. Just at that moment, Mary Poppins floats down from the sky with the kite. Mary Poppins tells Michael she will help with the children, while he searches for the bank certificate.

Will Michael be able to find the certificate with the help of Jane? Will the children learn how to use their imagination, instead of being defeated because of the loss of their mother?

Mary Poppins Returns is a well-made, adorable, enjoyable, fun movie that the whole family will like. The movie has many moments and scenes that are nostalgic to the first movie. Though this is the case, Mary Poppins Returns has a theme about imagination rather than magic. The movie never mentions the use of magic. Instead, it encourages children to use imagination in their daily lives, along with adults remembering their own childhood imagination. This is a wonderful theme in an age where children spend much of their time on devices and computers, rather then going outside, playing, creating, and imagining. One song says you must let the light lead the way, but another song says there’s no concrete death. Of course, according to Christianity, we live in a concrete reality, with real death and real pain, and so we are in need of a real savior.

That said, Mary Poppins Returns has excellent songs, animation, and a well-plotted story. The movie follows much of the lighthearted style of the original, with traditional animation. It also has great musical numbers, with nods to the original Mary Poppins. The storyline is clear from the beginning and very well done. Some much younger children may be scared by the jeopardy. Overall, however, the whole family will enjoy Mary Poppins Returns.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become