Mary Poppins is headed back to London’s Cherry Tree Lane to bring her special brand of magic to the Banks children, both young and old. This sequel to the 1964 film starring Julie Andrews, has been highly anticipated since its announcement, and from all appearances seems to capture the essence of the original. Does it hold up? Critics shared their opinions earlier this week and we’ve compiled some of the reviews from Rotten Tomatoes.
Mary Poppins Returns is currently at 77% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 7.5 out of 10.
As always, we try to avoid any spoilers when pulling quotes. If you want to be completely surprised when you see the film, we recommend skipping the reviews. Okay then, off we go!
Laughing Place’s Alex Reif found the film to be a downright pleasure:
What Director Rob Marshall has done with this production is… well… the only appropriate word is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. After just one viewing, I can definitely say that Mary Poppins Returns is the best film of this decade, Disney or otherwise.
Sandie Angulo Chen of Common Sense Media is fond of the musical performances:
Everything from the amazing production design to the colorful costumes to the catchy, upbeat songs penned by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman has that Disney glow. The performances are all good, with Blunt leading the way….The musical numbers are especially fun, and it’s a pleasure to see Blunt and Miranda sing and dance together. Hamilton fans are rewarded with the big, Miranda-led lamplighters’ song “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”, and his and Blunt’s rousing vaudeville duet “A Cover Is Not the Book” is also quite memorable.
Slash Film‘s Josh Spiegel was not feeling the magic:
Mary Poppins Returns is the cinematic equivalent of a cover band performing a beloved musical act’s hits: it recalls memories of what you loved when you were younger without stepping out of the shadows and working on its own.
Doug Jamieson of The Jam Report found the film to be an essential necessity for 2018:
In a time of such darkness and misery, Mary Poppins Returns proves to be the spoonful of sugar we all achingly need right now. It’s a joyous and uplifting experience that arrives at precisely the right time. While the nostalgic touches may stop this sequel from being something wholly original, it still marks the wondrous return of one of the greatest characters the world of cinema has ever known.
Ailssa Wilkinson of Vox feels that the film is missing something:
Thus, Mary Poppins Returns feels mostly like a cover of Mary Poppins, with stars in Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda and a new, more grown-up storyline. It’s focused on pleasing fans of the original without taking any risks. It’s a pleasant, diverting, modestly ambitious film, fun for the whole family. But it leaves much to be desired, too.
Olly Richards of Empire Magazine feels the casting of Emily Blunt was spot on:
Emily Blunt is impeccably cast as Poppins. Comparisons with Julie Andrews don’t come up because they play the character very differently. Blunt’s version is both sterner and looser…Blunt has comic timing as keenly cut as her accent, knowing exactly when to throw in a sarcastic eye roll or chuck a line away, never allowing Mary to be twee.
Indie Wire’s David Erlich was less enthusiastic about film even amid excellent performances:
A generation of kids raised on Minions is about to be bored into submission, and they’ll be all the better for it. And yet, however refreshing the plotlessness and relative purity of Mary Poppins Returns might be, there’s a fine line between “nostalgic” and “out of touch” — between revisiting the past and living in denial of the present.
The musical numbers left an impression with USA Today’s Brian Truitt:
Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) has a knack for musical structure, so his colorful numbers, mainly with Mary, Jack and the kiddos, make up for the more staid adult stuff. Marc Shaiman’s score is a swinging delight (with melodic hints here and there of older “Poppins” tunes), and his original songs, while perhaps not as earwormy as “A Spoonful of Sugar,” are a strong bunch.
For Kristen Lopez of Culturess this film didn’t quite hit its target:
To give Mary Poppins Returns anything less than adulation makes one a Grinch, but it seems that’s what the film is coasting on. There are certainly things to applaud about this sequel, but there’s a been-there, done-that feeling to everything….It’s the sequel to Bedknobs and Broomsticks I always wanted, but misses the mark being a Mary Poppins feature.
Punch Drunk Critics‘ Travis Hopson was pleasantly surprised at the movie’s effect:
Color me shocked when Mary Poppins Returns managed to sing and dance and fly and swim its way into my heart, mostly due to Emily Blunt’s winking performance as the magical problem-solving nanny. It wouldn’t be fair to compare her to Andrews; let’s just say Blunt has a cheekiness and a whimsy that is captivating. And I like that her Mary Poppins is just the tiniest bit vain.
Angie Han of Mashable says the magic is what’s missing:
As it stands, though, Mary is just some lady distracting a family with warmed-over fantasies, while their lives fall down around them. All throughout the film, Mary tries to spread wonder where she goes. But ultimately, it seems, no one needs an extra jolt of magic more than Mary Poppins Returns itself.
Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns flies into theatres December 19th.