Disney had us confused with their ever changing release dates, but Mary Poppins Returns is almost here and the date is locked in: December 19, 2018, is when the film will hit theaters.
Announced back in 2015, it’s been a long time in the making and the original release date of December 25 was changed back in July to the current date of Dec. 19th, but 2018 flew past us and the movie is practically here and caught us by surprise. The film itself stars Emily Blunt (as the big cheese, Mary Poppins) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (which yay, but he is just a performer and the soundtrack is written and composed entirely by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman) ~ but for all of the star-studded ensemble we are most excited for Ben Wihshaw to take the role of the now-grown Michael Banks.
But for all the celebrities, it is the children that could make or break this movie — and we think they put the film in safe hands. Pixie Davies takes the rile of Michael’s daughter Annabel and with projects like “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” and AMC’s “Humans” on her resumé we have total faith in the young star. Even Nathanael Saleh has credits from “Game of Thrones”; Joel Dawson, playing Georgie Banks, is the newcomer with this as his first major role — and while it might be a lot of pressure and make us sound insensitive, he has a lot to prove in this high profile debut. He is in a mega-star list with the cast above and also the likes of Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, and Dick Van-Dyke but they can all breathe easily as Julie Andrews graciously denied the offer to cameo in the film as she wanted it to be “Emily’s Show”. Such a classy lady and while we are sad we won’t see her at all in the film she is still supportive of the project.
The film itself is set 25 years after the first movie and acts as a direct sequel where Poppins returns to help the now adult Banks children after a “family tragedy” [spoiler: Michael’s wife dies leaving him and their three children struggling] in depression era 1935 London. The film features a new soundtrack already garnering praise, and John Krasinski (husband of Emily Blunt) is already on record that it made him cry the first time he got to see the film at an early screening. With the setting and themes of loss, we aren’t surprised it could be a tear-jerker, but the unspoken drawing factor to me as a millennial is highlighting parenting struggles in the midst of tragedy and hard times — which makes this period piece feel extremely relevant to today’s market.
The trailer can be seen here, and be forewarned– this sequel incorporates a scene of traditional 2d hand-drawn animation combined with the live action that put me off to the original film as a child. I know it’s an odd grievance and most people love it as an iconic scene, but we should all hold our own opinions with a grain of salt until we see this sequel and give it a view with open minds. So don’t miss the film that will be all the buzz come award season, because it’s already garnering nominations!