by Zach Smith-Michaels
I love pancakes. They’re light, fluffy, and very receptive to some dope toppings! That’s what movie musicals tend to be, at least to me. A good movie musical has a light and fluffy base (the story and music) which is easy to digest, and then you can do a lot of fun things with the film. You can add toppings and make the movie bright, colorful, fun, and more. Mary Poppins Returns is a great stack of pancakes with all the toppings!
What a relentless delight this film is! I had a huge smile on my face for the entirety of the film! First things first, Emily Blunt does not disappoint! She had a nearly impossible pair of shoes to fill, those belonging to the beloved Julie Andrews, but Blunt did an admirable job dancing in said shoes. She had a perfect blend of the original Mary Poppins, and she added her own personality to the character. I wasn’t constantly comparing Emily Blunt to Julie Andrews, because I saw Mary Poppins!
Look, I love Lin-Manuel Miranda, but I was worried. I didn’t know if he would blend with this film or stick out like a sore thumb. Fortunately, he’s a lovely addition to this film. He has some great dance numbers, a few delight songs, and his presence in the film was very pleasant!
One thing that I was hoping for, but not entirely expecting, was the merging of live action and traditional animation. I was worried that they would update the animation to look more 3D and less hand drawn, but they didn’t! I was so overjoyed when I saw the cast wearing attire, walking on street, and interacting with talking animals that really looked hand drawn and very colorful.
I guess I could get into flaws, but why should I? Sure, it’s almost the exact same movie as the first and the character development is quite thin, but you don’t care…at least I didn’t. I wanted to have a good old fashioned time at the cinema, and that’s exactly what I got. I guess that my only real criticism is that the songs aren’t terrifically memorable. That’s not to say that they’re bad, they’re very enjoyable, but I didn’t leave the film with any of the songs stuck in my head. In fact, I struggled to remember a melody from any of the songs. Again, I liked the songs when I was watching the movie and I was absolutely blown away by Marc Shaiman’s incredible score, but I want to leave a musical singing all of the songs. Also, Meryl Streep makes a cameo, and her scene was inconsequential to the plot of the film, and her presence a great distraction. Perhaps, the thing that upsets me most about her involvement in the film is that we all know that the performance is her means of receiving an unearned Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
At the end of the day, this movie is exactly what you’re expecting. This is a perfect movie for a date night or family night. If you’re going to see this movie, I strongly suggest seeing this movie on the big screen. If you want these pancakes with all of these toppings, I suggest that you chow down!