Trailer Watch – Mary Poppins Returns

Opening with a shot of the old London house we know so well, with a strangely-familiar tune building in the background, the new trailer for Mary Poppins Returns creates a crescendo of colour, noise, and action, and sends everyone who loved the first film into a flurry of excitement.

As with most children’s films that actually revolve around the adults (see the recent Christopher Robin, for example), it seems to be all about the parents learning how to think and feel like children again.

“Mary Poppins is here to set things right, with all the magic of the original film.”

The trailer begins with the two children from the previous film clearing out the attic, now all grown up and finding objects there that are filled with happy memories. But with all the weight of adult life, it seems Michael has forgotten what it is to be a child, and as all kids (and Disney creators) know, that’s the worst thing that could happen to someone as they grow up. But Mary Poppins is here to set things right, with all the magic of the original film.

Blowing in on a strong wind that takes up a decades-old kite, the string of which is held taught by a new child and this film’s answer to Bert, Marry Poppins arrives on her characteristic umbrella, flanked by the almost tangible sound of every viewer remembering that poetic line:

“I was flying a kite and it got caught on a nanny!”

“Winds in the east, mist coming in. / Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin. / Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, / But I feel what’s to happen all happened before.”

And though it is never spoken, that’s the entire basis of this new film.

“I was flying a kite and it got caught on a nanny!” the small child declares, as a shocked Jane and Michael stare at what is evidently the same nanny who looked after them (despite the fantastic choice of casting change to Emily Blunt).

The trailer then shows a bit of backstory, letting us know that Michael’s wife, father of the three new Banks children, has recently passed away, and that now their lives are falling to pieces. But Mary Poppins is here to look after them (kids and adults alike), so we know it’s all going to be okay.

Halfway through we’re reminded that this is a musical, Mary singing “Nothing’s gone forever, only out of place”, and that’s where the real magic begins. Not only do we have the music of the previous film brought back, but the creators didn’t forget to add in an appropriate dollop of animation to the live action, as well as plenty of beautiful, colourful shots of new and amazing magical experiences.

“One more thing of note is the number of big-name stars in this film”

You may as well actually watch the trailer, rather than read me waffling on about every tiny detail in each of the ever more bright, fantastical, nostalgia-inducing clips, but one more thing of note is the number of big-name stars in this film.

Alongside the incredible Blunt as the eponymous nanny, Ben Whishaw is adult Michael and Emily Mortimer is the still-young-at-heart Jane, with appearances from Julie Walters, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and even Dick Van Dyke filling out an all-star cast.

And I haven’t even mentioned Pulitzer Prize winner, lyrical genius, three-time Tony award winner, composer, playwright, three-time Grammy winner, actor, rapper, Emmy winner, and all-round nerdy inspiration Lin-Manuel Miranda, of In the Heights and Hamilton fame, among others. How restrained of me.

Miranda has donned a British accent as this film’s version of Bert, and seems just as happy to be there as we are to see him. Having a Broadway living legend in Mary Poppins is just par for the course, really, but it certainly adds to the fun to know there’s yet another great thing to look forward to about this film.

I for one am very excited about this film, and it seems an awful lot of other people are too, judging by the reaction to this trailer. Christmas seems a long way off at the moment, but trust me, the first term of uni goes quick.

As Mary declares at the end of the trailer: “Off we go!”

Isobel Sheene

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