Mary Poppins Returns directed by Rob Marshall [7/10]

Musicals and I don’t mix but for some reason I was attracted to seeing “Mary Poppins Returns” as a window into my childhood memories of the original. I’m pleased to report that Disney and director Marshall have not messed with the vibe of the original, indeed they have faithfully echoed it amidst a narrative shift to the modern day. The conceit is that the original Mary Poppins kids are now adults, the grown-up boy now having three precocious kids. Their mother has died, the dad is in trouble, and Colin Firth plays a malevolent banker. Zing! Down floats the “almost perfect” nanny, played to perfection by Emily Blunt. Moments of sentimentality abound but it all depends on your attachment to the original; we went with older friends who despised this treacly singalong but I channeled my inner boy and enjoyed it from start to finish. A triumph of restrained Disney magic.

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