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Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray Review – Lots of Detailed Extras!

Entertaining bonus extras make the film worth adding to your collection.

Reviewed by on Mar 19, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray. Will it be modern enough for you or too dated? Have you seen the original movie? Will you want to collect or gift this one? Read our Blu-ray review!

By: Lynn Barker

It’s 1930’s depression-era London (The time period of the original novels) when nanny Mary Poppins Returns. The kids from the 1964 film Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) Banks are now grown up. After Michael’s family suffers a personal loss and may lose the family home, the magical nanny Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) pops back in, teams up with the upbeat street lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and uses her otherworldly skills to help the family survive and rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns Bonus Trailer

Mary is glad to be back for a new generationMary is glad to be back for a new generationCourtesy of Disney

Family Trauma

Lamplighter Jack is shutting off lamps in early morning London while expressing how optimistic he is in song. Michael Banks’ is told that his loan is three months overdue and he has just five days, with a midnight deadline, to pay it back or his house will be foreclosed on. He simply doesn’t have the money. The kids Anabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and little Georgie (Joel Dawson) sense how sad and overworked dad is since their mom Kate died. Their aunt Jane is a social worker who can only support the family with a lot of love.

Michael and his sister don't believe Mary is magicMichael and his sister don't believe Mary is magicCourtesy of Disney

Nanny Rescue

The entire family starts looks for a certificate proving that Michael’s dad George owned shares in the bank. If they find it they can pay off the loan. No luck. Georgie finds an old, tattered kite that his dad used to fly and flies it in a high wind and is almost swept away with it but nanny Mary Poppins floats down out of the sky holding onto it. Jack knows her from when he was a kid helping chimney sweep Bert and then Mary. Adult Michael and Jane are stunned to see her at the house announcing that she has come again to take care of the Banks children.

Mary takes charge of the Banks childrenMary takes charge of the Banks childrenCourtesy of Disney

The Magic is Back

The adults don’t think the magical things Mary is doing are real. They think they imagined their childhoods with her. The kids are all dirty so she puts them in the bath which is a gateway to a magical, underwater kingdom. They frolic with fish, a giant rubber duckie and other ocean critters while Mary stirs their imaginations singing “Can You Imagine That?”. Later, Georgie finds dad’s drawing of their family and pockets it. Michael and Jane go to the bank but manager Wilkins (Colin Firth) won’t give them an extension on the loan deadline. We see that he does know about the certificate but won’t help them. He’s busy foreclosing on houses and making the bank and himself rich.

Bank Manager WilkinsBank Manager WilkinsCourtesy of Disney

Things Aren’t What They Seem

Georgie cuts up the family drawing and uses pieces to patch the kite. The kids accidentally break a Royal Doulton china bowl they hoped to sell to help pay the loan. Mary magically takes them into the artwork on the bowl. To stress the fact that things aren’t necessarily as they seem, Mary and Jack perform “A Cover is Not the Book” (which of course, encourages us all to read). After a chase because some of the animals have stolen things from the kids’ nursery, everyone ends up back home.

Performing A Book is Not the CoverPerforming A Book is Not the CoverCourtesy of Disney

We Miss Mom

Mary convinces the sad kids that mom is always watching and loving them from “Where the Lost Things Are”.

Mary tells the kids that mom isn't really goneMary tells the kids that mom isn't really goneCourtesy of Disney

Tomorrow they will take the bowl for repair to Mary’s cousin Topsy (Meryl Streep) who has a shop and “fixes things”. Jack and Jane have started a flirty relationship that everyone approves of. Mary and the kids take the bowl to Topsy, whose shop and world turns upside down (literally) every second Wednesday….today. She sings “Turning Turtle” about her upside down world then says the bowl is priceless alright but not in monetary value, just in their mother’s eyes.

Wacky cousin TopsyWacky cousin TopsyCourtesy of Disney

At the Bank

At the bank the kids and Mary overhear that Wilkins plans to repossess many homes, including Michael’s. When they tell their dad, he doesn’t believe them and is angry at them when Wilkins is mad and threatens his bank job. On the way home, a fog rolls in and Mary and the kids are lost. Jack and his lamplighters come to the rescue with an upbeat song and dance called “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”.  At home the kids convince dad that mom is still with them from “Where the Lost Things Go”. He makes up with them.

The Trip the Light Fantastic danceThe Trip the Light Fantastic danceCourtesy of Disney

Last Chance

With the midnight deadline at hand, the furniture in the house is repossessed and the kids pack up to move out. Can the family find the missing stock certificate in the nick of time? Will Mary use her magic and can Jack help? Can the elderly, original bank manager Mr. Dawes Jr. (Dick Van Dyke) prove that Michael ever owned the stocks?

Mary Poppins icon Dick Van Dyke as Mr. DawesMary Poppins icon Dick Van Dyke as Mr. DawesCourtesy of Disney

Bonus Extras

  • Deleted Song—“The Anthropomorphic Zoo” - In this early song sequence, Mary Poppins and the children visit a very special zoo where the humans and animals trade places. Shown via storyboards and with filmmakers singing. Cute but replaced by “A Cover is Not the Book”.
  • The Practically Perfect Making of “Mary Poppins Returns” - Join filmmakers and cast on an amazing journey to embrace the legacy of the original film while making a fresh modern sequel. We are on set for a lot of dance rehearsals. The musical score, building Cherry Tree Lane and casting are discussed. Four parts:

Director Rob Marshall on setDirector Rob Marshall on setCourtesy of Disney
  • Introduction - Filmmakers and cast remember the first Mary Poppins movie and share the thrill of working on “Mary Poppins Returns.”
  • “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” - Discover how the team mined PL Travers' books for a fresh perspective on a much-loved character. Plus, meet the Banks children!
  • “Can You Imagine That?” - Be on location for Mary's iconic entrance from the sky, and explore the movie's original songs, inspired by the Sherman Brothers.
  • “Nowhere to Go but Up” - Experience being on set with the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, and celebrate the joy of choosing the right balloon!

Angela Lansbury on setAngela Lansbury on setCourtesy of Disney
  • Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of “Mary Poppins Returns” - Go behind the scenes and experience the film's production numbers from a new angle. There are on set rehearsals and shooting the actual numbers, comments by actors and director.

Rob Marshall in video village on setRob Marshall in video village on setCourtesy of Disney
  • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” - Led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast performs the film's biggest production number, with dancing lamplighters, bicyclists and more!
  • “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book” - Find out what it takes to create two musical extravaganzas inside an animated world, highlighted by dancing animated penguins!

Inside the world of the Royal Doulton bowlInside the world of the Royal Doulton bowlCourtesy of Disney
  • “Turning Turtle” - Mary's eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, played by Meryl Streep, has an unusual house that turns this musical number upside-down. Liked this one the best. Meryl Streep is a hoot!
  • “Can You Imagine That?” - Dive under the bubbles with the cast and crew to see how this exuberant number was created. They actually fell through a bottomless bathtub!
  • Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns – Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the first film, returns after 54 years to Cherry Tree Lane as Mr. Dawes Jr. Scenes with Dick from the original movie are shown. He takes a tour of the set. Really sweet tribute. He’s 91 and “makes old seem cool”.
  • Practically Perfect Bloopers – There's nowhere to go but up with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of flubs, goofs and prop fails! Very tame but cute.
  • Deleted Scenes – There are two short ones that extend the visit to Topsy and give us a little more of “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”.
  • Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode – Sing along with all your favorite songs as you watch the movie. Cute and fun if you are into it.
  • Play Movie with Audio Commentary – a digital exclusive, only seen by downloading the digital version - Watch the film with commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca. Most of this info is in the other extras.

Director Rob Marshall talks with Emily BluntDirector Rob Marshall talks with Emily BluntCourtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

As we said when we review the film in theaters: “Everyone is working really hard to make this sequel to Disney’s 1964 landmark musical pay tribute without copying but there are a lot of overly-familiar elements. The new songs reflect the action, get story points across and teach morals. They are entertaining enough but you won’t remember them as well as “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Supercalifragilisticexpialdocious,” or “Chim Chim Cheree.” Some plot points (i.e. where the stock certificate actually is) are too easy to guess”.

The Banks children are doubtful there is a magical nannyThe Banks children are doubtful there is a magical nannyCourtesy of Disney

Dances look dated and out of a 1950’s musical and “flat” single plane animation sequences also look “old” in our world of digital animation wonders. Kids in my audience were squirming and getting up and down a lot during the film despite really nice performances by Emily Blunt and Lin Manuel Miranda. Smaller performances by Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury are all charming and highpoints in the movie.

Lamplighter Jack thinks something magical is comingLamplighter Jack thinks something magical is comingCourtesy of Disney

On the plus side, the theme of a nanny helping a family rediscover the joy and childhood wonder in their lives is very admirable.

Jack will help when he canJack will help when he canCourtesy of Disney

The film looks and sounds very clean on the Blu-ray I watched. Bonus Extras reflect the usual Disney home entertainment habit of covering everything in detail. The dance rehearsals are fun to see as well as other on-set action.  Comments by Emily and Lin Manuel are especially nice. We can award four stars.

Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray Review: 4

Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray and DVD Cover ArtCourtesy of Disney

Buy Mary Poppins Returns Tuesday, March 19th

Are You a Fan?  

Your opinion counts! Is old-fashioned singing and dancing okay with you or do you prefer a more modern film? Do you wish you had had a magical babysitter? Leave a comment below or write your own review on your Kidzworld profile page!