Any movie buff who has watched movie musicals as far back as the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s would certainly know of Disney’s “Mary Poppins”. Based on the books of Australian-British novelist P.L. Travers, it starred Julie Andrews as the eponymous Miss Poppins the magical nanny, shortly before her other iconic role in “The Sound of Music”. It gained universal acclaim from critics then and now – as seen in its 100% rating on aggregate site “Rotten Tomatoes”. So in the spirit of Disney really cranking up its movie remake phase to high gear, production and filming has started on “Mary Poppins Returns”, a sequel to the 1964 classic.

Perfect casting

To celebrate the fact that the long-gap sequel is well underway, Disney has released publicity photos of the set filming locations, in particular very nice photos of star Emily Blunt, who is taking over the role of Mary Poppins from Andrews. And did she take up the role perfectly well or what? One picture sees Blunt in her Poppins getup: blue overcoat, red hat and a (most likely magical) carpetbag luggage. She appears to be standing in the entryway of a London home, most likely the Cherry Tree Lane residence of the Banks Family whose children she had looked after in the past, as befits the sequel nature of “Mary Poppins Returns”, which is now seemingly of a continuity separate from the original Travers books (established in the 60's by Julie Andrews’ nanny being much warmer than the no-nonsense and vain book version).

According to plot blurbs from Disney, the movie takes places some two and a half decades from the events of the original, which was set in 1910 Edwardian London. By this point in time the world is in the throes of the Great Depression, and the Banks children that Mary Poppins has looked after are now grown. But both Jane and Michael Banks (Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) need their childhood nanny more than ever now, especially Michael who has suffered a personal loss that has left him a dour and humorless man like his father George once was.

Adaptation expansion

Although the conceit of Mary revisiting her charges as grownups is original to the film (the books has her returning repeatedly while they are still skids), the producers take the events of the movie from various stories throughout the eight-book “Mary Poppins” series by Travers. Aside from Emily Blunt, also starring are Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack the singing lamplighter, Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin Topsy, Colin Firth as WW Wilkins the banker, Julie Walters as Ellen the Banks housekeeper, Angela Lansbury as the Balloon Lady, and original star Dick van Dyke in a special appearance. Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” is set to premiere Christmas Day on 2018. While you wait perhaps you can while the time with another Disney revival on TV: "Ducktales", this summer on Disney XD.