marry poppins returns
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Mary Poppins Returns: A Review after Four Thousand Viewings

From Myke

If you know me, you know that I do not enjoy musicals. There is exactly one musical that I will say that I enjoy. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There are of course the animated movies I enjoyed when I was growing up, but I’m not considering them here. I should also be noted that I do not include movies that are about music as musicals. For instance, Walk the Line or School of Rock.

Those are music movies, not musicals. For me a musical is a movie where the characters randomly break out into song, and the story is conveyed through song. For most movies, this pulls me out of the experience and I find myself annoyed and asking questions.

Like: “How does everyone know the words?” “Where is this music coming from?” “In the world of the movie, is the music there? Or are they just singing randomly? Does it look like those music-less music videos?”

Needless to say when Allison asked me if I wanted to see Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to a movie I have a very negative relationship with (That I may elaborate on later), I elected to pass.

Well Allison loved it and began playing the music for the girls at lunch and dinner time. After a month of this I was done with “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”.

Then to my horror it was released on Netfilx. So naturally Allison put it on for the girls. Unfortunately, they loved it. Olivia would dance with the music and constantly request “Jump” or as it’s actually called “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”, my least favorite song. She got the name from the part of the song where the main characters jump from a roof onto the street.

It wasn’t long until Olivia started requesting Mary Poppins Returns and would call out the songs that she wanted to watch, never in the order of the movie, causing us to fast forward and rewind throughout the movie.

Eventually the girls settled down into watching the movie all the way through. This is where my opinion of it started to change. I can’t remember what viewing it was, where I started to notice how crafty Mary Poppins was, orchestrating little interactions that paid off later in the movie. Then after hearing “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” for the 12th time, I actually listened to the lyrics, seeing all of the foreshadowing it contained, just about every major beat is reflected in the song.

As we watched it over and over, my appreciation began to grow. I think that’s the benefit of starting off from a negative place, if I was excited about the movie, I think my enjoyment of it would wane as I got bored with it. Starting off from a position of not paying attention, the movie slowly but surely drew me in. 

Moments from my first viewing that I disliked began to grow on me. The song “Turning Turtle” started off as my least favorite song, but as I listened to the message of the song I really enjoyed it. I will say however, Meryl Streep’s performance of a Gypsy stereo type is quite honestly her worst acting performance ever. I would like to propose an amendment to the Academy Awards, if you give a bad enough performance, you should lose an Oscar you’ve already won. This would be one of those performances, from the usually brilliant Meryl Streep.

I think that after viewing Mary Poppins Returns, I’ve come to a place where I can now say I like two Musicals.

From Allison

Before I jump into any sort of review, I just have to say that I love this movie. I fell in love with it when I first saw it in December and I knew that I was going to own it. When Olivia started to show interest in the music, I was beyond excited and now that she absolutely loves the movie, my heart could explode. Many people have asked if I’m annoyed that I have to watch the same movie every day. No. I’m not annoyed and I love it. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, on to the review.

One of my favorite things about the whole movie is the references to the old movie. Like I said, I was a big fan of the original Mary Poppins and it makes me so happy that they were so respectful of the original. When the original Jane said “Many thanks, sincerely” in reference to the song they sing in the first movie, it made me so excited I had to tell everyone in the house. I just loved little hints to the movie.

The fact that my daughters are now into this movie makes me so insanely happy it’s hard to put it into words. I know this stage will pass, but for now, I’m going to enjoy it and write this season in my mama diary.

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