Mary Poppins was the first movie that I saw in a movie theater. To a 5-year-old, Mary Poppins was the happy, singing, magical figure dancing on a giant theater screen. Along with movie popcorn, I vividly remember holding my dad’s hand walking home from the movie that afternoon. What a memory!
Who is Mary Poppins and why is she returning?
So, when I saw that Mary Poppins Returns was being filmed, I wondered how I was going to adjust to a new Mary Poppins. After all, could anyone be as “Practically Perfect” as Julie Andrews? In my eyes, probably not, but for my 4 and 5-year-old granddaughters they were excited to go to another Saturday matinee. For me, it could be a life changer.
As we talked about going to see the new movie, I shared with them my love for the original and how much their mommy loved the movie when she was little. I was thrilled when they asked to see the “old” Mary Poppins movie. Now, what die-hard Mary Poppins fan would not have their own copy of the movie on CD? So, that afternoon, my husband and I sat down with the girls to introduce them to “Mary and Bert”.
So much fun through a child’s eyes
The 2+ hours had many surprises for us all. The fact that both my husband and I could sing some of the songs “practically” perfect was a surprise to us and shocked the girls. Their eyes darted between the screen and us, watching and laughing that we sang along and even added some dialogue. My husband’s demonstration of jumping into an imaginary chalk sidewalk picture brought on a case of the giggles for us all! Little kids see such fun in little things!
Mary Poppins magical presence and adventures through the streets of London, horse races on carousel horses and tea parties on the ceiling added to the countless “how did she do that?” questions throughout the movie. It was interesting to see the girls question the unrealistic things in the movie but not question when fish talk underwater in their favorite cartoons. Perhaps they know cartoons are fake but people who look real in movies, even though they are doing magical things, makes them question reality? Not sure, but I loved seeing their amazement.
Did they really understand Mary Poppins?
Did they get the Mary Poppins message to reach for their dreams or to look past what they see on the outside to see the good in all of us? I would say no. Did they enjoy 2+ hours of fun with their grandparents? Absolutely! That afternoon we did not experience the magic at 17 Cherry Hill Lane but there was magic in our house when our granddaughters met Mary Poppins.
Could Mary Poppins Returns be as good as the original movie?
Did we go to see Mary Poppins Returns? This past Saturday afternoon, my daughter and I took the 2 girls to see Mary Poppins Returns. It took a few minutes for the girls to realize that there were different people playing the roles and lots of whispering to explain the differences between the movies. But, we all loved the new movie (yes, even me!). It was fun, made us smile and an experience I will never forget.
However, the best outcome was hearing the girls singing in the back of the car, Let’s Go Fly A Kite from Mary Poppins (1964) on our ride home. Sorry Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, you both were great, but sometimes the original movie is simply more than “Practically Perfect”!