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What We Learned About Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns opened in theaters today and Legion of Leia/Vital Thrills got the opportunity to attend the press conference for the anticipated film.

Director Rob Marshall was joined by the amazing cast, including Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, and Ben Whishaw.

What We Learned About Mary Poppins Returns

They were also joined by producer and choreographer John DeLuca and composer Marc Shaiman. Producer Marc Platt served as the moderator.

Disney‘s Mary Poppins Returns is a spot of joy to watch (read our review), especially this holiday season. Here are a few reasons why you should carve out some time to go see it:

What We Learned About Mary Poppins Returns

The film’s message is what people need right now.

While explaining the reasons why he was drawn to work on the film, director Rob Marshall explained how the message of the film inspired him to take on the project and followed him throughout production: “I have to say the guiding message of this film about finding light in the darkness is honestly what drew me to it and kept guiding me throughout this whole process, including until this very moment… And I’m just speaking for myself, but I feel people need this film now. And I certainly knew that I wanted to live in that world and be a part of that and sending that message out into the world now of looking for hope and light in a dark time.”

To be perfectly honest, I quite agree. The film’s spirit and message of finding hope amidst darkness and loss cannot be denied upon viewing.

What We Learned About Mary Poppins Returns

The original books by P.L. Travers were the main source of inspiration for Emily Blunt’s construction of Mary.

As soon as it was announced that Emily Blunt was going to be playing the infamous magical nanny, many of us wondered what her approach would be to the role. Julie Andrew’s performance is so iconic that it would be hard to live up to. In searching for inspiration to make the character her own, Blunt described how the original literary material helped inform her performance: “I found the books to be a huge springboard and enormously helpful. She leaped off the page at me just in how complicated she is, how unknowable she is in this wonderful way, that duality of the character… There is a humanity and she has to herself have such a childlike wonder to her in order to want to infuse these children’s lives with it.”

Blunt’s incorporation of Mary Poppins’ duality into her performance serves to honor the character in the minds of many while also making sure that her interpretation of the character is her own.

(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

It was a balancing act in determining how to pay homage to the original Mary Poppins while also creating a new, fresh film in Mary Poppins Returns.

Many on social media have referred to the film as a remake. However, Mary Poppins Returns is, in fact, a sequel. There are several homages to the original film in the sequel. However, because of how iconic the original film was, there were concerns about the film being too referential and too similar to its predecessor. Director Rob Marshall further explained the process: “It was a balancing act. I really felt that everyone who was a part of this needed to have the first film in their blood in some way because that’s what we were following… There were things; there were sort of goalposts or signposts throughout that we needed to hold onto because it’s in the DNA of the material.”

While Marshall had a difficult task at hand, the balance can be easily seen throughout the course of Mary Poppins Returns, paying homage to the original while also delivering a fresh sequel.

(Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

The Place Where Lost Things Go was inspired by the original P.L. Travers’ books.

The song “The Place Where Lost Things Go” will arguably go down as one of the most memorable and iconic songs from Mary Poppins Returns. It is a song that helps explain to children the concept of loss without coming across as too profound. However, many have wondered where the inspiration came to create such a song. As it turns out, the main inspiration came from the original P.L Travers’ books: “In one of the books, Mary’s uncle is the man in the moon and so, she takes the children there for a tea party. But on the other side of the moon, he tells her this is where the things that people can find. It’s the dark side of the moon and not in the Pink Floyd way.”

Mary Poppins Returns is now playing in theaters. Are you interested in seeing the film? Make sure you check out our review and let us know what you think!