Every year at Christmas, there's a huge movie for the whole family to go see. It's called Star Wars, and it's been a holiday fixture for the last three years. But this year will be different. With Solo: A Star Wars Story arriving in May of this past year, this Christmas is Star Wars free. Disney's plan to fill the void? Mary Poppins Returns, the first sequel to the original 1964 Mary Poppins. With Emily Blunt set to take over the role from Julie Andrews, fans are understandably nervous about the musical elements. But the new Mary Poppins song Disney released as part of this week's "Special Look" at the project should put those fears to rest.
Like the first Mary Poppins, the new film is a musical, filled with original songs. The new songs were composed by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, best known for winning the Tony for Hairspray. Though the official soundtrack listing has not been released yet, Screen Rant reports their sources say this the rumored final list:
- "The Place Where Lost Things Go"
- "Can You Imagine That"
- "The Royal Doulton Music Hall"
- "Turning Turtle"
- "A Cover Is Not the Book"
- "Trip a Little Light Fantastic"
- "Nowhere to Go But Up"
Now fans have gotten a taste of "Can You Imagine That" in the newest look at the film. Check it out.
The original Mary Poppins was set in pre-World War I, where children Jane and Michael Banks were in need of a nanny, and their father in need of an attitude adjustment about life. Like many current reboots, the movie moves the story up a generation, moving the action 25 years into the future, giving us adult Jane and Michael (Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw) in a much-changed London of the 1930s.
Mary Poppins hasn't aged a day, naturally, and neither have her cartoon penguins. But her companion is no longer a Chimney Sweep named Bert, replaced by a 1930s lamplighter named Jack, played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose accent sounds just as bad as Dick Van Dyke's was.
Speaking of Van Dyke, he will be in the film, though, in a cameo role as Mr. Dawes Jr. (Fans will recall Van Dyke was double-cast in the original film, playing both Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr.)
The film also gathers an A-List team of supporting players, including no less than three Mamma Mia alumni, Julie Walters, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep. Also making an appearance: Angela Lansbury, who at 93 is officially the oldest member of the cast. (Dick Van Dyke is merely 92.)
Mary Poppins Returns is shaping up to be the biggest competition A Star Is Born will have come awards time, as Shaiman and Wittman's work is being marketed as appealing "to new and old fans of the original 1964 Mary Poppins movie." Personally, if any of them dislodge "Feed The Birds/Tuppence A Bag" from the corner of my brain where it's been lodged lo these past decades, it will be a minor Christmas miracle.
Mary Poppins Returns arrives in theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018.