Dear Mary Poppins,
It was wonderful to run into you in the neighborhood department store earlier this week, as your most recent feature film, last year’s Mary Poppins Returns, debuts on Blu Ray and DVD. You couldn’t possibly remember me, but I bumped into you twice during the holidays at the local theatre, during your movie’s theatrical run. I had been anxiously awaiting, with each gust of wind, your arrival at home.
Toward the new film’s finale, you rather predictably exclaim, as you had during your 1964 cinematic debut, that you were “practically perfect in every way.” As is rather uncharacteristic of you, you were being a tad modest. Mary Poppins Returns in absolutely perfect in every possible way.
With no disrespect to Julie Andrews, your first celluloid assistant, your new accomplice, Emily Blunt, miraculously does an even finer job of helping to capture the magic, wonder, and utter joy for which you so desperately seem to strive. And the new film’s songs, rather unbelievably, improve upon those in your 1964 feature. All of them, including “Underneath the) Lovely London Sky,” “Trip A Little Light Fantastic,” “A Conversation,” and “The Place Where Lost Things Go” are modern musical masterpieces.
That said, I’m so sorry you did not receive the Academy Award for the latter song. If you’ll allow me to say so, Disney submitted the wrong tune to the Academy for consideration. Either the ebullient “Can You Imagine That” or “A Cover Is Not The Book” should have easily allowed you to bring Oscar home. And I defy anyone to get to Mary Poppins Returns’ rousing closer, “Nowhere To Go But Up” and not smile, if not chuckle out loud, by its final bars.
Speaking of that finale, when you wistfully said “It is time” as you raised your umbrella and flew off into the distance, I couldn’t remember the last time I was so sad to see a film come to an end. Fortunately, with the movie’s release on Blu Ray, DVD, and digital, I don’t have to experience that sorrow for long, All told, I’ve seen Mary Poppins Returns six times now, and have listened to the soundtrack album more times than I can count.
How many more times will I watch Mary Poppins Returns? Oh, to speculate would be an exercise in futility! Your new film is an absolute tonic, the “spoonful of sugar” we could all use to manage the challenging world we’ve created.
Speaking of created worlds, allow me to say that I was ebullient over the insertion of melanin into the new film. Most notably, your old friend Jack (with the help of his assistant, Lin-Manuel Miranda) was superb.
My own children are adults now, and it’s fairly safe to say that our family shan’t be needing a nanny’s services for at least the balance of the year. However, please rest assured I’ll be phoning you when the need arises. You may tidy my nursery or administer a bath any time you’d like.
Once again, Mary Poppins, it’s been a true joy. You may well believe that “the grown ups will always forget by tomorrow,” but I assure you that this one never will.
Thank you, Mary Poppins.
Mary Poppins Returns is available now on digital, Blu Ray, and DVD.
Freelancer (and perpetual kid) Michael P Coleman will neither confirm nor deny that he has a maddening crush on Mary Poppins and her “assistant” Emily Blunt. He is available at michaelpcoleman.com. Alternatively, you may follow him on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP