Mary Poppins Returns is the feel-good, fun movie this holiday season. But, is it “practically perfect in every way?” Is Mary Poppins Returns kid-friendly? Find out in my Mary Poppins Returns Parent Review. As always, no spoilers!
Mary Poppins is one of those Disney films that has been well-loved for generations. It’s a classic. I know many people had indifferent feelings about a sequel. I on the other hand, was intrigued. For starters, Emily Blunt was cast as Mary Poppins. I’ve loved her since The Devil Wears Prada. I had a very strong feeling she had the capability to make an iconic character like Mary Poppins, her own. No, she’s not Julie Andrews. But let’s give her the opportunity to shine. And shine she did.
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Mary Poppins returns to 17 Cherry Tree Lane just in time, when the Banks children need her. Jane and Michael Banks are now adults, and facing the financial struggles of “The Great Slump.” Jane is helping Michael care for his three children, while he is struggling with the recent loss of his wife. Yes. In typical Disney fashion, the new Banks children are left without a mother. And while Mary Poppins Returns is a fun and upbeat film, the loss of their mother plays a pretty big role in the film. Consider this your forewarning when taking children who may be sensitive to this theme.
Music plays a huge part in Mary Poppins Returns. The score is simply brilliant and Lin-Manuel Miranda is a musical genius. My absolute favorite song was “The Place Where Lost Things Go.” But I’m warning you parents, it’s a tearjerker. It references the Banks children losing their mother, when Mary Poppins tells them, “You can’t lose what you’ve never lost.” She then breaks into song about how their mother is still with them. The lyrics will tug at your heart. My favorite being “maybe all you’re missing lives inside of you.” My 9 year old son, Lincoln, actually reached for my hand during this song. Explaining death to a child is one of the hardest things you have to do as a parent. I’ve always told my kids that whomever they’re missing lives inside of their heart. This song really hit home.
Of course there were several other more upbeat songs. I was delighted to see Angela Lansbury in the final scene. Her “No Where to Go But Up,” song was uplifting, and ended the film on the perfect note. And my favorite scene in the movie was hands down the bathtub scene, which features the song, “Can You Imagine That?” It’s the first clip in the film that is animated, and it is just so unbelievably done.
Is Mary Poppins Returns Kid-Friendly?
My personal opinion. YES!! It’s a bright film that is meant to be shared with the entire family. I have read a few reviews about a controversial scene during the “A Cover is Not the Book” scene. Some said it was a tad risque, however, I honestly don’t think I would have noticed had I not been looking for it. There is absolutely no fowl language in Mary Poppins Returns, which is HUGE in this day in age. For this I applaud Disney. There is some subtle flirting between Jack the lamplighter and Jane Banks, but nothing over-the-top. One scary scene involving Georgie and the Wolf happens, but it is fairly brief.
As far as for what age I would recommend Mary Poppins Returns, I really think it depends on your child. It is a long film for younger kids at 2 hours 10 minutes. For this reason alone, I chose to not bring my 5 year old. I knew he would get bored and lose interest. However, my 9 year old son loved every moment. I think this movie can really be viewed by all ages, however, if you think they will get antsy because of the duration, you might want to wait for the DVD. You know your child best!
Messages in Mary Poppins Returns
I was thrilled with the amount of positive messages in this film. After every movie I watch with my oldest, I ask him what message he got out of the film. Lincoln promptly told me, “Even when you’re an adult, you can still have an imagination.” I love when kids get it. Imagination is such an important theme in this film, and it’s celebrated magnificently. I think Mary Poppins said it best when she said, “Everything is possible. Even the impossible.”
Dick Van Dyke
How amazing that at 93 years old, Dick Van Dyke was able to DANCE on top of a desk?! That scene is truly magical and the icing on the cake. You can even see the look of amazement and admiration on Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s faces while they’re watching him tap away! I love that he was included in the sequel, and the audience did, as well. His role was perfection.
Mary Poppins Returns is delightful. It’s fun. It’s whimsical. You will find yourself smiling throughout the entire film. In fact, I took a look around the audience in the theater. It was such a nice thing to see so many smiling faces. Men, women, children. All thoroughly immersed into this imaginative film. It really is a movie for everyone. The young, and the young at heart. It’s the perfect escape from reality. Mary Poppins Returns is truly practically perfect in every way.
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I hope you found my Mary Poppins Returns Parent Review helpful. Will you be taking your family to see this film?
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