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Trivia / Mary Poppins Returns

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  • All-Star Cast: Quite a bunch of famous British actors with Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer, Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters, David Warner and Angela Lansbury. As for the Americans, there's Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep and the return of Dick Van Dyke.
  • Approval of God:
    • Emily Blunt was naturally quite nervous to take over such an iconic role, but Julie Andrews herself gave her her blessing.
    • When Shaiman and Wittman played one of their songs to Richard Sherman, he compared it to a relay race. He and Robert began it and now he's passing the baton to them.
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  • California Doubling: Averted. The film was shot in England, sometimes at the real London locations where the action is meant to be taking place. In contrast, the 1964 original was filmed entirely in California.
  • The Cast Showoff: "The Cover Is Not The Book" shows off Lin-Manuel Miranda's rapping skills when Jack speeds through the Dirty Rascal's story, which he claims would run "a bit long" at normal speed.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: In Anthony Lane's review of the film in The New Yorker, he refers to Jack as Bert's nephew. Jack was actually just Bert's apprentice and not related to him.note 
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Considering Karen Dotrice was 7-8 when Mary Poppins was filmed and the fact that it is set in 1910, Jane Banks would hit 40 in the middle of World War II. Mary Poppins Returns is set in the 1930s, and Emily Mortimer was 46 when it was filmed. And she's 9 years older than Ben Whishaw, the age gap between Jane and Michael was nowhere that big in the first film.
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    • Considering Arthur Malet's age in the first film when he played Mr. Dawes Jr., the character should be just a few years under 60. At the time of the film's release, Dick Van Dyke had just turned 93.
  • Doing It for the Art: Director Rob Marshall had to fight hard to include a sequence with classic-style hand-drawn animation, since the higher-ups at Disney believed audiences were no longer interested in the medium and that the sequence would work better in CGI. Marshall later recruited Duncan Studios in Florida to provide the 2D animation for the film, pulling many older Disney animators out of retirement to work on it. However, a CGI-reliant sequence was indeed included in the form of “Can You Imagine That”, which was itself based on a sequence that was to be 2D animated.
  • Fake Brit: The Puerto Rican-American Lin-Manuel Miranda as the Cockney Jack the Lamplighter.
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  • Fake Russian: American Meryl Streep as the heavily Slavic-coded Topsy.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: After The Devil Wears Prada and Into the Woods, this marks the third movie in which Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep work together.
  • Meaningful Release Date: The film was released fifty-four years after the first. The first film was released fifty-four years after it was set (1910).
  • The Other Darrin: Due to the first film dating back to 1964 and its cast being too old or having passed away long ago, every role was inevitably recast.
    • Emily Blunt replacing Julie Andrews as Mary, of course.
    • Dick Van Dyke returns but doesn't play an older Bert, he has been cast as Mr. Dawes Jr. instead, replacing Arthur Malet, who passed away of natural causes in 2013. It's also a case of Actor Allusion and Identical Son, since Van Dyke played Mr. Dawes Sr. in 1964.
    • Emily Mortimer plays Jane Banks, succeeding Karen Dotrice, who's in her 60s.
    • Ben Whishaw plays Michael Banks. Matthew Garber died at the age of 21 in 1977 due to pancreatitis.
    • Julie Walters plays Ellen the maid. Hermione Baddeley passed away of a stroke at age 79 in 1986.
    • David Warner plays Admiral Boom. Reginald Owen died of a heart attack in 1972 at age 85.
    • Jim Norton plays Mr. Binnacle. Don Barclay passed away in 1975 at age 82.
  • Playing Against Type: Colin Firth as the villainous Wilkins
  • Refitted for Sequel: A Roger Rabbit Effect underwater sequence, likely inspired by Mary Poppins Opens The Door's sixth chapter, "High Tide", was planned for the first film and ended up scrapped and retooled into "Beautiful Briny Sea" in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Decades later, one such sequence has been integrated in Mary Poppins Returns, albeit using realistic CGI rather than traditional animation, and using a completely different song.
  • Role Reprise: In the Dutch dub, Mary Poppins is dubbed by actress Noortje Herlaar, who previously played her in the Dutch production of the stage play.
  • Saved from Development Hell: Disney had apparently started considering a Mary Poppins sequel as far back as at least 1965, and the last piece of dialogue from the movie ("Goodbye, Mary Poppins. Don't stay away too long.") does open the possibility of another film. However, it ended up getting shelved, until The New '10s. In between, some Pop-Up Trivia on the Mary Poppins 40th Anniversary Edition DVD teased, "One day the wind may change again..."
  • Sequel Gap: Comes out a whopping fifty-four years after the original film. Less time passed in-universe (the Time Skip separating the installments being less than half at only 25 years).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • During The '80s, PL Travers and Disney/children's lit historian Brian Sibley submitted an outline for a sequel set "a little while after...the first film", in which Mary Poppins takes Jane and Michael on more adventures.
    • Had Disney actually produced this picture in the '80s, Michael Jackson might have played Bert's brother, Barney the Ice Cream Man.note 
    • Julie Andrews was offered a cameo but she refused, believing her presence would distract from Emily's performance. It became somewhat funny the day it was announced that she has a role in Aquaman, the main competitor of Mary Poppins Returns at the 2018 Christmas box office. It's widely suspected that the balloon seller played by Angela Lansbury was intended to be her cameo.
    • Concept art reveals that the scrapped "Chimpanzoo" idea from the first film, where humans are kept in cages for the entertainment of animals, was going to be used here, before being scrapped once again; the Blu-ray and digital copy include it as a bonus feature.
  • Working Title: The Travers/Sibley outline used the title, Mary Poppins Comes Back, after the second book in the series. However, one 1965 article does list Mary Poppins Returns as a potential name for another movie.
  • You Look Familiar: Dick Van Dyke (Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the original film). His Remake Cameo has him play Mr. Dawes Jr., whose appearance here is identical to his father.


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