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YMMV / Mary Poppins Returns

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  • Accidental Innuendo: The teaser trailer included the scene where Mary looks at her reflection in the mirror, where she walks off but her reflection stays in the mirror and watches Mary walk off. Quite a few people noted the reflection appeared to be checking out Mary's bum.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Emily Blunt knew she could never live up to Julie Andrews' Mary, so rather than try to emulate that Mary, she based her interpretation of Mary off Rosalind Russell's sharp-witted journalist character from His Girl Friday and the more stern and vain nanny found in P.L. Travers' original book.
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    • Is Michael a father trying to do his best fallen on hard times, or a useless nincompoop who's responsible for all his own suffering?
      • He is a failed artist who is a part-time teller at his father's bank. Despite his debts and lack of sufficient funds even for groceries, he does not attempt to get more money through normal means.
      • He took out a loan just to pay the bills. Everyone knows this is a vicious cycle. George Banks would certainly have passed such basic financial information on to his son.
      • He DREW a family portrait on his father's stock certificates. After converting for inflation, those £20,000 of shares would be worth ~£1.2 million today. He should have been collecting dividends if nothing else.
      • He was holding the certificate in his hands in one of the early scenes, but didn't check on the back of the paper, despite knowing his habit of drawing on the back of papers.
      • To be fair to Michael, this was in the midst of the Great Depression, when money wasn't exactly easy to come by. His taking out a loan may have been simply out of desperation. Still no excuse for not keeping track of making payments, or for drawing on important financial papers.
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    • When Michael was yelling at his kids to hush up at the bank because he didn't believe them or was he doing that to prevent another incident like what happened when he complained that the bank was committing robbery?
    • Was Admiral Boom actually falling out of sync with his cannon timing? Or did Big Ben's maintenance crew slowly but surely speed up the clock through compounded human error?
    • Was mere money the only motivation for Wilkins hoping to seize the Banks house? Or did he have a more personal motivation, such as retribution for the "tuppence" incident that sent the whole bank in hot water decades ago?
  • Awesome Art:
    • The hand-drawn animated sequence by Duncan Studios has the same appealing style as the animated scene in the original film, which has gotten many animation fans excited.
    • During the opening credits, there is a montage of matte paintings very reminiscent of the sets from the original painted by Disney Legend Peter Ellenshaw. The closing credits even acknowledge it as such.
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  • Awesome Music: Just about all of composer Marc Shaiman's music for the movie. Special mentions go to Lovely London Sky, Can You Imagine That?, Trip a Little Light Fantastic, and the Oscar-nominated The Place Where the Lost Things Go.
  • Anvilicious: About how banks are good and how bad apples (supposedly) do not represent true bank interests at all. Ironically too, since banks are evil in the original.
  • Award Snub:
    • The film won none of its Golden Globe nominations - Blunt lost to Olivia Colman from The Favourite, and the film itself lost Best Musical or Comedy to Green Book.
    • Blunt was not nominated at the Oscars, continuing an unfortunate trend of her constantly getting snubbed by the Academy.note  The film itself missed out on Best Picture and Best Visual Effects nominations. It didn't win the awards it was nominated for either, losing Best Original Score, Costume Design, and Production Design to Black Panther (2018) and Best Original Song to A Star Is Born.
  • "Common Knowledge": No, the hand-drawn animation segments were not animated by Disney themselves as their PR would lead you to believe. They were outsourced to Ken Duncan's animation studio. To be fair, however, the studio is made up of many ex-Disney alumni, and several former and current Pixar and Disney animators provided the animation for the sequence.
  • Epileptic Trees: Unofficial theories about Mary Poppins as a Time Lady got more fuel with a former time-traveler playing her. The climax also revolves around Mary explicitly messing with time itself to save the day, albeit through relatively mundane means.
  • Franchise Original Sin: One frequent criticism at this movie is that it retreads too much of the first one. The Mary Poppins book series also tended to reuse old stories with new twists; for instance, every book except Mary Poppins From A to Z has the Banks children either meet a new quirky relative of Mary Poppins, or go on another misadventure with one they met before. Unlike the movies, the books never changed writers (or cast members, per the medium).
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Not so surprisingly given the setting and actors, the country where the film was the most successful outside the USA is the UK, where it managed to outgross Aquaman by a few dozen millions.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Less than a month after this movie came out, another movie with a scene with an upside down room was released.
  • Idiot Plot: OK, it's perhaps understandable that Michael would forget about his loan payments in the wake of his wife's death, but there really isn't any good reason for using a stock certificate as drawing paper then forgetting about it — even more egregiously Michael was looking right at it, but put it down again without realizing what he was looking for was staring him right in the face.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: A lot of critical reviewers pointed out how much déjà vu the film suffers from, because the high number of similarities between the two films, right down to the similar sequence of events: first the kids clean up or get cleaned, then they enter an animated world, they sing a song with big words in it, Mary and the male friend sing and dance with animated characters, Mary sings to the children at night when the children are in bed, they meet an eccentric relative of Mary Poppins' while being on the ceiling, the kids run away from the bank, get lost in the night, and run into the male friend, they have a rousing dance number with the male friend's mates, they sing a song about something being airborne, and Mary flies away.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • Many Hamilton fans are excited for the film mainly because it features Lin Manuel Miranda.
    • A lot of animation fans are also excited for the film simply for featuring a sequence done in old school-style hand drawn animation.
    • Many also attended just to see Dick Van Dyke's cameo. Audiences have been known to applaud when he makes his long-awaited entrance.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Older Than They Think:
    • By the time Mary Poppins premiered in movie theaters, there already existed two book sequels to Mary Poppins, as well as two mid-quels.note  Walt Disney himself wanted to adapt the second book, as implied by the movie's final piece of spoken dialogue:
      Bert: Goodbye, Mary Poppins. Don't stay away too long.
    • Lin-Manuel Miranda replied to the thought of people asking how a rapper ended up in a Mary Poppins movie by reminding one reporter that Dick Van Dyke performed some rap in the first movie, when Bert rapidly rattled a roster of women he likes less than he does Mary Poppins.
    • The problem some critics had was with the introduction of a main villain when in the original film there was no clear villain, and that the film didn’t need a villain. This complaint is mitigated when one takes a look at the original books where there was a designated villain in the character of Miss Andrew, an evil counterpart of Mary who raised George Banks and is nicknamed “The Holy Terror”. While she played a smaller role in the books, she was turned into a more prominent villain in the stage adaptation, complete with her own villain song and Disney Villain Death.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Meryl Streep as Topsy, Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes, Jr., and Angela Lansbury as the Balloon Lady.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The groundbreaking integration of live action and animation from the first film gets an upgrade allowing for the cartoon characters to move in three-dimensional space. Special attention should also go to Jack knocking over a stack of penguins and using them as a bridge.
  • The Woobie: Michael Banks. As a recently widowed father, with three young children, a day job clashing with his dreams and soon to lose his home, he looks perpetually lost. But he still manages to greet Mary Poppins cordially and remember her.


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