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Blu-ray Review: Mary Poppins Returns

March 19, 2019

By John Corrado

One of my favourite films of last year was Mary Poppins Returns, which is arriving on Blu-ray today. A belated sequel to Disney’s 1964 classic starring Julie Andrews, Rob Marshall’s new film is simply delightful to watch, from the wonderful music and dance numbers, to Emily Blunt’s impeccable performance in the title role.

While the film did receive four Oscar nominations, including for the lovely song “The Place Where the Lost Things Go,” it still feels like it got somewhat overlooked during awards season. It’s my sincere hope that more people will watch Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray, and for more on the film itself, you can read my full review right here.

The Blu-ray also includes the option to watch the film in sing-along mode, with the lyrics appearing as subtitles during the songs, as well as about an hour of bonus material. First up we have the wonderful featurette Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns, which gives us a closer look at the iconic actor’s delightful surprise appearance in the film and how the entire cast and crew reacted to having him on set. It’s followed by a short blooper reel.

Next up, under the tab “Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of Mary Poppins Returns, we get four seperate featurettes that offer closer looks at the amount of time that was spent rehearsing and shooting the gigantic production number “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”; how they mixed the actors with 2D animation for the two numbers “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” and “A Cover is Not the Book,” which together make up one of the film’s most delightful sequences; the impressive upside down production design behind the Meryl Streep song “Turning Turtle”; and the bathtime number “Can You Imagine That?,” which utilized a mix of practical effects and CG visuals.

This is followed by a deleted song entitled “The Anthropomorphic Zoo,” which is presented as a demo recording sung by composer Marc Shaiman and edited to rough sketches. The song was replaced in the film by “The Royal Doulton Music Hall.” Next we have the four-part feature The Practically Perfect Making of Mary Poppins Returns, which offers a closer look at the film’s choreography, music, visual effects and production design, broken up into the sections “Introduction,” “Underneath the Lovely London Sky,” Can You Imagine That?” and “Nowhere To Go But Up.”

Finally, the disc includes two short deleted scenes, Leaving Topsy’s and “Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” which are pretty much just extended versions of scenes that are already in the film. It’s a good selection of bonus features, and watching through them reminded me just how much I enjoyed the movie.

Mary Poppins Returns is a Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release. It’s 130 minutes and rated G.

Street Date: March 19th, 2019

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