When Lin-Manual Miranda tweets about a movie trailer, I tend to sit up and take notice. But the Hamilton star isn’t the standout in the preview of his latest movie that he shared. That honor goes to Emily Blunt, who is magic in the star-studded Mary Poppins Returns trailer released Monday by Disney.
The preview makes it clear that the Banks children, Jane and Michael, who are now grown, have suffered a recent tragedy. The loss of Michael’s wife has brought the brother and sister together in their childhood home, where they are reliving memories as they clean out old toys. Only, Michael doesn’t want to dwell on the whimsy of the past, tossing his things away with the disdain of a jaded adult. Cue Mary Poppins.
The nanny floats into the Banks’ home again, on a mission to take care of the children — both young and old. There are three young ones living with Michael and Jane, but Poppins makes it clear that while looking after them she’ll also be nurturing the forgotten children inside the adults.
The trailer is filled with the same beauty as the original film. Rich tones and warm light make the inside of the Banks’ home cozy, while outside is the charm of early 20th century England. Soaring, gentle music coats the action until the trailer gets to the point of showcasing Blunt’s singing voice and reminds us that this is a musical. Though the clip is small, it’s clear that Blunt can convincingly take on the musical performance requirements.
Blunt had no small job going into this film; she was taking over a role made famous by Julie Andrews, who seemed born for the part of the kind-but-firm nanny. The movie was a staple of childhood for a wide swath of Americans, and trying to honor the original performance and also make it her own would be no small job.
But Blunt also seems somewhat made for the part. Independent of her acting skills, she has the cool demeanor that can translate to Poppins poised air. But she also melts into a smile and laughter that effuses the same charm of Andrews’ original. She told People that her way of preparing to step into those famous boots was to honor the spirit of the character rather than trying to emulate her. “Really this is my version of her [Mary Poppins]. I did not watch the original during the process of making it. I had seen it as a kid but I didn’t watch the details of it all because I had to do my vision of her,” Blunt told People.
And that vision is “batty, eccentric, hilarious and incredibly rude and vain,” according to People. “I like that idea that she sweeps in and takes it all over and makes everything great,” Blunt told the magazine.
The actress is just one of a smash lineup of stars that joined on to recreate the magic, according to io9. Emily Mortimer and Ben Winshaw portray the adult Banks children. Miranda plays Jack, former protégé of Bert from the original film. Meryl Streep plays Mary’s cousin Topsy who “lives in a flip-flopped world of opposites,” according to Gizmodo. Colin Firth and Angela Lansbury also make appearances, as well as Dick Van Dyke. He plays the son of the character he portrayed in the original film. The trailer gives a glimpse of Van Dyke doing a little tap on a desktop and it looks like, at 92 years old, he’s still got all the moves he needs. BuzzFeed noted that this time it’s Miranda providing us the cockney accent that Van Dyke delighted audiences with the first time.
Last but not least, the trailer showcases those animated fantasy sequences that bring out the kid in everyone, including two words: dancing penguins.