Among all the Jedi, Norse gods, princesses and witches in Disney’s D23 sizzle reel this weekend, there is one smaller figure who still generated big cheers every time it was shown: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s character in Mary Poppins Returns.
Disney offered the above teaser of the upcoming film, which returns to the world of 1964’s Mary Poppins, to wet the whistles of fans. As a live orchestra set the scene with original music from the film, the audience was reintroduced to the same house, the same kite, and even the same Banks family, but in a very different time. Lamplight musical numbers, an animated sequence with live-action actors, walking on the ceiling, and many other references to the original were on display.
The story of Mary Poppins Returns takes place in London, two dozen years after the new film and smack in the middle of the Great Depression. Michael, a child in Mary Poppins, is an adult widower, with three children, helped along with his sister Jane. The family has still fallen on hard times, menaced by a ruthless bank manager played by Colin Firth.
It is then that Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins returns to their lives, and from there the adventures begin, with supporting cast and characters including Lamplighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda); Topsy, Mary’s cousin (Meryl Streep); and Hollywood greats Angela Lansbury as a balloon seller, and Dick van Dyke returning as the bank chairman.
Directed by Rob Marshall, with songs from the duo of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray), Mary Poppins Returns will premiere on Dec. 25, 2018.