December 19, 2018
It’s like looking in a compact mirror.
How Emily Blunts version of Mary Poppins compares to Julie Andrews
The magic of Mary Poppins is back on the big screen, with Emily Blunt starring in the long-awaited sequel as the beloved nanny made famous by Julie Andrews.
Blunt manages to put her own spin on the classic character with her unique charm in “Mary Poppins Returns,” out Wednesday, but there are undeniable similarities in the way the two actresses portray Poppins.
Both, for example, bring a prim-and-proper approach to the character, but balance it with a sweet appreciation for childhood wonder. Blunt’s version seems to smirk a little more than Andrews’ did when she’s introducing the Banks kids to the seemingly impossible — like when she pulls all sorts of unexpected items out of her travel bag — as if to acknowledge that they’re witnessing magic without actually saying it.
Blunt, 35, also impresses as a singer and dancer, though she never quite breaks out the type of moves that Andrews did in a song like the toe-tapping, cane-twirling “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
The new movie is set in the early 1930s — two decades after the original — and revolves around Poppins arriving back at that same London home at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane, this time to look after Michael Banks’ three kids after caring for him and his sister during their youths.

Fans of the 1964 film will likely be pleased to see Blunt’s callbacks to the original, such as using classic Poppins-isms like “Spit spot,” enjoying her practically perfect appearance in the mirror and chatting with the talking parrot bottom of her flying umbrella.
Surely, the new movie will feel like a trip down memory lane for those who loved the first “Mary Poppins.”
Like the original, “Mary Poppins Returns” involves Poppins taking the children into an animated world — this time inside a painted bowl, rather than a street drawing — and also manages to make chores fun by preparing a bath that leads to a cheery underwater realm, akin to how she used magic to make cleaning up the nursery enjoyable in the first flick.

Blunt’s Poppins even has a street-smart male counterpart with a cockney accent — a singing, dancing lamp-lighter named Jack played by Lin-Manuel Miranda — who serves the same role that Dick Van Dyke’s chimney-sweep, Bert, did for Andrews’ Poppins.
The biggest difference between the movies is that the sequel centers on a more clear threat to the Banks family’s everyday lives. The bank is attempting to foreclose on the family home as Michael struggles to make payments following the death of his wife, and it’s up to Poppins to help the Banks family — with a little bit of magic — to save the day.
The original didn’t feature that same level of risk, instead ending with family patriarch George Banks overcoming his stern ways to embrace the joys of the world.
All in all, Blunt’s Poppins may feature a few differences here and there, but its still the character viewers came to love all those years ago.
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