In 1935 London, at the height of the Great Depression, a grown-up Michael Banks is living with his three children, John, Annabel, and Georgie, and supportive maid, Ellen, in the same family house. William Weatherall Wilkins, the new president of the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank, has his lawyers arrive there, and post a repossession notice on the front door. Since the death of Michael's wife, Kate, a year prior, they have been struggling to come to terms with their new normal, and because Kate handled the finances, Michael became behind on the payments as he had forgotten about them. Although he offers to write a check right then to catch up, he is told he has until that Friday to pay off the entire loan or he will have to move out.
Michael and his sister, Jane, remember that their late father left them his shares at the bank and begin to search for the certificate that proves their ownership. Michael takes certain possessions from his past, including his childhood kite, and puts them outside, planning on selling them to charity. A gust of wind blows the kite out of the box and into the park. While there on a grocery run, Georgie finds it, but the wind blows it away. As he chases after it, Annabel and John run after him. Jack, a young lamplighter and former apprentice of Bert, finds him, and they try to retrieve it, but the wind blows it up into the air. Luckily, Mary Poppins appears and descends from the clouds with it in hand.
The children, along with Mary, head back home, where Michael and Jane are astonished to see that she hasn't changed a bit. Michael reluctantly agrees to let her stay at their home to look after his children. She insists that they should take a bath after playing in the park. The bath acts as a gateway to an underwater world, and they disappear into the tub, exploring the world in the process.
While in the nursery, John, Annabel, and Georgie come up with an idea to save their home by selling their mother's antique china bowl. However, an argument between them ensues and it gets damaged, leading to Mary, the children and Jack fixing it by going on an adventure inside its animated landscape. They end up at the Royal Doulton Music Hall where Jack persuades Mary to sing onstage with an entourage of animals.
However, Georgie’s life is put on the line when he is unexpectedly kidnapped by a wolf, who takes off on a freight train with him in tow. The wolf, along with his assistants, a weasel, and a badger, happens to be parallel versions of Wilkins and his trusted associates, Hamilton Gooding and Frye. John and Annabel give chase and successfully rescue Georgie before the bowl breaks apart again, sending them, Mary, and Jack back to the real world.
Back in the nursery, Mary is able to tell the children that their mother may be gone, but she lives on in their memories. The next day, Mary, Jack, and the children visit Mary's eccentric cousin, Topsy, to see if she can fix the bowl again. After their visit, they go to the bank to give Michael his briefcase. The children unintentionally eavesdrop on Wilkins, Gooding, and Frye, whom they recognize as the counterparts of the wolf and his lackeys from the Royal Doulton Music Hall, plotting to repossess the house. When they attempt to warn their father, Wilkins dismisses this which forces Michael to side with him.
Mary and Jack walk the children back home as they run into Jack's lamp-lighting buddies, who help guide them home while also showing them how to speak their lingo. When they get home, Michael appears distressed amid his worries for losing the house. The children comfort him and echo Mary's words to him regarding their mother, and Michael forgives them.
The next night, the Banks family has packed all their belongings and are preparing to head out. The neighbors gather around to say goodbye until Georgie brings out the kite, and Michael takes a look to see that it's been patched up with a drawing he made of his wife and children. When he looks closer, he sees that it was made on the certificate that he had been looking for. Michael and Jane see that they have seven minutes to midnight, which means they won't make it before the deadline, so Mary, Jack, and the lamplighters gather to turn back time for them. Michael and Jane rush to the bank, while the lamplighters gather around Big Ben and try to get Jack up to the top to try and turn back the hands. Jack successfully gets inside and dims the lights so nobody can see what they are doing. Meanwhile, Wilkins is with Gooding and Frye as he waits for midnight to claim the Banks home. Mary floats up to the clock just before it can strike midnight, and she turns it back five minutes.
Thinking the time is wrong, Wilkins continues to wait as Michael and Jane try to get his attention with the kite. The wind blows it inside his office and Frye (being the only good one in the bank) lets them into the building. The children join them as they try to put the pieces together, but they are missing the one with the signatures, which Georgie threw out. Feeling they have lost, Michael hits back at Wilkins and says he can take the house because he still has his family. Just then, Wilkins' uncle, Mr. Dawes Jr., comes back from his travels and criticizes him for his dirty deeds against the people of London. Dawes comes back to take over and he fires Wilkins. Dawes tells Michael that he knew his father and agreed that he made some good investments, so the shares will be enough to pay off the loan, and the Banks family can keep their house.
The following day, the Banks family goes out to the park where they encounter The Balloon Lady, who tells them to pick the right one. Michael admits that he hasn't held one since he was a boy, and she tells him that he's forgotten what it's like to be one. He grabs one and it sends him floating into the air. The children follow suit, along with the other park patrons, plus Jane and Jack. A penniless Wilkins attempts to join, but he grabs the wrong balloon and it falls to the ground. Michael and his family float among others as they feel happy and redeemed. As they return home, a gust of wind opens the front door. Mary senses this and feels it is time to go. Michael and Jane realize this and they quietly thank her for everything that she has done. Jack rides his bike around town again and Mary floats up to the skies on her umbrella, takes one last look behind her, and smiles.
- Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins
- Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack
- Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks
- Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks
- Nathanael Saleh as John Banks
- Pixie Davies as Annabel Banks
- Joel Dawson as Georgie Banks
- Julie Walters as Ellen
- Colin Firth as William Weatherall Wilkins
- Meryl Streep as Topsy
- Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr.
- Angela Lansbury as The Balloon Lady
- David Warner as Admiral Boom
- Jim Norton as Mr. Binnacle
- Jeremy Swift as Hamilton Gooding
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as Templeton Frye
- Tarik Frimpong as Angus
- Noma Dumezweni as Penny Farthing
- Steve Nicolson as the Park Keeper
- Sudha Bhuchar as Miss Lark
- Edward Hibbert as Mary Poppins' Parrot Umbrella
- Colin Firth as a wolf in the animated Royal Doulton Bowl sequence
- Jeremy Swift as a badger in the animated Royal Doulton Bowl sequence
- Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as a weasel in the animated Royal Doulton Bowl sequence
- Chris O'Dowd as Shamus the Coachman Dog in the animated Royal Doulton Bowl sequence
- Mark Addy as Clyde the Horse in the animated Royal Doulton Bowl sequence
- (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky
- A Conversation
- Can You Imagine That?
- The Royal Doulton Music Hall
- A Cover is Not the Book
- The Place Where Lost Things Go
- Turning Turtle
- Trip a Little Light Fantastic
- Nowhere to Go But Up
- November 29, 2018 (Los Angeles)
- December 19, 2018 (Canada, France, Netherlands, USA)
- December 20, 2018 (Brazil, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal)
- December 21, 2018 (Bulgaria, Spain, UK, Ireland)
- December 25, 2018 (Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Sweden)
- December 27, 2018 (Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Ukraine)
- December 28, 2018 (Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, South Africa, Turkey)
- January 1, 2019 (Australia)
- January 3, 2019 (Russia)
- January 8, 2019 (Philippines)
- January 24, 2019 (Argentina)
- January 31, 2019 (Hong Kong)
- February 1, 2019 (Japan)
The film received an approval rating of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 310 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. It's consensus reads, "Mary Poppins Returns relies on the magic of its classic forebear to cast a familiar – but still solidly effective – family-friendly spell."
Mary Poppins Returns received four nominations for an Academy Award for Best Original Score (Marc Shaiman), Academy Award for Best Original Song (Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for The Place Where Lost Things Go), Academy Award for Best Production Design for John Myhre and Gordon Sim, and Academy Award for Best Costume Design for Sandy Powell (who also received nominations simultaneously for the period comedy-drama film, The Favourite in the Best Costume Design category) at the 91st Academy Awards.
Trailers and Clips
- This is the first Mary Poppins film to be rated PG by the MPAA, unlike the original film that was rated G.
- Thus, Mary Poppins is also the first Disney live-action franchise where each film is designated a different MPAA rating; the original film was rated G, the biopic Saving Mr. Banks was rated PG-13, and this film is rated PG.
- This is the first Mary Poppins film to be shot in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.
- This is Disney's first live-action/traditional animated hybrid film since 2007's Enchanted.
- This film will include some hand drawn animation to be made by Walt Disney Animation Studios, making it the first time since 2011's Winnie the Pooh to use traditional hand drawn animation.
- Its release date on December 19, 2018; 54 years after 1964's Mary Poppins, sets a new record as the longest gap between live-action film sequels in Disney history.
- This film marked the third collaboration between Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep, who previously co-starred together in The Devil Wears Prada and Into the Woods. This time, Blunt takes the leading role while Streep takes the supporting role.
- In addition, this is the second time that Rob Marshall, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep collaborated together after Into the Woods.
- This is the third musical that Marshall directed after Chicago and Into the Woods, followed by the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
- Colin Firth, Julie Walters, and Meryl Streep previously worked together on the film version of the ABBA musical Mamma Mia! and its sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
- Ben Whishaw and Julie Walters previously appeared in Paddington and its sequel, Paddington 2.
- Julie Andrews (the original actress of the title character), turned down a proposed cameo appearance as the Balloon Lady, fearing that it would be too distracting and argued that the sequel should be "Emily's show". Quite poetically, the role went to Angela Lansbury, who was considered for that of the title character in the original film before Julie Andrews was cast.
- This is the third time that Angela Lansbury does a role for a Disney film, after playing Miss Eglantine Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and Mrs. Potts in the 1991 animated original of Beauty and the Beast.
- Coincidentally, Emma Thompson played P. L. Travers in the biopic about the production of the first film, Saving Mr. Banks and also played Mrs. Potts in the 2017 live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. In addition, both Lansbury and Thompson also collaborated in Nanny McPhee (2005), as well as played the role of Mrs. Lovett in their respective theater productions of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Lansbury portrayed the part in the 1979 Broadway play, whereas Thompson played the part in the 2014 Lincoln Center play).
- At the age of 93 at the time of the movie's release, Angela Lansbury is the oldest female actor ever to appear in a Disney film. She is just two months older than the oldest male actor in a Disney film, Dick Van Dyke.
- Emily Blunt dove into P.L. Travers' books and found out that the character is remarkably different from Walt Disney's vision and Julie Andrews' characterization in the first movie, so Blunt's interpretation will be closer to the books.
- Although the original setting of the first three Mary Poppins novels was the 1930s, Walt Disney changed this to the turn of the century for Mary Poppins. This film, set roughly twenty-five years after the first, restores the 1930s setting.
- Karen Dotrice, who played Jane Banks in the original film made a cameo in the sequel as the elegant woman.
- This will be the final Disney Film to be released on Netflix, due to the launching of Disney+.