In Mary Poppins Returns, everyone’s favorite British nanny is back–this time getting to work on another set of Banks children. But while the movie is delightful and charming, are the Mary Poppins Returns bonus features on the Blu-ray and digital release as addicting as a spoonful of sugar?
Bonus Features ✮✮✮1/2
The segments of the documentaries and bonus features found on Mary Poppins Returns are interesting, but feel very superficial and rushed. Once you’re invested in a topic, off you go into another direction, ultimately leaving you slightly unfulfilled. It’s obvious they had the crew present filming all the behind-the-scenes materials that it’s a shame that they didn’t extend out the length of the bonus features a smidge more.
It seems the era of massive, jammed packed bonus features is a thing of the past. Instead we now get a few goodies that feel half baked and leaving you wanting more substance.
- The Practically Perfect Making of “Mary Poppins Returns” (23:38) – This four-part, making-of documentary shares the filmmakers and crew’s perspectives in creating a sequel that not only pays homage to the original Mary Poppins, but that also stands alone as a modern film. This entire feature really gives you glimpse at the vastness of the production and manpower needed to bring this film to life.
- Introduction – This section is a little more than just an introduction as it dives into the specifics like the live-action/2D hybrid scenes and Broadway-style dance choreography.
- “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” –In this hodgepodge section, we hear the actors’ takes on the iconic film and characters and the impact they had on them growing up as well as the challenges in creating new characters for the sequel.
- “Can You Imagine That?” –The highlight of this section is seeing behind-the-scenes on location of Mary’s iconic kite entrance (spoiler alert: Emma was very high in the sky). We also explore visit the orchestra pit to hear the film’s original songs be recorded and how the composers payed homage to the Sherman brothers and the classic songs they created for the original.
- “Nowhere to Go but Up” –This section praises fan (and crew) favorites Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury (getting interviews from the two are a real highlight, though incredibly short), while also discussing the lifelong impact this film had on the everyone involved.
- Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of “Mary Poppins Returns” – These individual featurettes focus on some of the film’s key songs and musical sequences.
- “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (3:56) – Lin-Manuel Miranda takes us behind the scenes of this incredible homage to the original “Step in Time”, which took months of preparation and weeks of filming to execute perfectly.
- “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book” (7:05) – The highlight of the film are the live-action/2D hybrid scenes and from hand-painted costumes to dancing penguins, these two songs are certainly the cream of the crop and delight to watch! Seeing everything that
- “Turning Turtle” (3:01) – Explore the set design for the home of Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, and the unique challenges the filmmakers faced in filming.
- “Can You Imagine That?” (4:03) – Green screen, slides and CGI—oh my! See how a variety of elements came together to create this magical underwater bathtub scene.
- Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns (5:22) – We all jumped for joy when we saw Dick Van Dyke back on screen, this time as Mr. Dawes Jr. In this featurette, we hear the cast and crew gush about what an honor it was to work with this genuine Hollywood legend.
- Practically Perfect Bloopers (1:57) – There’s no fun leaving so much hilarious footage on the cutting room floor! With this featurette, you really go behind the scenes and see the not-so-glamorous side of moviemaking with this collection of goofs, flubs, and prop fails!
- Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode – A classic staple for any Disney musical release, this mode displays the song lyrics on-screen while watching the film. This mode isn’t listed in the bonus features section, but you’ll find it listed when you select “Play” from the main menu.
- Deleted Scenes
- Leaving Topsy’s – After their visit to Cousin Topsy, Mary, Jack and the children pause to take a look back.
- “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – The leeries light up the screen in this extended clip from the movie’s biggest musical production.
- Deleted Song—“The Anthropomorphic Zoo” – In another version of the film, instead of visiting The Royal Douton Music Hall, Mary and the children visit a wacky zoo where animals and humans have switched places! Check out what could have been in this demo recording, sung by songwriter Marc Shaiman, put to early storyboards.
The movie itself is a modern-day gem and a great tribute to the original Mary Poppins. While far from practically perfect, it’s still will put a smile on your face and dreaming of the bygone whimsical Walt Disney era. The bonus features on the release cover a lot of bases; however, still don’t go deep enough to really satisfy a true behind-the-scenes connoisseur. Either way, the Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray is worth picking up and adding to your collection.
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