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A Spoonful of Sugar: “Mary Poppins” & “Mary Poppins Returns”

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Today, the 20th of November, is Universal Children’s Day, an exceptional day that celebrates international togetherness and promotes awareness among children in order to improve the welfare of the younger generation worldwide. Rejoicing on this special occasion, let us take a look at two films that ignite the pure, simple, and imaginative inner child in our hearts: “Mary Poppins” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” These enchanting features are based on Mary Poppins, the beloved magical nanny originally brought to life in the fictional book series of the same name by P. L. Travers. The first film, released in 1964, is one of the most popular American musical fantasy films and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Full of music, dance, elation, and imagination, this irresistible 1964 Walt Disney classic features legendary actors Julie Andrews as the enchanting Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke playing the joyful Bert. Directed by Robert Stevenson, the movie combines live-action with animation. As Mary Poppins takes care of the children, she brings a spark of magic to the Banks family, helping them rediscover their happiness, love, and wonder in life. The 1964 “Mary Poppins” was such a success that a year later, Walt Disney attempted to produce a sequel. Despite several tries, it was 54 years later, in 2018, that the long-awaited sequel, “Mary Poppins Returns,” was finally released. Blending the endearing elements from the original film into the sequel, “Mary Poppins Returns” warms the hearts of all viewers, adults and children alike. Starring Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Jack, the movie also features songs that are both charming and insightful, as well as spirited animation that marvelously joins the live-action cast. “Mary Poppins” and its sequel “Mary Poppins Returns” are two wonderful films that teach valuable lessons about family, love, and hope through the fantastic adventures, incredible imagination, and timeless song and dance.
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