The first teaser trailer for Mary Poppins Returns has landed, bringing with it a great deal of excitement for what's to come. The movie won't arrive until Christmas 2018, but there's been buzz around it for a long time now - and with good reason. Emily Blunt seems to be the perfect casting as the titular nanny, while seeing Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda in a starring role in a Disney movie is just too good to be true. Then there's the addition of Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and the legend himself, Dick van Dyke.
It's little wonder we've all been waiting for our first look at Mary Poppins Returns, and now we have it! Granted, the teaser is just that, a teaser, but there's still stuff to unpack - including a look at both new and returning characters.
London Disney Logo
We're used to the Disney Castle logo changing according to the movie it's for, but we've never seen it against a London backdrop before. A 1930's London at that - complete with cobbled streets and a gas light. Big Ben can also be seen clearly in the background. Fans of Mary Poppins will remember the Houses of Parliament being featured during the song "Feed the Birds," so it's a nice nod, and also a landmark that immediately identifies the city.
From there, we're transported to a windy London street. Remember: "Wind's in the east, mist's rolling in, like something is brewing, about to begin." The scene immediately sets a frame of reference that we all know and love - something that is only further cemented by the glimpse of Admiral Boom's "ship." It raises a smile, and hopefully that means that every so often during Mary Poppins Returns, we'll hear the familiar boom of his cannon.
Let's Go Fly a Kite
It might have been many years since you've watched Mary Poppins, but few can forget the Banks children, Jane and Michael, begging their father to mend their kite. He's too busy and distracted with work, but at the end of the movie we see him leading his kids to the park, to fly their green kite, which is now fixed. In the teaser for Mary Poppins Returns, a green kite - slightly battered but still usable - is picked up out of the trash by the gathering wind, and we follow it down the street towards the park. On its journey, the kite encounters...
Miranda's character of Jack the Lamplighter has already been seen in set photos, but he makes a proper debut in this teaser, riding his bike down the street before he's stopped by a runaway kite. Because this is a Disney musical, Miranda abandons the bike to give chase to the kite, desperately trying to keep hold of it in the storm that's brewing. He's aided and abetted in his kite flying by a young boy...
...Not the original George Banks, but instead, the youngest child of Michael Banks. Mary Poppins Returns focuses on Michael Banks and his three children, Annabel, John, and George. From the looks of things, the small blond boy seen with Miranda will be George, while the boy and girl seen together briefly will be Annabel and John. The children are struggling after the loss of their mother, and Michael is struggling to connect with them. His sister Jane, the children's aunt, is on hand for support, but it's Mary Poppins' return that helps them to become a family once again.
The Man on the Bench
It's a brief shot, and it might just be an extra and of no consequence at all, but we can't help but think that the man whose hat gets knocked off by the kite is there for a reason. He bears a resemblance to George Banks - the father of Jane and Michael. Could he be a member of the bank, now owned by George Dawes Jr. (Dick van Dyke)? The bank is not in favor with the Banks family; they have fallen on hard times, no thanks to the pressure put upon them by the ruthless bank manager, William Wetherall Wenkins (Firth).
Mary Poppins Returns
It's hard to ascertain whether Jack realizes who is coming through the clouds, but while doing battle with the kite, the music soars, the cloud breaks, and we see the sight of a familiar figure holding an umbrella. It is this moment that makes the teaser truly special; Mary Poppins is back, and it looks as though young George Banks has inherited his father's ability to gape like a cod fish.
Jane and Michael Banks
Played by Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer, Jane and Michael Banks are now all grown up. Though we only see them briefly in this teaser, their breeding is apparent, so it will be interesting to see how they're coping with falling on hard times. They obviously remember Mary Poppins (who could forget her?), but how will Michael feel about her arrival and interference with how he's raising his three kids?
One of the best things about Mary Poppins is that you're never quite sure who or what she is. She's definitely magical in some way, though; her ability to have things tidy themselves up at will and her magic carpet bag are all things we don't expect from a regular British nanny. One of the best nods to the original movie comes at the end of the teaser, when Mary walks away from the mirror and her reflection stays behind. We saw this same trick during "Spoonful of Sugar," when her reflection stays put and sings on its own. It's fun little nods like these that really set the tone for an exiting, and worthy sequel.
- Mary Poppins Returns (2018) release date: Dec 19, 2018