Mary Poppins Returns 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Mary Poppins Returns Summary
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) — just a child when Mary Poppins first visited 17 Cherry Tree Lane — is now a grown man raising his children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) with help from his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer). Times are tough in Depression-era London but the winds begin to change and the enigmatic governess, whose unique magical skills can turn any ordinary task into a fantastic adventure, enters the lives of the Banks family once again, having not aged a single day. Teaming up with an old friend, Jack, they take the Banks children on a series of whimsical adventures, encountering colorful characters like Mary’s eccentric Cousin Topsy (Streep), Jack’s lovable band of leeries and bank executives William Weatherall Wilkins (Colin Firth) and Mr. Dawes Jr. (Van Dyke) — bringing life, love and laughter back into the home.
Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review
Like most adults my age, I saw Mary Poppins many times as a kid. It was never a favorite of mine but it would be on often enough that I’m very familiar with it, but not exactly longing for a sequel. I imagine Disney knew this and the movie is definitely targeted towards kids with the plot and development being fairly simple. My kids enjoyed it well enough but didn’t want to watch it again after it was done. Mary Poppins Returns is a fine rental movie to me, but unlikely something I’d want to own since repeated viewings are unlikely.
Mary Poppins Returns Technical Review
Mary Poppins Returns was shot on ARRI cameras at 3.4K resolution, with a digital intermediate I can’t find the resolution of but from the image on screen I’d guess is 2K. HDR use here is fairly restrained and the largest benefit from the move to 4K is the increased color gamut. Certain scenes have bright, bold hues that jump off the screen, but overall the image is fairly blah. Scenes with candlelight are dimmer and duller than I’d expect with HDR as if the dynamic range isn’t being fully utilized. There aren’t any flaws in the image, and tough elements like fog are handled perfectly, but aside from a few scenes, it just doesn’t have much pop or sparkle to it.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Atmos but it too is reminiscent of recent Disney releases, lacking the lower octaves for most of the film. Dolby Atmos is used for many scenes but not for the whole film, but the subwoofer is almost entirely ignored. There are some cannon-blasts that take advantage of it, but that is about it. The songs are nice and easy to understand with clear dialogue, but the dynamics are just lacking compared to the better Atmos tracks.
Mary Poppins Returns Special Features
- Deleted Song—”The Anthropomorphic Zoo” – In this early song sequence, Mary Poppins and the children visit a very special zoo where the humans and animals trade places.
- The Practically Perfect Making of “Mary Poppins Returns” – Join filmmakers and cast on an amazing journey to embrace the legacy of the original film while making a fresh modern sequel.
- Introduction – Filmmakers and cast remember the first Mary Poppins movie and share the thrill of working on “Mary Poppins Returns.”
- “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” – Discover how the team mined PL Travers’ books for a fresh perspective on a much-loved character. Plus, meet the Banks children!
- “Can You Imagine That?” – Be on location for Mary’s iconic entrance from the sky, and explore the movie’s original songs, inspired by the Sherman Brothers.
- “Nowhere to Go but Up” – Experience being on set with the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, and celebrate the joy of choosing the right balloon!
- Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of “Mary Poppins Returns” – Go behind the scenes and experience the film’s production numbers from a new angle.
- “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – Led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast performs the film’s biggest production number, with dancing lamplighters, bicyclists and more!
- “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book” – Find out what it takes to create two musical extravaganzas inside an animated world, highlighted by dancing animated penguins!
- “Turning Turtle” – Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, played by Meryl Streep, has an unusual house that turns this musical number upside-down.
- “Can You Imagine That?” – Dive under the bubbles with the cast and crew to see how this exuberant number was created.
- Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns – Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the first film, returns after 54 years to Cherry Tree Lane as Mr. Dawes Jr.
- Practically Perfect Bloopers – There’s nowhere to go but up with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of flubs, goofs and prop fails!
- 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.
- Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode – Sing along with all your favorite songs as you watch the movie.
Mary Poppins Returns Review System
Sony A1E OLED, Panasonic UB820 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS PB-3000 Subwoofer.
Enjoyable for kids, good clean dialogue and nicely done songs, no video artifacts
Image is good but not as dynamic as it could be, soundtrack lacks low-end impact
Mary Poppins Returns is an enjoyable enough movie to watch as a family, but kids will enjoy it more than adults, and the image and audio are fine but the standard Blu-ray is almost as good.