Here’s a spoonful of reality to make “Mary Poppins Returns” go down: Nobody is going to write another “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” or “Chim Chim Cher-ee” again. Those glorious Sherman brothers tunes from the 1964 original are jammed into our brains as powerfully as “Happy Birthday.”
This “Poppins” sequel has an entirely new score, with exactly none of the cherished songs from the classic Julie Andrews movie. Once you accept that, you can move on — and enjoy the countless other joys this follow-up has to offer. It will be a jollier holiday with “Mary Poppins Returns.”
The more teary sequel is set, aptly, in Depression-era London. Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) are harried adults now, and Michael has three little ones of his own: Georgie, John and Anabel.
Here’s where things get sad. The kids’ mum died a year ago and their dad is in a precarious financial state: They’re at risk of losing their lifelong home on Cherry Tree Lane to the mean Mr. Wilkins at the bank. The villain is played by Colin Firth because every British actor is in this.