All your patience and breath-holding has paid off, and the first trailer for Mary Poppins Returns is finally here. The long-awaited sequel will soar into theaters on Dec. 19, as if you didn't already have enough to look forward to this holiday season. But there's more than enough in the two-and-a-half minute clip to keep fans absorbed until its release.
There's Emily Blunt, of course, as Mary herself, opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda, who plays a Bert-like character named Jack. And the trailer offers glimpses of a whole host of additional familiar faces ranging from Emily Mortimer, Ben Whishaw, Colin Firth, and even Dick Van Dyke and Meryl Streep. (The latter of whom is sporting quite the lewk, if we do say so ourselves.) And unlike the first teaser, which was released during the Oscars in March, this trailer even offers snippets of songs, which are composed by the Hairspray duo of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and by the sound of it, coming along nicely.
But even better than the star-studded cast or the songs is the hints that the new footage offers as to the direction that the film will take. Anyone imagining that the Disney offering will be a remake of the original should take a closer look at the title: Mary Poppins Returns. That last word is snuck in there because while it's the very same Mary Poppins — early in the trailer a comment is made that she hasn't aged a day — she's bringing her magical talents an entirely new family. Or rather, to the same family, but to an entirely new generation. Here's the IMDb blurb for the 2018 film:
"In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael's three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives."
As the trailer makes tragically apparent, the loss that the young family is coping with is the death of their mother, Michael's wife. Jane has come back into the picture to help care for the young children, but Mary makes it clear early on that the elder Bankses are just as much in need of support as the younger generation. "What brings you here after all this time?" Jane asks Mary, to which the magical nanny responds, "The same thing that brought me the first time; I've come to look after the Banks children." "Us?" exclaims one of the young children, to which Mary responds, "Oh yes, you too."
It's a heartwarming moment that reveals that even in her absence, Mary has never forgotten her young charges. And that more importantly, she doesn't just tackle smaller problems like an untidy room or a day filled with boredom. She's also on hand to assist with bigger issues, like the death of a spouse, or the loss of one's financial security. And it's not just a message for the characters, either. It's a helpful reminder for fans of the original Disney film that the comfort and nostalgia that you felt as a child have been inside you all along. "You've forgotten what it's like to be a child," Angela Lansbury admonishes a grown-up Mr. Banks, but she's reminding the audience, too.
Even in times of darkness, the magic is only as far away as your imagination, and there's always someone nearby who wants to help you get your feet back under you. (We're not crying, you're crying.)