MARY POPPINS RETURNS 4k Ultra HD Review
When the children are on the way to the market, an old kite flies through the park from strong, gusty wind and Georgie chases it. When he gets a hold of it, he is practically taken away from the strong wind. The kite finally stops when the clouds open up and down comes Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way. She is there because The Banks’ family needs them and help however she can.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS is directed by Rob Marshall. His previous works include CHICAGO and INTO THE WOODS. The man has a knack for bringing musicals to screen. As for the casting, I don’t think better choices could’ve been made for any of the characters. All three kids have the divided personalities of Jane, Michael, and even George Banks with adventurous spirits but also a need to follow rules. The stern attitude comes from their father who, as he has gotten older, has lost his youth.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Jack is a wonderful new character and what you might expect someone who grew up under the tutelage of Burt. He’s happy in his work and Miranda is an excellent singer. However, none of them bring what Emily Blunt has brought to the role. She is the embodiment of the character that Julie Andrews brought to life on screen in 1964. I don’t think that there is a better fit for the role. Her attitude, mannerisms, and look are perfect. I may be a bit bias due to my admiration for her but this film could not have been made without her.
I’ll admit, I have so much love for the story and the original is something that I grew up with. So, seeing the care that Rob Marshall put into this film to be updated but still has the magical feel of a Mary Poppins adventure. Plus, there is hand-hand-drawn animation from veteran Disney and Pixar animators who wanted the chance to put their art into the film. I’m a sucker for hand-drawn animation and seeing it mixed with live-action like the original is a brilliant move.
Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins
Lin-Manuel Miranda – Jack
Ben Whishaw – Michael Banks
Emily Mortimer – Jane Banks
Julie Walters – Ellen the housekeeper
Pixie Davies – Annabel Banks
Nathanael Saleh – John Banks
Joel Dawson – Georgie Banks
Colin Firth – William “Weatherall” Wilkins
Meryl Streep – Topsy
The video is a 2160p HEVC presentation that has a beautiful picture. The sets are nicely done with authenticity as if they were saved from the original. Other sets look straight out of the time period with the cobblestone streets of London. With the fog and gloom of the city, there are some minor moments of contrasting issues and one or two spots of banding that may be more apparent on the Blu-ray. The designs and patterns in the clothing, architecture, and decor look wonderful with no details overlooked. The coloring is bold but the picture really comes to life during the adventures. The radiant pastels from each of these scenes are breathtaking. Skin tones are warm and quite natural.
The audio is a Dolby Atmos mix that defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix depending on your equipment. With this, Disney has the low-volume “issue” where it has to be turned up louder than usual to match a normal listening level. Once it is, the mix is euphonious. The songs fill the home theater with clean voices and a variety of instruments. Speech and song from the center speaker have nice clarity. The LFEs only hit hard in several moments like the cannon fire from Admiral Boom and Topsy’s house grumbling as it turns over. Ambient sound is always working and best during the “A Cover Is Not the Book” number with the cheering audience. Dialogue is well prioritized with the lively effects and score.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns: The cast and crew discuss having the iconic actor on set for the sequel.
-“Seeing Things from a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of MARY POPPINS RETURNS: This is broken down by musical number and how the cast/crew put it to screen. “Trip A Little Light Fantastic” “The Royal Douton Music Hall”/”A Cover Is Not the Book” “Turning Turtle” “Can You Imagine That?”
-The Practically Perfect Making of MARY POPPINS RETURNS: This four-part, 30-minute feature is about the making of the film. Introduction “Underneath the Lovely London Sky” “Can You Imagine That?” “Nowhere To Go But Up”
-Sing-Along Mode: With lyrics from the songs from the movie.
-Practically Perfect Bloopers
-Deleted Song – “The Anthropomorphic Zoo”
2-disc set w/ 1 4k UHD and 1 Blu-ray
2160p HEVC H.265
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
French Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French (Canada) Dolby Digital 5.1
THE BOTTOM LINE:
To say that MARY POPPINS RETURNS is a successful sequel would be an understatement. The musical numbers pay some homage to the original film and so do the characters. The video is well authored with vivid coloring and clean images. There are a few little hiccups but these are only minor. The audio does have the volume “issue” but when set at the appropriate level, is a joy to hear. The included extras are plentiful and worth watching. It is a fun watch for anyone and fans of the film will not be disappointed. I highly recommend picking up this release.