In the original 1964 Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews’ magical nanny was there to brighten the lives of some bored children and heir dour parents. In Mary Poppins Returns, the upcoming sequel with Emily Blunt in the title role, Poppins has come to wage a war against sadness itself. In this new sequel, Ben Whishaw plays a grown-up version of Michael Banks from the first movie, and he and his children are both reeling from the recent death of his wife. Luckily, Mary Poppins is there to nervously glance from side to side and awkwardly step out of the room when Michael starts crying.
Just kidding, she’s there to teach lessons about dealing with loss and to take the latest generation of kids (plus Lin-Manuel Miranda) on another adventure into a cartoon reality. In other words, it looks like Mary Poppins will be playing the hits this time around, but that’s what Disney’s audience is looking for in a film like this anyway—assuming, of course, that this isn’t a Last Jedi-style fakeout that secretly deconstructs everything we thought we knew about the Mary Poppins lore.