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MARY POPPINS RETURNS: 4K Blu-ray (Walt Disney, 2018) Walt Disney Home Video

Someone forgot to inform director, Rob Marshall of the tenuous balancing act all musical entertainments need to fulfill to be buoyed on the symbiotic ether of merriment and mirth. Too few musicals made over the past 20 years have understood this fundamental. And Mary Poppins Returns (2018) is perhaps, the most egregious transgressor of the lot. For, in retooling P.L. Travers ‘practically perfect’ nanny for millennials, Marshall’s score-laden successor all but bludgeons the lithe and seemingly effortless joy that made Walt’s 1964 movie an instantly recognizable masterpiece. On the surface, Marshall has done his homework. Chiefly thanks to John Myhre’s immaculate production design, Sandy Powell’s costuming, and, Emily Blunt’s melodic Poppins - a slightly crisper, though no less enigmatic presence, self-possessed, and, with a wry wit all her own, Mary Poppins Returns manages to at least ‘look’ the part of a studio-bound pastiche to that ‘other’ Disney feature hewn under Walt’s creative a…

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