Mary Poppins Returns is full of references to the original movie. Rob Marshall's movie is, of course, the sequel to Disney's 1964 Mary Poppins, revisiting the now grown up Banks children, Jane and Michael, who are in need of some assistance from their former nanny.
54 years have passed since the original movie's release (but only about 20 or so in movie time), and Mary Poppins is now played by Emily Blunt, with Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw playing Jane and Michael. This time, instead of chimney sweep Bert (Dick Van Dyke) joining Mary Poppins and the children on their adventures, its lamplighter Jack (Lin Manuel-Miranda). The result is a familiar, albeit sadder, twist on the tale that follows Star Wars: The Force Awakens' approach to legacy-quels.
As a result, Mary Poppins Returns pays more than a homage to the original film. Here's every reference you might have missed in the new movie.
The Admiral's Canon
Admiral Boom still lives next door to the Banks family on Cherry Tree Lane in Mary Poppins Returns. Along with Mr. Binnacle, he fires his canon from the top of his roof, every hour. He appears to have fallen out of sync over the years, though, and is a little bit late each time in the sequel, though he accuses Big Ben of being too early. Just as in Mary Poppins, the Banks family are well used to this happening, and they deftly catch every ornament, trinket and piece of furniture just in time to prevent a catastrophe.
Michael's Childhood Toys
One of the most endearing yet sad scenes of Mary Poppins Returns comes when Michael (Ben Whishaw) is alone in the attic, looking for his bank shares certificate. He becomes distracted by all the old artifacts around him, and a lot of them are related to his time with Mary Poppins. There's the snow globe of St Paul's Cathedral, which Mary held as she sang "Feed the Birds," the building blocks that arranged themselves in the nursery during "Spoonful of Sugar," and the patched-up kite that George Banks eventually flew with his children during "Let's Go Fly a Kite." When Georgie later finds the kite, we see that it still has Winifred Banks' "Votes for Women" sash as the tail.
Winds In The East...
It's well known that Mary Poppins arrives when the wind changes to the east, and she stays until it changes again. That's no different in Mary Poppins Returns. The wind picks up; so much so that Jack has to help Georgie hold on to his kite. Suddenly, through the clouds and the strong breeze, everyone's favorite nanny appears, just as she did in Mary Poppins; heels together, holding onto her umbrella and carpet bag.
Mary Poppins' Magical Accessories
Whether the nanny is truly magical or not is up for debate, but she certainly seems to possess two magical items in Mary Poppins Returns, which she also owned in Mary Poppins. Her talking umbrella in the shape of a parrot seems even more cheeky this time around, and Georgie loves it. Then there's her carpet bag which seems to have never-ending depth. She can pull all sorts of things out of it, from hat stands to magical bubble bath.
Some Children Never Change
Most children lose a lot of their childhood habits or behaviors as they grow into adults, but when Mary Poppins reappears in Mary Poppins Returns, Jane and Michael immediately revert back to being kids again. Michael stands there, open-mouthed, prompting Mary to say "close your mouth please, Michael, we are still not a codfish," an amusing reference to the original movie. Jane then giggles, making Mary roll her eyes and remark how she's still prone to being giggly.
Mary Poppins' Reflection
Another nod to the original Mary Poppins - or perhaps just a nod to the fact that this is indeed the same character as she's always been - comes with Mary's reflection. It's a moment that will make fans smile, expertly played by Emily Blunt; Mary admires her reflection in the mirror, pats her hair, and turns away. However, her reflection lingers, just as Julie Andrews' did, and gives a knowing smile and satisfactory glance at the back of herself as she goes.
Mary Poppins Has Another (Geographically-Correct) Robin
Another hat tip to Andrews' version of Mary Poppins comes in Blunt's Mary Poppins' attire. Many will remember that during "Spoonful of Sugar," Mary reaches outside for a robin to hop onto her finger. She then brings it into the nursery, where it whistles a harmony as she sings about "a robin feathering its nest." There's no animatronic robin in Mary Poppins Returns, but take a look at her hat, where you'll see a small robin perched on the brim. Importantly, this is a British robin, in contrast to the original's more American breed.
Jane Banks Returns
With Mary Poppins Returns set about 25 years after Mary Poppins, but the filming gap actually being 54 years, there wasn't the opportunity for the original Banks children to reprise their roles. Matthew Garber, who originally played Michael, sadly passed away in 1977. However, Karen Dotrice, who played Jane, does make a cameo in Mary Poppins Returns when she stops to ask Jane Banks for directions. It's a sweet nod to the original actress, though it would seem an odd moment to anyone who's never watched Mary Poppins.
Mary Poppins Returns Has So Many Song Parallels
Mary Poppins Returns is a musical, and most of its songs have at least some connection to the original. "Trip A Little Light Fantastic", for example, is a leerie version of "Step in Time", complete with similar dance moves for Mary and the Banks' children.
Perhaps most offbeat, though, is "Turning Turtle". Meryl Streep makes a short appearance as Mary's eccentric cousin, Topsy, who is having one of her upside down days, when everything is the wrong way up. The resulting song sees Mary, Jack, Topsy and the Banks children having enormous fun walking on the ceiling. It's very reminiscent of the number "I Love to Laugh," performed by Ed Wynn as Uncle Albert in the original. Both numbers are set pieces, both a break in the narrative and a fun interlude.
The Penguins Are Still Fans Of Mary Poppins
Just like Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns features a hand-drawn 2D animation scene. Director Rob Marshall made a deliberate choice to use this animation style, in keeping with the original, despite it being more time-consuming and expensive. This time, Mary, Jack and the Banks children jump into the Royal Doulton bowl and attend the music hall, where Mary is persuaded by Jack to sing. During this sequence, penguins join in, a fun nod to the original animated section. They are as devoted to Mary Poppins as ever.
Michael's Tuppence Is Still Going Strong...
In Mary Poppins Returns, Michael Banks faces an ever-growing crisis as the bank looks set to repossess his house to settle a loan he can no longer pay. He and Jane were left shares in the bank by their father, but they can no longer find the certificate. At the very last moment, they find the certificate and race to the bank, where Mr. Dawes Jr. reveals that many years ago, when Michael was a child, his father invested his son's prized tuppence, which he had wanted to use to feed the birds. That tuppence has now accrued interest and is more than enough to clear the loan.
...And So Is Dick Van Dyke
Aged 93, Dick Van Dyke not only appears in Mary Poppins Returns, he also tap dances on a desk. Pretty impressive stuff. The role he plays will make many smile too.
In the original movie, as well as playing Bert he also played Mr. Dawes Sr., owner of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. This time around, he plays Mr. Dawes' now elderly son, Mr. Dawes Jr... and he looks exactly the same as he did in Mary Poppins. Mr. Dawes Jr., ousts the evil William Wetherall Wilkins (Colin Firth) from his position as bank manager and saves the day for the Banks family.
Is Mary Poppins Returns' Balloon Lady Actually Mary Poppins' Bird Lady?
At the end of Mary Poppins Returns, the Banks family visits a local fair where they're given magical balloons that allow them to float in the lovely London sky. They're given them by Angela Lansbury's Balloon Lady, a character who has more than a few similarities to the Bird Lady in Mary Poppins. This connection is deepened by the fact Julie Andrews was reportedly set to play the Bird Lady in the film - likely Lansbury's character. Whether or not they're actually the same character is up for debate, but the inspiration is clear.
Mary Poppins Is Practically Perfect In Every Way
It's a well-known fact that Mary Poppins is about as close to perfection as one can get, and that's carried over into Mary Poppins Returns. She's just as forthright, feisty and fun as she always was; perhaps even more so. The movie itself is full of nostalgia, with perhaps the sweetest moment of all coming right at the very end. As Mary prepares to leave the Banks family one more time, she takes a balloon, smiles at her own reflection and confirms "practically perfect in every way." How true.