'Mary Poppins Returns': Emily Blunt Brings Charming First Footage to D23

"She's rude, and eccentric and odd," said Blunt of the character.
Courtesy of Disney
'Mary Poppins Returns'

Fans at D23 got a magical first look at Mary Poppins Returns.

The film takes place 25 years after the 1964 original. The children of Michael and Jane Banks are now adults, and have just experienced a personal loss. Poppins (Emily Blunt) and her lamplighter pal Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) must step in to help.

Director Rob Marshall and Blunt came out to show off the first teaser for the film, whch is both a sequel to the Julie Andrews classic and draws on the books of P.L. Travers' as well. The Disney Orchestra was onhand to play music from the film, leading into a teaser for the film.

"A place we hold dear, where laughter once dwelled, but soon from up above comes a new story to tell," read text in the trailer as we see shots of the family looking sad.

We see Jack flying a kite with one of the children, and then suddenly up in the clouds, there's Mary Poppins coming down with an umbrella (big applause from the D23 crowd).

At one point in the teaser, we see the film's stars acting in front of a cartoon background, as in the original, as well as a look at a big chimney sweep dance number. And most impressively: Original star Dick Van Dyke even had a little dancing to do.

Earlier in the panel, Marshall said he believes the original was the first film he ever saw.

"I think it was many of our first films as kids, even if we weren't alive in 1964, which I was," said Marshall. "There's something so amazing about it that lived with me my whole life. The wonder, the joy, the music in it."

Blunt described taking on the role originated by Andrews as "daunting."

"The idea of this magical, mysterious person whisking into their lives and making everything right again, was really comforting," said Blunt of the original. "Children respond to the lack of sentimentality that he has. She's rude, and eccentric and odd."

Blunt said she had to learn to make Poppins her own. She said she watched 15 minutes of the original, but then stopped. She "needed to pay homage to what Julie Andrews did," but also "carve out space" for herself.

"I just had to do my version of her," said Blunt. "We were loyal to the books. I think she's a little more acerbic and vein and weird in the books and we went that direction a little more in the books."

Of his star Marshall said, “She was born to play the part.”

Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters are also featured in the film.

When Dick Van Dyke said "it feels exactly the same" when he visited the set, Marshall said, calling it "the highest compliment." 

Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters Dec. 25, 2018.

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