Mary Poppins Returns (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack · 2018
It’s no surprise that Mary Poppins Returns is a pitch-perfect movie-musical experience: If you had a classic Disney storyline and got Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emily Mortimer, Angela Lansbury, and Meryl Streep together on a soundstage and messed it up, then what are you even doing? Fifty-four years after the first Mary Poppins was released, this casting director’s dream lineup gives the nanny a refresh, in most cases hewing as reverentially close to the original’s spirit as possible. The soundtrack, which comprises expository tunes from the film and its score, pops with fun cameos (such as one from original cast member Dick Van Dyke), Blunt’s witty, enunciated charm (check the Julie Andrews-channeling “Can You Imagine That?”), and Miranda having all kinds of intentionally off-center, Cockney-accented fun (injecting a little Hamilton-esque flavor into the ensemble piece “Trip a Little Light Fantastic”). But it’s composer Marc Shaiman’s majestic instrumentals that give the soundtrack its real sense of magic, punctuating those moments in between the lines and evoking feelings of whimsy, mischief, and wonder.