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'Mary Poppins Returns' review: Emily Blunt and that 'Hamilton' chap take a strenuously jolly holiday

'Mary Poppins Returns' review: Emily Blunt and that 'Hamilton' chap take a strenuously jolly holiday

Families could do a lot worse this holiday season than to take out a home equity loan for a bucket of multiplex popcorn and take in “Mary Poppins Returns,” director Rob Marshall’s hectic sequel to the 1964 Disney musical cherished by millions.

Those who don’t want their memories of the original messed with unduly can take comfort in how the sequel’s storyline follows the narrative and musical beats of the original, right down to a radically square 2-D animation sequence. And it’s hard to imagine either slaves to the ’64 musical or newcomers of any age having a problem with Emily Blunt.

The actress’s incarnation of the magical, gently fearsome nanny created by author...

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