WARNING: There are minor SPOILERS ahead for Mary Poppins Returns.
So if you haven’t seen the musical yet, and want to be wowed unabated, then please bookmark this article, watch the film, and then return to see what director Rob Marshall has to say.
Mary Poppins Returns is a truly magical experience.
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But while all of Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, and Dick Van Dyke’s singing and dancing is enchanting, there is one particular sequence that perfectly combines nostalgia and wonder.
What is so special about the Mary Poppins Returns animation sequence?
The sequence in question sees Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s cockney lamplighter Jack and Pixie Davies, Nathanel Saleh, and Joel Dawon’s Annabel, John, and Georgie Banks transported into their mother’s antique china bowl.
However, a squabble over the bowl leads them to break it. In order to fix it the quintet have to go on a magical adventure into the bowl.
Once inside, they help to fix a carriage, Mary and Jack perform onstage at the Royal Doulton Musical Hall and John and Annabel race against three wolves on a freight train in order to save the kidnapped Georgie.
It is quite the ordeal.
Director Rob Marshall knew that it was key to have an animated sequence in Mary Poppins Returns, considering just how iconic the one in the original is, and saw this as the perfect opportunity to do so.
But when it came to animating the scenes inside the bowl Marshall also knew that the animation had to be done in hand-drawn 2D, even though it is rarely used in modern cinema.
“It is all hand-drawn. We had to do it that way,” Marshall explains to Metro. “Disney understood that, I told them it was in the DNA of the film and it needed to be there.”
Marshall and Disney were so intent in using the original hand-drawn 2D animation from Mary Poppins that they acquiesced to the fact that doing so would not only double the animation budget, but it would mean that post-production on the film would now take over a year.
“It literally doubled our post-production period. Because we needed over a year to get it right. We had over a year of post and that a lot had to do with that.”
Mary Poppins Returns opened in theaters Dec. 19.