With a magnificent performance by Emily Blunt, Rob Marshall's Mary Poppins Returns features spectacular dance choreography but ultimately fails to capture the same magical charm as Disney's 1964 musical fantasy classic. The sequel lands on Blu-ray with an excellent video presentation and a satisfying DTS-HD soundtrack, but a small set of supplements. Still, the overall package is Worth a Look.
You can read our full thoughts on Walt Disney Pictures Mary Poppins Returns in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment brings Mary Poppins Returns to Blu-ray as a two-disc combo pack with a flyer for a Disney Digital Copy. The Region Free, BD50 disc sits comfortably on the panel opposite a DVD-9 copy of the movie. Both are housed inside a blue, eco-vortex case with an embossed, glossy slipcover. At startup, the disc commences with skippable trailers before switching to a menu screen with the standard options, music playing in the background and full-motion clips.
Mary Poppins returns to Blu-ray with a smashingly remarkable 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode that's practically perfect in every way. The mysterious magical nanny enchants home theaters with sharp definition in the stage production and design, exposing every nook and cranny of the Banks family home, its unique architectural design and the small cracks on the road and sidewalk of Cherry Tree Lane. We can make out the little fuzzballs of jackets, the threading of scarves and sweaters and the fine stitching in Mary Poppins' charming outfits and hats. Individual hairs, blades of grass and every leaf of the neighborhood trees are razor-sharp, and even the smallest dirt smudge on Jack's face is plain to see while everyone else comes with highly-revealing, lifelike facial complexions. However, there are a few soft, blurry moments sprinkled throughout though mostly related to CG effects and a couple of extreme wide shots, which is unfortunate for some of the big dance numbers.
The freshly-minted transfer is also faithful to the creative intentions of the filmmakers, as much of the photography falls on the slightly drabber side of things. The color palette displays more gray tones during ordinary character interactions and conversations, meant to reflect the seriousness of what the family is going through, but contrast remains consistent and spot-on with brilliantly crisp whites. The same goes for the array of colors, which often seems limited yet accurately rendered with primaries looking particularly vibrant. Black levels, on the other hand, are inky rich throughout with excellent delineation within the darkest, deepest shadows. Be that as it may, the 2.39:1 image really comes alive when entering the world of imagination, setting the screen ablaze in a mesmerizing parade of radiant secondary hues and intense dazzling contrast, making the HD video a gorgeous presentation for the whole family. (Video Rating: 92/100)
Mary Poppins drifts across the sky and pays a visit with an excellent DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack. It may not be the sort of showstopper we'd expect for a recent musical fantasy, but it serves the visuals very well, employing the surrounds on various occasions and immersing viewers into this fantasy world of magic and imagination. Of course, the best moments come from the flamboyantly bombastic choreography sequences, as the music sprawls into all the speakers with outstanding fidelity and warmth. Imagining continuously feels broad and spacious, layered with a variety of background activity and convincing movement across the front channels while exhibiting superb detailing and distinction in the midrange. From time to time, a few atmospherics are distinctly heard in the sides and rears, adding a bit of ambience that nicely expands some of the action, but it never really generates an enveloping soundfield. Still, vocals are always precise and well-prioritized while a hearty, robust low-end provides a palpable weight and presence to the music and dance numbers. (Audio Rating: 84/100)
Mary Poppins Returns doesn't quite capture the same magical charm of the 1964 classic even though the production features several spectacularly choreographed performances. With excellent performances all around and a magnificent Emily Blunt, director Rob Marshall never really hits the right tone and balance, making this musical sequel a decent but ultimately forgettable follow-up. The mysteriously magical nanny lands on Blu-ray with a smashingly remarkable HD video presentation and an excellent DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. Accompanied by a small but still good selection of supplements, the overall package is worth a look for the whole family.