It appears that Disney has realized that as big as Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book were, they can’t just rehash the same story and hope the fans show up. I say this because their next two films, both of which have had trailers drop this week, are sequels to their most beloved material and add a unique twist on the stories we all know and love (and, I’m sure Disney hopes, will crack us emotionally, too).
The first trailer to drop is for Mary Poppins Returns, which came down during the Oscars and proceeded to get fans excited. Set twenty years after the first film, the film follows Mary (now played by Emily Blunt, who doesn’t quite look the role but certainly sounds it) returning to the Banks children to help youngest Michael (Ben Whishaw) deal with a personal loss. There’s not a whole lot to this trailer; it’s solely meant to excite you about the return of everyone’s favorite nanny. However, that’s exactly what it does – it excites us about the prospect to come. It clearly proves that Disney, director Rob Marshall, and Emily Blunt are putting their all into it, and it’s enough to provide you with a little bit of hope about the overall project. Mary Poppins Returns will be released December 25th.
Meanwhile, making a far larger splash is the trailer released yesterday for Christopher Robin. Now all grown up, Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) finds himself trapped in the mundanity of adulthood, having forgotten his childhood innocence and taking his family for granted. Pushed to his limits and unable to go forward, he is visited by his old friends from the Hundred-Acre-Wood, who help to remind him of the simple joys of life and what is truly important. The trailer places extra emphasis on Jim Cummings reprising his permanent role as Winnie-the-Pooh, and honestly, with two lines, he’s capable of destroying your damn heart. There’s really so much that can be said about Pooh’s response to Christopher’s belief that “he’s cracked,” and I don’t know where to start. With Marc Forster, the director of Finding Neverland, at the helm, Spotlight/The Visitor scribe Tom McCarthy leading a team of writers that includes indie darling Alex Ross Perry and Oscar-nominee Allison Schroeder, and a voice cast of toys that includes Chris O’Dowd as Tigger, Brad Garrett as Eeyore, and Peter Capaldi as Rabbit, this project has a whole new level of weight that it didn’t before. This film just skyrocketed on my most anticipated list, as well as the lists of several others, as well. Watch for this one – with the right mix of humor and sentimentality, this could become the sleeper hit of the year. The film will be released on August 3rd.
You can watch both trailers below, and let me know what your thoughts are on the trailers, if you’re excited for the films, and which trailer you think is better!