Incredibly, it's been 54 years since magical nanny Julie Andrews charmed the socks off us in Disney's family masterpiece Mary Poppins. Even more incredible is the realisation that we're finally getting a sequel – and as soon as this December, no less.
With Mary Poppins Returns gliding onto our screens in time for Christmas, a new trailer has arrived to make us feel all warm and snuggly inside. So grab your kite and look to the skies, because here are the magical highlights...
1. Childhood lost... and found
Directed by Chicago's Rob Marshall, the movie picks up with the adult Banks children, Michael (Paddington's Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Hugo's Emily Mortimer). Michael, himself now a father of three, is bereft following the loss of his wife, and appears to be morphing into the spectre of his own banker father – cynical and dismissive of his childhood memories, and whose house is at risk of foreclosure. This sets the tone nicely for the continuation of the Mary Poppins mythology, and the return of everyone's favourite nanny, reminding us that we're never too old to tap into that sense of childhood innocence. Cue the re-appearance of a certain kite that is the first of many gloriously nostalgic images in the trailer.
2. Let's go fly a kite
We've known ever since the movie was announced that Hamilton sensation Lin-Manuel Miranda would be playing a key role in the movie. (He's an honorary EGOT member, having claimed Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.) What we perhaps couldn't have foreseen – and very much on display in the trailer – is the authenticity of his Cockney accent. A loving homage to Dick van Dyke's oft-derided Mockney tones as Bert from the original? Or is it simply necessary for a bit of geographical accuracy? Either way, Manuel's efforts (he plays Bert's former apprentice Jack) sound considerably less ear-mangling than his predecessor's.
3. Mary's back
Is there a more inspired choice for Mary than Emily Blunt? Famed for her dramatic roles (she recently stunned in horror A Quiet Place), she's also got the gentle comic touch (The Devil Wears Prada) and musical skills (Into the Woods) needed to do justice to Andrews' formidable legacy. Judging from her appearance in the trailer, she's nailed the winsome intonation and delightfully airy body language, with Marshall's direction carefully complementing her presence (we love the reflection checking Mary out as she walks off).
4. Rescuing the children
In the original Mary Poppins, the moment of real emotional awakening came from Mr Banks (David Tomlinson), a workaholic trapped inside his bank-shaped 'cage' at the expense of his family. In the process, Mary's intervention helped save his alienated children, and this time she's on a quest to do the same thing again. However, it's not so much the younger generation who need rescuing (although they get an amusing acknowledgment), but rather the grown-ups Michael and Jane, who've lost all sense of what she taught them as youngsters. It's almost as if the movie is pleading with us older Mary Poppins viewers not to let the magic seep out of our everyday lives – in that case, consider us sold.
5. A new song
The soundtrack for Mary Poppins Returns is being kept under wraps (we do hear 'Feed the Birds' at the very start of the trailer), but we do know that Oscar-nominated composer Marc Shaiman has written a batch of new songs with Broadway lyricist Scott Wittman. A delightful glimpse of what's in store comes when Blunt, again nailing those delicate, magical vocals as per Into The Woods, sings Michael's children a gentle lullaby with the lines, "Nothing's gone forever, only out of place," engaging the youngsters with their feelings of grief over their mother. Already, we can feel that tangible sense of Disney enchantment coursing through our veins...
6. The penguins are back!
Ever since the first movie, we've loved the idea of jumping into a chalk pavement painting only to be engulfed by a world of hand-drawn animation. Delightfully, Mary Poppins Returns has stayed true to its roots, fashioning another sequence in which 2D animation and live-action meet head-on. We've mentioned nostalgia already – if this doesn't get that sense of youthful magic flooding back, then nothing will.
7. The A-listers are out in force
The closing trailer montage offers us brief glimpses of A-listers Colin Firth as bank manager William Weatherall Wilkins and Meryl Streep as Mary's cousin, Topsy. Even so, as far as nostalgia goes, it's the return of Dick van Dyke, dancing on top of a table no less, that reinforces one thing absolute: the Mary Poppins blend of laughs, tears and all-round magic looks like its back in a major way, and it's only been a five decade-long wait.