The soundtrack for Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns is a rare new movie musical. For someone like me who grew up on great films like “The Sound of Music” and the original “Mary Poppins,” I enjoy a good movie musical that you can take your entire family to enjoy and maybe leave the theater humming a few songs. That’s exactly what Director Rob Marshall set out to create with Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.
Lin-Manuel Miranda praised Marshall for his ability to make successful film musicals. “I don’t mean financially successful, I mean artistically, where all the art forms—the choreography, the music, the dancing, the sets, the songs—build toward these moments. When they’re all working in tandem, there isn’t a more thrilling art form, full stop.”
To get there Marshal needed to hire the best talent in town and these days that’s Tony Award and Grammy winner Marc Shaiman and Tony winner Scott Wittman who worked together on Hairspray the musical. They’re both big fans of the music Walt Disney’s favorite movie musical duo – brothers Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman and when given a chance to add to the legacy of the music from the first movie say it was a dream come true.
It’s hard for Shaiman to put into words the profound impact the Sherman brothers have had on his career as both a composer and songwriter. “The movie and the soundtrack were everything to me as a child and taught me everything I know about film scoring,” he says. “The songs from ‘Mary Poppins’ are, in a word, perfect. The music and the lyrics are perfectly joined and have such a wonderful, sparkling yet emotional feeling to them, so it’s quite a bar to even aspire to come close to.”
The soundtrack for Mary Poppins Returns is now available for pre-order. We listed the tracks yesterday, but now you can listen to two of the songs from the movie in these audio only videos. Both are in line with the original tone of the first movie.
“We wanted it to feel like we were picking up where the last film ended,” said Shaiman.
First is the film’s central ballad, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” sung by Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt). In the movie Mary Poppins returns to help the Banks family again, so the entire song works as something of a double-entendre too.
The second song shared is “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” which is both the films biggest dance number, but also its call to action. It features Jack and his Lamplighters, who call themselves ‘Leeries.’ In the song you’ll hear them using their own unique language. “We called it leerie speak,” says Wittman. “It’s a Cockney rhyming slang that, of course, Mary Poppins speaks quite well, as does Jack.”
After listening to these two songs from Mary Poppins Returns, how successful do you think Shaiman and Whittman have been in capturing the feeling of the original Mary Poppins movie?