Make no mistake, Mary Poppins Returns — the long-awaited sequel to one of the most beloved Disney films of all time — will be among this year’s biggest Christmas movies. I was lucky enough to see it several weeks ago in anticipation of writing at length about the songs by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and the score by Shaiman. Variety published it this week, and it includes not only the thoughts of Shaiman and Wittman but also comments from director Rob Marshall and star Emily Blunt. My longer, more general story about the film that incorporates even more of my interviews — including co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda, was posted a few days later, and that is here.
This was one of my early “Billion Dollar Composer” profiles for Variety, an opportunity to profile a versatile (and well-loved) composer for film, TV and Broadway. Marc Shaiman is the funniest composer to come along since Vic Mizzy (and in fact adapted Mizzy’s classic TV theme for the movie version of The Addams Family). Here’s the main story about Marc’s career, including comments from Billy Crystal, Rob Reiner and Martin Short. Sidebars include more of Crystal on Shaiman and 10 fascinating facts chronicling landmark moments in his career.