Trip a Little Light Fantastic

I was not a big fan of Disney’s Mary Poppins as a kid, but under the influence of my in-laws, and their introduction of the movie to my kids, I started enjoying it a lot more (particularly the music) and my kids love it.

We recently saw the new version with Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda in theatres, and I thought it was solid. My twin 4-year olds sat still for over 2 hours, so that is miraculous, although popcorn and licorice might have played a role.

The original is a classic, and the new version can’t achieve that overnight. I appreciated that it set out to make a strong, updated story while giving the audience a good dose of the original. The story architecture is nearly identical to the original, the characters are the same but “updated” so to speak, but the music is new.

Not to give away the plot, but the new song, “The Place Where the Lost Things Go” was very emotional and excellently composed and performed. While the original movie had songs like Sister Suffragette and A British Nanny that colored the setting, the original is a long movie for kids (although runtime standards were different in 1964). We don’t get that same color in this version, but we have the luxury of knowing the story via the original.

The original featured an 8-minute dance number called Steppin’ Time, which I find is the hardest part of the 140-minute sit. The new version ( a spartan 120 minutes) updated that track with what I thought was a more relatable song for today’s audience in “Trip a Little Light Fantastic, ” and it felt a little shorter also.

That was a long winded way of getting to the title (and point) of this blog post, but my wife asked me after what the song title means.
It’s a phrase that doesn’t make sense grammatically, and I like how that leaves it open to some interpretation, especially if you don’t know the origin of it. I incorrectly thought it was derived from something to do with the lightkeepers who lit the streetlamps, but it turns out to have a much more interesting origin story (for those of you who like these etymological curiosities) relating, appropriately, to dance.

By |2019-01-03T19:45:05+00:00January 4th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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