Here’s what your favourite characters from your childhood look like now

Six classic characters updated for big pre-Christmas movies.

From Disney to Dr Seuss and the world of Harry Potter, here are the much-loved characters getting fresh new looks for the big screen:
Becoming a Legend - part 1

Mary Poppins

Remember Julie Andrews’ sugary version of Mary, dancing with cartoon penguins and Dick Van Dyke in the 1964 version? Emily Blunt’s take is different.

  • “Mary’s really eccentric in the books,” she told Variety. “She’s kind of batty and vain and rude. This is my interpretation.”
  • The film sees Mary return 20 years after the original to help the grown-up Banks children rediscover wonder in recession-hit 1930s London. She first appears through a gap in the clouds, floating under a kite.
  • “I’m not amazing with heights,” Emily revealed on Entertainment Tonight. “I thought I was going to die 50 feet in the air.”
  • Cockney Jack Dawes is played by Lin Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. Hopefully with a better cockney accent than Dick Van Dyke, who plays his dad in this.
  • Oscar winning designer Sandy Powell had fun with the costumes. Check out the robin on Mary’s hat, a nod to the bird that perched on her finger during 1964’s A Spoonful Of Sugar song.

Mary Poppins Returns is out 21 December - find out more here.


Becoming a Legend - part 1

Professor Dumbledore

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was played by Richard Harris and Michael Gambon – but that was old, beardy Dumbledore. Now it’s time to meet young, sexy Dumbledore.

  • Jude Law plays him as a sharp-suited mentor to Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) is the baddie with the super-powerful wand and the plan to enslave non-magical humanity - plus a romantic past with Dumbledore, according to JK Rowling. Which could make this her most controversial story yet.
  • “JK shared the whole backstory and her future hopes for this young version of Dumbledore,” Jude revealed in an interview with ET.
  • Younger actors have been cast to play the teenage Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but we don’t know whether that story will be fully told in this film.
  • “One of the reasons we chose Jude is he has many of the qualities we find in Dumbledore,” producer David Heyman told Entertainment Weekly. “He brings that twinkle, mischief, authority and power. You understand why he’d be your favourite teacher.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is out 16 November - find out more here

Becoming a Legend - part 1

The Sugar Plum Fairy

Alicia Silverstone and Kiefer Sutherland have voiced cartoon versions, but there???s never been a live-action version of the classic Christmas ballet The Nutcracker.

  • Keira Knightley is the one to look out for in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney???s upcoming version. Looking like a pink candyfloss-haired Marie Antoinette, she rules over the Land of Sweets as the whimsical Sugar Plum Fairy.
  • There???s also a Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and a fourth realm (not in the ballet) whose tyrannical ruler is Helen Mirren.
  • The little girl exploring all these to get a magic key back is Mackenzie Foy - who was half-vampire child Renesmee Cullen in the last Twilight movies.
  • Unusually, the film has two directors. Lasse Hallstrom did the dark and spooky bits and Joe Johnston did the bright and poppy bits, which should give the film a unique feel in keeping with the 200 year-old story.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is out 26 October - find out more here

Becoming a Legend - part 1

Winnie The Pooh

Disney’s 60s and 70s Winnie The Pooh cartoons were the ‘American’ version of the classic book characters that so many of us adored. Now Pooh, Tigger and moany Eeyore are back to help a grown-up Christopher rediscover his inner child.

  • “Disney are doing a great job of bringing their characters to life,” Ewan McGregor (Christopher Robin) told ET. “Winnie comes back to Christopher at a difficult time in his life. It’s a lovely, funny adventure. We’ll come out the better for having seen it.”
  • Director Marc Forster, from Finding Neverland, told ET that he wanted the toys to reflect how much time has passed since Christopher played with them: “They’re not brand new. They’ve had some love, some wear and tear, so they should look a little vintage.”
  • Next year Disney are bringing us live-action versions of Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King. Makes sense, after the mega-hits they had with Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast.

Christopher Robin is out 17 August - find out more here

Becoming a Legend - part 1

The Grinch

Rubber-faced Jim Carrey was the obvious choice to play Dr Seuss’s character in 2000’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But the new version is animated – so they needed someone whose voice was grinchy.

  • It sounds like an American, but it’s actually Benedict Cumberbatch ‘doing mean things with style’
  • This Grinch is made by the folks behind the Despicable Me films, with the gross-out stuff dialled way up
  • It’s the familiar plot, with the Grinch hating Whoville’s festive celebrations, but with a new back-story explaining why he’s such a nightmare
  • Benedict made a great start by recording some little clips to play in American cinemas, insulting the audience and other films’ trailers.

The Grinch is out 9 November - find out more here