I can’t imagine many people would consider Pennywise and Mary Poppins to be anything alike but one fan theory claims they’re actually from the same species.
At first, it seems like a pretty ludicrous suggestion. One is a kindly, magical nanny who comes to help out a struggling family and solve all their problems in a children’s film, while the other hides in sewers and torments their victims in a horror that I am still too afraid to watch.
Hopefully you’ve been able to figure out which one is which. Though Poppins seemed to have a pretty fun time in the fantastical underwater world of the bathtub, I can’t imagine you’d ever catch her lurking in a gutter.
Check out the trailer for It Chapter Two here:
As it turns out, however, there’s actually quite a lot of evidence to suggest the two are more alike than you’d initially suspect. The theory was posted on Reddit by u/HumanoidMold5, who not only believes Pennywise and Mary Poppins are members of the same species but also that they work on rules set out in Monsters Inc.
The post is based on a number of details from the original Mary Poppins and Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins Returns, as well as the It and Monsters Inc. films, so if you’ve not seen any of those there may be some spoilers ahead.
The user points out how both characters reappear every 20-something years, 25 for Poppins and 27 for Pennywise, to ‘regenerate’ energy from a new group of children.
Though Pennywise was away for a longer period of time, the Reddit user argues Poppins was able to maintain a long absence despite the fact she interacted with much fewer children because she relies on their joy, unlike Pennywise who relies on their fear.
The Redditor adds ‘as proven in Monsters Inc., children’s laughter is worth more than their fear’.
Both Pennywise and Mary Poppins have a tendency to return to those they met on their last visit, namely the Banks’ and the Losers, and while the people they interact with are different it seems the nanny and the clown both have an affinity for children named Georgie. So much so that they each lure a Georgie away from their siblings using a paper toy.
Watch the Mary Poppins Returns trailer below:
Pennywise’s temptation of choice is a paper boat, while Poppins opts for a kite.
Are you convinced yet? Don’t worry if not, there’s still more to come.
In Mary Poppins Returns and It, the characters have the power to take advantage of what’s going on in the children’s minds. Poppins uses their imaginations to take them into a colourful world of animated companions, while Pennywise goes down the darker route of using the kids’ fear.
The parents in the films also act as evidence for the Redditor’s claim, as in It and Mary Poppins they remain oblivious to the supernatural and fantastical situations their children are involved in. As for the original kids, they mostly seem to forget their childhood experiences by the time the characters come back for round two.
Though the Banks’ remember Poppins, they forget the magical aspect of her job description.
Admittedly, the Redditor doesn’t explain specifically why those last couple of points relate to the species of Pennywise and Poppins but we could assume it means they’re both able to control people’s thoughts and memories.
The pair are also known to sing and dance; the nanny has a wealth of musical numbers throughout Mary Poppins Returns and Pennywise, who refers to himself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, dances for Beverly in Chapter One and sings for Richie in Chapter Two.
The final point, though arguably one of the most convincing, is the fact Poppins and her pals all end up floating off into the air with balloons at the end of Mary Poppins Returns. I don’t think I need to explain this one to you; It’s infamous ‘you’ll float too’ quote should be enough.
A number of Reddit users have responded to the post, showing support the idea of Pennywise and Poppins’ link. Though one character certainly comes across as much more child friendly than the other, the theory is admittedly pretty convincing!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.