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Disney knows how to cross-promote better than anyone in the business. With “Saving Mr. Banks” hitting theaters and earning Oscar buzz for Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, it makes total sense to re-release “Mary Poppins” on Blu-ray. If you’re not familiar, “Banks” is the story of the making of “Poppins” and fans of the new film will love the opportunity to check out what resulted from this mostly true story.
With or without “Saving Mr. Banks” to tie it in with, “Mary Poppins” has held up remarkably well. It’s a beloved family classic that has been given the full HD upgrade from Disney. It looks better than ever with a perfect HD polish. The special features are nice, especially the new ones and the ability to sing along with your favorite songs, but it’s the quality video and audio on the movie itself that’s most notable. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Directed by: John Lee Hancock
Running Time: 2 hrs 5 mins
Release Date: December 13, 2013 (Chicago)
Who’S It For? Fans of Disney, specifically those who are in their secret D23 club.
Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks is engineered to capture the experience of watching a story that is supplanted with the copyrighted “Magic of Disney,” from humanizing a king and showing him as socially accessible in his own castle, to the usage of music (granted, from another musical) as its spiritual force. In this way, Saving Mr. Banks parallels last month’s Disney project Frozen, especially with the immediate similarities of icy women learning to warm up due to accepting the social embracing of others. But, »
- Nick Allen
From Disney, have a very Mary Poppins Christmas...And remember, It's never just Mary! Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson star in this wild ride about that time when Walt Disney tried to convince stubborn author P.L. Travers that her beloved children's novel would make for great family entertainment. Saving Mr. Banks is in theaters now, and expanding wider on Christmas Day!
Saving Mr. Banks was released December 13th, 2013 and stars Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak. The film is directed by John Lee Hancock. »
Ron Burgundy won out by a mustache hair over those pesky hobbits at the box office Friday. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues brought in $8.7 million, while The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug earned an estimated $8.6 million. In the words of Burgundy himself, “don’t act like you’re not impressed.” Still, this unexpectedly close Friday means that the weekend could belong to either film.
Anchorman 2 opened strong on Wednesday, and initial predictions had the PG-13 comedy’s weekend grosses in the $40 million range. That seems a bit high now that we’ve seen Friday results. Paramount’s $50 million comedy »
- Lindsey Bahr
[Editor's Note: Here's abstew with 5 Hollywood on Hollywood pitches. Co-sign!]
It's no secret that one of Film's favorite subject matters is, well, itself. The past two Best Picture winners (The Artist and Argo) have had Hollywood and the art of film-making at their core. And this weekend another film-on-film, Saving Mr. Banks, about Walt Disney's decades long struggle to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen expands across the country in its quest to join those previous films in Oscar glory. The story seems ready-made for the movies - beloved source material, larger-than-life characters/personalities, and, just because it can, a hard-knock-life childhood back-story thrown into the mix. (If the old Hollywood angle doesn't win them over why not add the Academy's other irresistible allure: the biopic. It's two films for the price of one!)
I'm sure many people were unaware what went into trying to convince author P.L.Travers to sign over the rights to Disney and I'm »
“A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Famed catchy lyrics to a Mary Poppins song written by the legendary Sherman Brothers. Set in 1961, Saving Mr. Banks is a sentimental story of how the wily genius Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) persuaded the grumpy British dame, Pl Travers (Emma Thompson) to come to Los Angeles to sign away the screen rights to her novel, Mary Poppins.
Directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), this was a project ‘Uncle Walt’ had been working on for twenty years ever since his children (little at the time) fell in love with the books about the magical nanny. The film sees Colin Farrell (In Bruges) as her doting father, Travers; Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore) and Bj Novak (The Office) as the iconic songwriting duo the Sherman Brothers (who brought us Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Jungle Book lyrics/tunes).; Bradley Whitford (The ...
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- Tiffany Rose
There's a weird history surrounding the Walt Disney company's history with live-action cinema. Although it has recently come back into prominence with big hits like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, live-action Disney films have been hit and miss for half a century, with many of them just becoming downright tacky by the '70s. You'll need four hands to count all of your favorite animated Disney movies, but you could probably list your favorite live-action films with a few fingers. Perhaps it's because of this mixed output that 1964's Mary Poppins remains the cream of Disney's live-action crop (although it certainly doesn't hurt), but do yourself a favor and revisit it again. Mary Poppins is the greatest live-action movie that bears Disney's...
- Jacob S. Hall
See ThisSaving Mr. BanksWhatever our religious beliefs, we should all clasp our hands together and send out a little prayer of thanks that Pamela Travers (Emma Thompson) found herself financially strapped in the early '60s. Because but for her moment of personal penury, we'd all be without the Disney adaptation of the world's favorite sugar-pushing nanny, Mary Poppins. (Listen, sometimes you need more than a song to move the job along.) On the verge of losing her cozy London home, Travers agrees to fly to Los Angeles to work with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and his team on a »
- Alynda Wheat, PEOPLE Movie Critic
‘Gilda,’ ‘Pulp Fiction’: 2013 National Film Registry movies (photo: Rita Hayworth in ‘Gilda’) See previous post: “‘Mary Poppins’ in National Film Registry: Good Timing for Disney’s ‘Saving Mr. Banks.’” Billy Woodberry’s UCLA thesis film Bless Their Little Hearts (1984). Stanton Kaye’s Brandy in the Wilderness (1969). The Film Group’s Cicero March (1966), about a Civil Rights march in an all-white Chicago suburb. Norbert A. Myles’ Daughter of Dawn (1920), with Hunting Horse, Oscar Yellow Wolf, Esther Labarre. Bill Morrison’s Decasia (2002), featuring decomposing archival footage. Alfred E. Green’s Ella Cinders (1926), with Colleen Moore, Lloyd Hughes, Vera Lewis. Fred M. Wilcox’s Forbidden Planet (1956), with Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens, Jack Kelly, Robby the Robot. Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946), with Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready. John and Faith Hubley’s Oscar-winning animated short The Hole (1962). Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), with Best Actor Oscar winner Maximilian Schell, »
- Andre Soares
‘Mary Poppins’ among 25 films chosen for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry (photo: Julie Andrews in ‘Mary Poppins’) The powers-that-be at the United States’ Library of Congress have chosen to give the Walt Disney Studios a little support. Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock, and starring Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers, opened to solid — though hardly outstanding — box office numbers at 15 North American venues last Friday, December 13, 2013. The movie, which also features Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, and Rachel Griffiths, opened in wide release in the U.S. and Canada today, Dec. 20. On Wednesday, Dec. 18, the Library of Congress announced that Mary Poppins (1964) had been included among the 25 movies added to the National Film Registry "to be preserved as cinematic treasures for generations to come." Directed by Robert Stevenson, Mary Poppins remains one of the biggest blockbusters ever, »
- Andre Soares
Saving Mr. Banks is a heartfelt true tale of the challenging process it took to bring the childhood classic Mary Poppins book to the screen. The sugary film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney; Emma Thompson as author Pl Travers and Colin Farrell playing her father, in flashback sequences.
Director John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, The Rookie) takes viewers on an inspirational journey of Travers’ troubled childhood in her native Queensland, Australia where we discover that her hoity toity Britishness was indeed, more of an act. We first see Travers as a frosty middle-aged woman who resides in a picturesque Chelsea terrace that immediately recalls the Banks family abode from Mary Poppins. It turns out Disney had been harrying her for the film rights for the past 20 years, desperate to turn his own children’s favorite book into another celebrated production (read our Saving ...
Click to continue reading ‘Saving Mr. Banks »
- Tiffany Rose
Walt Disney himself is the hero of the new Disney comic weeper Saving Mr. Banks, in which the Big Man (Tom Hanks) uses every means at his disposal — charm, wiles, money — to convince the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), to sell him the rights to her character. High-minded but badly in need of cash, the solitary Travers flies from brittle London to balmy L.A., where she withholds her signature from the contract, primly announcing that “Mary doesn’t sing” and that animation is out of the question. Meanwhile, her tiffs with the screenwriter and composers trigger flashbacks of her days as an auburn-tressed darling child (Annie Rose Buckley) with a zany, warm, but deeply unstable dad (Colin Farrell). Before P.L. can entrust her precious Mary to strangers, she must come to terms with the trauma that brought that governess who arrives via umbrella into being. »
- David Edelstein
Now playing in theaters is Saving Mr. Banks, the new film from The Blind Side director John Lee Hancock. Based on a true story, the pic focuses on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two when she finally came to Hollywood. Loaded with great performances, a strong script, and the first time Walt Disney has been portrayed on screen, Banks is a likely contender for this year’s award season. The film also stars Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell. At the recent Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Emma Thompson. She talked about how she got involved in the project, the way she prepared for the role, getting to »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Every December, fans can look forward to some of the best movies each particular year has to offer, as the awards season really heat up. This year, Disney's Saving Mr. Banks is riding a wave of critical acclaim that could lead to a slew of Oscar nominations in various categories. The film takes fans behind-the-scenes at Walt Disney Pictures in the early 1960s, showing how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) ended up convincing author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to turn her beloved book Mary Poppins into a movie. We sent Todd Gilchrist to sit down with Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell (Travers Goff), Jason Schwartzman (Richard Sherman), B.J. Novak (Robert Sherman), Bradley Whitford (Don DaGradi) and director John Lee Hancock to discuss this drama, which expands nationwide on December 20. Check out our exclusive interviews with the cast and crew of Saving Mr. Banks.
John Lee Hancock was already a Disney veteran when he came onboard “Saving Mr. Banks,” having helmed “The Rookie” for the studio a decade ago. But in telling the knotted tale of Walt Disney’s struggle to adapt P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins” books, the helmer, Variety’s Creative Impact in Directing honoree, had to contend with a multi-decade negotiation that was less than a jolly holiday for all.
“The script was completely developed outside of Disney,” Hancock says of Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith’s Black List screenplay, “and I don’t think it could have been developed inside the walls of Disney. I think they might have chipped away at Walt’s character and it would have been a very different script, and I think they might admit that as well.”
Hancock credits the fact that other producers, including Australia’s Hopscotch and the U.K.’s BBC and Ruby Films, »
- Andrew Barker
A smart, snappy, soulful look at how Mary Poppins got Disneyfied, and the redemptive power of story for both teller and listener. I’m “biast” (pro): adore the cast
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
P.L. Travers is not a very nice woman. She’s a classic curmudgeon. As she boards her flight to Los Angeles in 1961 to meet with the Walt Disney to discuss transferring her wildly popular novel about nanny Mary Poppins to the big screen, she is so unenthusiastic about the prospect that she announces, “I hope we crash.” This is a wonderful thing. Not just because curmudgeons are always so much fun in a well-told story — as the smart, snappy, soulful Saving Mr. Banks is — but because we don’t get protagonists like this in movies. The grumps are always men. But wonder of wonders, here we have Travers, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
"Saving Mr. Banks," the tale of how P.L. Travers' (Emma Thompson) novel was made into beloved Disney movie "Mary Poppins," has opened to rave reviews for the entire ensemble. Bradley Whitford, who plays real-life screenwriter Don DaGradi in the film, tells Zap2it that it was a little intimidating playing a real-life person, but he certainly wasn't under the same kind of pressure as co-star Tom Hanks, who plays Walt Disney.
"I had a latitude and a freedom that you don't have like with what Tom is doing," says the "Trophy Wife" star, "which is playing someone who is as familiar as Walt Disney."
"I think what Tom does is such a great example of somebody playing someone who is familiar and iconic and finding the resonances within himself for that character," Whitford adds. "Walt's sense of possibility, Walt's constant awareness of his good fortune, Walt's never-ending hunger to keep going creatively. »
When I had to go to work in an office everyday, I would try to save up my vacation days so I could take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Ostensibly, I did this because my kid had no school and needed daytime attention.
But, really, I did it because I wanted to go to the movies.
The holiday season usually sees a flood of new releases, either to amuse those home-bound kids or to qualify for the Academy Awards. A lot of the Oscar-bait is scheduled for nation-wide release when the awards will actually be presented, and they just open in a few theaters to get by the rules. Since a lot of Academy members live in New York, we luck out.
There are altogether too many Jews in my borough for me to indulge the traditional Reform observance of Christmas (Chinese food and a »
- Martha Thomases
Truth be told, I’m not a huge Disney fan. I enjoy the Disney movies I watch, though I haven’t seen all (or even most) of them. I do, however, admire the story behind P.L. Travers and her treasured Mary Poppins, and it’s that affecting controversy – not the promise of The Mouse – that piqued my interest. In this case, Tom Hanks is simply a magnificent bonus. Furthermore, Colin Farrell is much more integral to the film than the trailers lead you to believe. For that, we can be grateful, for he added an element of charismatic grit to an otherwise luminous film.
Saving Mr. Banks is based on the »
- Mandi Hall
Directed by John Lee Hancock
“They said only God could make a tree,” Walt Disney says proudly as he strolls down Main Street, U.S.A. in the Disneyland theme park, late in Saving Mr. Banks. Walt, as he prefers to be known, gladhands all the park guests who recognize him from his years of hosting the Disneyland TV series as well as from being the man in charge of many of the heroes and villains of 20th-century America’s collective childhood. He’s in the park this day, showing off his facsimile creation of the ultimate small town to the rigid and distant British author P.L. Travers. So, yes, it was once said that only God was capable of creating life, but at Disneyland, even the next-best thing appears to be satisfactory enough to qualify as a deity. »
- Josh Spiegel
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