An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins (1964), he made them a promise - one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers ... Written by
Walt Disney Pictures
P.L. Travers never forgave Walt Disney for what she saw as vulgar and disrespectful adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" novels. In 1994, thirty years after the release of the film, stage producer Cameron Mackintosh (Cats, Les Misérables, Oliver!, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon) approached Travers about a musical theatre version of her work. The author initially refused, citing the film as a reason why she would never again allow an adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" series. After several meetings, the author relented, though when Mackintosh suggested using the songs from the Disney film in the production, Travers again balked. After much more pleading, Mackintosh convinced Travers to allow a stage production with the songs from the film on the strict proviso that no Americans participate in the development, and further that no one involved with the film version--including original film composers the Sherman Brothers, both of whom were still alive and working at the time--could participate. Mackintosh proceeded with development of the stage adaptation for several years without any involvement from Disney, per Travers' wishes, though after the author's death in 1996, the Walt Disney Company was allowed some degree of creative involvement and went on to co-produce the musical with Mackintosh. See more »
When Pamela and Walt are riding the Carousel at Disneyland, you can see the ride "Pinnochio's Daring Journey" behind them in some shots. While the ride does reside near the Carousel, it wasn't built until 1983. See more »
Winds in the east / Mist coming in / Like something is brewing / About to begin / Can't put me finger / On what lies in store / But I feel what's to happen / All happened before.
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The first part of the credits contain actual photographs from the Mary Poppins (1964) premiere and behind-the-scenes photos. See more »
Saving Mr Banks tells the story of Walt Disney's battle to get the rights to make Mary Poppins into a movie. I wasn't expecting to like this but was completely blown away.
It is beautifully put together, is hilarious in parts and very touching and emotional at other stages, but is not overly sappy or cheesy.
There are some outstanding performances here. Emma Thompson plays Mrs Travers beautifully - a cantankerous and stubborn lady, yet you can't dislike her. Tom Hanks does a good job of playing Walt Disney - a tough role for anyone but he seems to suit it, so long as you can get past the terrible fake southern accent which is worse than Dick Van Dyke's attempts at an English accent in Mary Poppins.
However the stand-out performance is, surprisingly, delivered by Colin Farrell as Mrs Travers' father. He brings amazing range and emotion to a character that is simultaneously a loving, sweet father and a man caged in by life and personal demons.
Go see it for yourself when it comes out at the end of November. I'm looking forward to watching it again.
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