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
Mrs.Travers is shown to live alone at her London home, apart from her maid Polly - there is no sign of her adopted 10-year-old son, nor her female life partner. 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 credits also have an actual audio recording of P.L. Travers conversing with the filmmakers like the ones depicted in the film. See more »
If anyone wants to know the TRUE story of P.L. Travers' and Walt Disney's negotiations regarding MARY POPPINS, read Caitlin Flanagan's article "Becoming Mary Poppins" published in The New Yorker in 2005. Walt Disney was an S.O.B., and treated Travers abominably. Obviously the company is trying to soften his image with this insipid film. I've lost all respect for anyone involved with the project.
This paragraph from Flanagan's piece says it all: "The première was the first Travers had seen of the movie-she did not initially receive an invitation, but had embarrassed a Disney executive into extending one-and it was a shock. Afterward, as Richard Sherman recalled, she tracked down Disney at the after-party, which was held in a giant white tent in the parking lot adjoining the Chinese Theatre. "Well," she said loudly. "The first thing that has to go is the animation sequence." Disney looked at her coolly. "Pamela," he replied, "the ship has sailed." And then he strode past her, toward a throng of well-wishers, and left her alone, an aging woman in a satin gown and evening gloves, who had travelled more than five thousand miles to attend a party where she was not wanted."
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