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
Computer terminals at Disneyland's Main Gate turnstiles can be seen in the background when Travers first arrives at the park. 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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There is a post credits dedication of the movie to Diane Marie Disney, Walt Disney's oldest daughter, who passed away in November, 2013. See more »
"Saving Mr. Banks" is easily one of the best movies to come out this year. It tells the tale behind the making of Disney's beloved classic "Mary Poppins," but it is so much more than just a typical 'making of a movie' movie. While many of these types of films aren't as good as the movie they are about, this one is different. It feels like a companion piece to the beloved classic. It allows us to appreciate the trials and tribulations Disney had to go through to make his magnum opus. However, it is also more about P.L. Traverse and why she loves her character so much and why Mary Poppins holds such a special place in her heart.
Director John Lee Hancock does a great job of making this film something truly special. He balances witty humor with emotional depth, but does so without being too sappy or melodramatic. The film is also well written by being more personal than just being a movie about making a movie. The themes of letting and moving on are handled well and really becomes relatable to anyone watching.
The performances are top-notch. Tom Hanks makes a pretty good Disney and he isn't sugar coated either. The real standouts are Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell. They give strong dimensional performances that makes us truly care and sympathies with the characters.
Overall "Saving Mr. Banks" is a truly great and beautifully told film. Its individual parts may not be the years best, but as a complete film it is the whole package. It's a movie that exemplifies why we go to the movies and what Disney stands for as an entertainment corporation. It is a movie that is equal parts heartfelt, witty, charming, entertaining, and emotionally satisfying. I give it 5/5
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