Walt Disney Pictures, Ruby Films, Essential Media & Entertainment,

Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson, Annie Buckley, Melanie Paxson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker

In the 60’s British author P.L. Travers (Emma Watson) found herself low on cash. Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) had promised his daughters that someday he would bring Mary Poppins, their favorite book, to the big screen. But Mrs. Travers was not about to let Mary Poppins out of her clutch as it was much to close to her own life to let it go. She insisted on absolute last say over the entire process. So Mrs. Travers arrives in Burbank to drive the story writers, music writers, and Mr. Disney himself nearly crazy trying to meet her demands. This biographical picture covers the bumps and bruises of trying to get arguably Walt’s most successful movie ever, to the screen.

Emma Thompson is marvelous as the formidable little lady Travers, and Tom Hanks does an amazing job as Walt Disney, but there is lots more going on to make this one of the greatest films I have ever seen. Granted, I was familiar with the struggles Walt went through to try to get Mary Poppins off the ground. One of the things Walt really wanted to do was to bring the world of cartoons and live action back together in the scene where Mary and Bert and the Banks Children enter the chalk drawings to a world of fancy with dancing penguins and all. Walt wasn’t really sure that Mary Poppins would ever be made, as Mrs. Travers constantly threatened not to sign the release. But a little known fact is that Walt hedged his bet with another really great film that was to be the Mary Poppins should Mary not get out of the book. He hired Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson (who also played Mr. Banks) to make probably one of the least known, but also really good Disney film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”. This film featured a sequence (like the chalk drawings excursion in Poppins) under the ocean to visit the Island of Naboombu. Had Mary Poppins failed to get launched, Walt no doubt would have thrown all his backing behind this film, and it probably would have been a great film. As it turned out Mary Poppins was the big hit, and this film was left pretty much neglected. The same people who made Mary Poppins also made this film, including the Sherman Brothers (played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak) in Saving Mr. Banks. Paul Giamatti also has a charming role in this film

Basically this is two stories in one. The major story of Walt’s efforts and Pam Travers resistance to letting Mary Poppins turn into the marvelous movie that it is. The hard work and determination that everyone put into the development of this project is vividly portrayed here. But the alternate storyline is the heartbreaking story of Mrs. Travers life as a small child in Australia and the things that led her to put the stories on paper in the first place. Mary Poppins was indeed a huge part of her life. Prior to watching the movie, the title “Saving Mr. Banks” sounded trivial to me, but after hearing her story, it became crystal clear why this is certainly a brilliant title and the crux of the entire story. This is an excellent film, one of the best stories I’ve seen in many years, and the fact that both Tom Hanks and the movie were snubbed by the Academy this year is dreadful. This could easily have been best film. I urge everyone to get a chance to see this fabulous story. Bring tissues, as it’s very sad in some parts, but well worth watching.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate this movie:
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Leave a comment

Name: (Required)

eMail: (Required)