Tuesday, November 26, 2013

  • Opens December 13, 2013 
  • 2 hr 5 min
  • PG-13 | Thematic elements including some unsettling images

When I originally watched the Disney film Mary Poppins, I was so enamored with the movie given its catchy songs and amazing use of live action with animation.  It wasn't until 1988 with Who Framed Roger Rabbit was that magic captured again, albeit without the musical splendor of Mary Poppins.  Saving Mr. Banks gives you a behind the scenes look of how Mary Poppins's author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) struggled to approve Walt Disney's (Tom Hanks) use of her beloved character in the film.

Within the movie there are a lot of flashbacks to when P.L. was a child with her father an alcoholic bank manager.  Her father, Travers Robert Goff (Colin Farrell), while maintaining a great and loving relationship with his daughter struggles with everything else in life from his marriage to his banking job.  P.L.'s perception of her father and how she failed him is an obstruction for her in the present as she gives the writers and composers of the film unreasonable goals and expectations so as to lead to failure of the project.

Both Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are wonderful in their roles.  I have always imagined Walt to be a bit more slender though than what Tom portrayed.  In the film if you compared to historical accounts, appears to favor Walt Disney more as would be expected.  For example, P. L. was vehemently against the use of animation in the film of her character as in real life.  What weren't revealed in the movie are the arguments between the two that led to P. L. Travers refusal to grant the rights to any additional films based on Mary Poppins.  P. L. Travers's interaction with her driver Ralph (Paul Giamatti) while charming, doesn't really add to the film other than provides relief from scenes of tension between Travers and the filmmakers.

 Overall, I would highly recommend this film.  It's definitely a must see if you're a fan of Disney or Mary Poppins.  Seeing how some of the songs and scenes of the movies came to be as a result of the talented Sherman brothers and the input of Travers will bring back a lot of memories and smiles.  I've only wished they would have gone into details regarding the creation of my favorite song of the movie which is "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

Rating: 4.0 Stars out of 5.0 Stars



  • Emma Thompson as Pamela "P.L." Travers, author of Mary Poppins.
  • Annie Buckley plays a young Travers, Helen Goff, nicknamed "Ginty".
  • Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, filmmaker and producer of the film.
  • Paul Giamatti as Ralph, Travers' chauffeur.
  • Jason Schwartzman as Richard M. Sherman, composer/lyricist who co-wrote the film's songs with his brother Robert.
  • B. J. Novak as Robert B. Sherman, composer/lyricist who co-wrote the film's songs with his brother Richard.
  • Bradley Whitford as Don DaGradi, co-writer of the 1964 film.
  • Colin Farrell as Travers Robert Goff, Pamela's ill-tempered and alcoholic, yet loving father.
  • Ruth Wilson as Margaret Goff, Pamela's mother
  • Melanie Paxson as Dolores Voght Scott-Dolly, Walt Disney's secretary
  • Victoria Summer as Julie Andrews, actress who portrayed the on-screen character of Mary Poppins in her debut film performance.
  • Kristopher Kyer as Dick Van Dyke, actor who portrayed the character of Bert and Mr. Dawes, Sr.
  • Kathy Baker as Tommie, a trusted studio executive
  • Rachel Griffiths as Aunt Ellie, Margaret's sister
  • Dendrie Taylor as Lillian Disney
  • Kimberly D'Armond as Nanny Katie, young Travers' childhood nanny

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,