Disclosure: This event and trip to LA will be an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, experiences and Disney character crushes are 100% my own!
While I was in LA last month for the premiere of Frozen, I also had the opportunity to attend a private screening of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. As you know, I am a huge Disney fan. I knew that this movie would be a peek into the real life of Walt Disney, but other than that, I really wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
About the film (courtesy of Disney):
Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.
When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” 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 the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.
Inspired by true events, “Saving Mr. Banks” is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen—and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it.
Here are a few fun facts about the film and the original Mary Poppins:
“Saving Mr. Banks” is the first feature-length, theatrical drama to depict the iconic entrepreneur Walt Disney.
Richard and Robert Sherman’s original score and song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) would go on to win Oscars® at the 1965 ceremonies.
“Mary Poppins” won five awards of its 13 Academy Award® nominations: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Effects, Best Film Editing, Original Score and Original Song. Among the nominations were Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
P.L. Travers’ father was a banker and is the basis for the “Mary Poppins” story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks—the character in the book whom the famous fictional nanny comes to aid.
Take a minute to watch these trailers… they are beautiful insights in the film and I just love the bits and pieces that you can get from them (it’s like FREE candy, but brain candy, lol):
Saving Mr. Banks “Tom Banks”:
Saving Mr. Banks “The Music”:
Saving Mr. Banks “The Story”:
The cast: Tom Hanks does an amazing job with his portrayal of Walt Disney, and it’s an exciting look at what Mr. Disney might have been like, which is really the first time that we have ever been given this peek into his world. Emma Thompson plays the part of P.L. Travers so well, she really brings her to life! Colin Farrell plays banker Robert Goff Travers, who is the father of a young P.L. Travers, and the entire story kind of evolves out of her (P.L. Travers) relationship with him. This cast of characters comes together to create an amazing dynamic that will tug at your emotions. Seriously, prepare to be all over the board with this one.
My thoughts: I really wasn’t expecting to be as moved by this film as I was. I was laughing, crying, laughing again and then at one point sobbing. This movie hits so many emotions, and I suspect that this will vary by person, depending on your life experiences. For me, the film was an emotional journey that I am still trying to work through…and I am dying to see it again.
On a simple level, it’s a wonderful story about how Walt Disney followed through on a promise that he made to his daughters, to bring their favorite story of Mary Poppins to the big screen.
The thing is, this movie is ANYTHING but simple. What unfolds during Walt’s journey to buy the rights to a film, is a lifetime of emotions and feelings, connections (both good, bad and otherwise) all rolled together in amazing Disney fashion. It’s a story of how connected we each are to our own stories. It’s about loving, and really, letting go. (or NOT letting go, you can decide).
It’s also a story about relationships, and there are quite a few of them in this film but the two that gripped me the most were the relationship that young P.L. Travers had with her father (shown above), and the relationship that a much older P.L. Travers had with her driver, Ralph (shown below). I don’t want to spoil too much for you (I hate spoilers!) but I loved that Disney made these relationships seem real, and deep, and I loved watching the actual connections that people make, when and if they choose too.
Who is this movie for? I actually went into this screening thinking that this might be a family movie. It’s definitely not for small kids, in fact, I am not sure what age would be appropriate to see this film. It’s deep and sometimes dark. While I think that a lot of the emotional chaos will be over their heads, there are some very dark and ugly glimpses into disfunction that I just don’t think a child would need to see. As an adult though, I found it really REAL and though provoking, and one that many people can relate to.
Saving Mr. Banks is honestly one of the best films that I have seen in years, so while it’s not for children, I love the messages and insights that it gave me as an adult. Super thought provoking and like I said, I can’t wait to see it again, as I am still sorting through some of the details myself!
Don’t forget! In celebration of it’s 50 years of success as a classic, Disney just released the Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition DVD
And, MOST EXCITING… Saving Mr.Banks opened in select cities on Friday, December 13th, and nationally on December 20th!
Follow along with all of the Saving Mr. Banks excitement:
I would love for you to read my write-up about my tour of the Disney studio lots (where Saving Mr. Banks was filmed!), my review of the movie Frozen, my review of Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary DVD, my interview with Prince Hans (Santino Fontana), my attempt at “voicing Olaf” in the Disney recording studio, my interview with chimney sweep Pete Menefee from Mary Poppins, my behind the scenes look at The Making of Get A Horse!, my round up of Disney Frozen merchandise, my recap of my day at the Disney Animation Studios, my experience on the red (errr white) carpet at the world premiere of Frozen, and check out my interview with Kristen Bell (the voice of Anna!).
Photo and video credit: Disney
The creative and frugal mind behind She Saved for over 12 years now, Keri Lyn shares her adventures in parenting along with her love for family travel, country living and brand marketing. A self-proclaimed “brand loyalist”, Keri Lyn is known for her strong and enthusiastic voice when it comes to the products and brands that she loves. Passionate about family and the challenge of raising good humans (through the teen years, no less!) Keri Lyn has also served as a brand ambassador to many brands including her time as a Hilton Mom Voyage travel writer and currently an O Mag Insider for O, The Oprah Magazine and the 2019 recipient the O-verall Contribution O-ward.