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
Emma Thompson remarked in an interview with Mark Kermode how the song "Let's Go Fly a Kite" is very interesting since the chord D-Minor was considered "of the Devil", it comes from a dark place of the human consciousness. They listened to this song many times while making the movie, and never got fed up of hearing it due to its emotional resonance; for it carries great power, and makes you cry. See more »
The Disneyland characters greeting Miss Travers near the end of the film are in their redesigned likenesses from a time period long after 1964. 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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At the beginning, the Disney logo is replaced by a special "Walt Disney Presents" logo with the old-fashioned segmented castle. See more »
"Saving Mr. Banks" is an exquisite film. It draws you in with the delightful reality of Disney as well as the triumphantly stark reality (inasmuch as it is reality; I do lack her background) of Mrs. Travers. I purposely leave out parts of the film for the sake of the movie-goer, but let me say how delightful the songs are, the people are, the displays of emotion-- my part as well, as I nearly cried and fully laughed at certain points throughout. The film speaks to me and it feels complete in its currency-- tuppence, if you will-- in taking Mrs. Travers' story and embellishing it with the truth of the creators' (both Travers and Disney, for the part he has in the creation of the film) lives. The lives of the characters-- and I do mean most people seen on screen, in particular the driver and Mrs. Travers' mother-- are well-told and well-lived, and spark a certain comfort and warmth, even in the cold of their realities and harsher backstories. I believe the film has done its job beautifully, and I wouldn't change it for the world. Even the animated penguins, although for me there is still my deep and abiding love for their real counterparts.
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