I grew up watching the classic Disney film Mary Poppins. It is one of my mom's favorite movies, and of course, it ended up becoming one of my favorites as well. I had no idea what the story was in trying to get this movie made until Disney first announced the film Saving Mr. Banks. The moment I found out what the movie was about, I was instantly interested and excited about seeing it! Now having seen the film, I'm happy to say that it was practically perfect in every way. Yes, I just went there and quoted a line from Mary Poppins, but I mean it! That statement is true! I can honestly say that Saving Mr. Banks is one of my favorite films of the year, and it was practically a flawless film… in my eyes at least. I'm sure there are some people out there that didn't like it, but maybe those people don't have souls.
The movie tells the story of the relationship between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers as he was trying to get her to sign over the rights to her book so that he could turn it into a movie. Walt spent 20 years trying to get the rights to the book, and the movie focuses on his final attempt at making it happen. Travers absolutely hated the idea of him turning her beloved novel into a Disney movie, and she made it very difficult for everyone working on the project. But over time the idea started to grow on her, and she started to see the light, then one day Walt was able to close the deal. It was a very fun and entertaining journey that I think most audiences will enjoy even if they aren't big fans of Mary Poppins.
One of my favorite story aspects of the film was how it seamlessly jumped from one time period to another. While telling the story of Travers working on the script and development of Mary Poppins with the creative team, it also focused on her experiences as a child that inspired her to write Mary Poppins, and what they all meant. The movie is a perfect companion piece to the original Mary Poppins film, and I think it makes that movie even better knowing everything that happened to get it made. The next time I watch Mary Poppins it will almost be like watching it again through a new set of eyes. I'm actually looking forward to it.
The other thing that I really loved about the movie was the acting. The movie starred Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Collin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, and Jason Schwartzman. All of them give incredible, award-worthy performances! I think Hanks, Thompson and Farrell all need to be nominated for their performances. I was so happy with the cast of the film as they flawlessly brought these people to life for us.
Saving Mr. Banks is easily one of the best movies of the year. It's full of heart and soul, and it hits all of those incredible emotions you want to feel while watching a movie. It's a beautifully told story that leaves you feeling really good and happy at the end. If you enjoy watching movies, then you need to see this film, because it's one of the best that you'll see this year!
Here's the official story synopsis:
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.
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