Those of you who know me in person know that I am incredibly jaded. Life was less than kind to me during my younger years and it left me with a cynical edge. However, in contrast to this is my undying love for almost everything Disney. So you’re no doubt wondering, what is it about Disney movies that makes them so special? Why it’s quite simple my dear reader, but I’m not going to ruin it for you. Instead I’m going to tell you to go watch Saving Mr. Banks, a delightful movie about Walt Disney and the author of Marry Poppins, P.L. Travers. This wonderful film explores the minds and relationship of these two great creators, and the events that shaped them into the who they were.
Saving Mr. Banks is, at its core, a film about creators and the characters (dare I say people) they create. P.L. Travers is the author of Mary Poppins, and for the last twenty years Walt Disney has been trying to get her to sign over the rights in order to turn it into a film. Unfortunately for old Walt, Travers is not the biggest fan of the corporate empire he’s made for himself, not to mention her intense dislike (hate is such a harsh word) for his cartoons. However, with her finances drying up, Travers, with a bit of convincing from her agent, decides to go to Los Angeles to meet Walt in person and to discuss how the film might be made. However, as they begin to work on the script, painful memories that were buried a long time ago by Travers start to rise to the surface.
- Great characters who are surprisingly flawed (especially considering this is a Disney movie about Walt Disney)
- As expected, Emma Thompson plays the bitter and difficult Travers perfectly, Colin Farrell delivers as Taver’s head-in-the-clouds father, and somewhat unexpectedly, Tom Hanks pulls off an amazing Walt Disney (I know Tom Hanks is a great actor, but I didn’t expect him to pull this off as well as he did)
- The film also has great performances from the supporting cast (which includes Paul Giamatti and Jason Schwartzman)
- Whimsical and fun…
- … and still incredibly tragic
- Great music (it’s not a musical, but it is about making a Disney movie)
- Surprisingly funny
- No doubt certain elements of this film were… adapted, to make it more palatable
- Perhaps a little bit too sentimental for some
- Move along folks, nothing to see here
In many ways this film reminds me of Finding Neverland, but with far more potential for tears. It’s well acted, has an interesting story, has great characters that you really connect with, and undoubtedly succeeds at pulling on your heart strings. If you’re looking for a bittersweet drama which is family friendly, be sure to go check out Saving Mr. Banks.