Disney’s 1964 film Mary Poppins is a timeless classic, even after fifty years it still captures the attention of youth everywhere. Saving Mr. Banks presents itself as an intriguing insight into how the Walt Disney Corporation acquired the rights for the film, detailing the clash of ideologies between novelist and production team that has been rivalled by few others in the film industry.
After 20 years of pleading for her to sign the film rights to the successful Mary Poppins book franchise, financially struggling author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) accepts an offer from Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to attend a read-through and correction of the film adaptations current script. Her tough stance against improper English, animation and musical numbers clashes against what the Disney Corporation is renowned for, leading to a back and forth of demands and requests. Key moments in the read-through spark memories of Travers’ childhood, where her mother (Ruth Wilson) and father (Colin Farrell) both battled their own inner demons, which helped shape the characters she created.
P.L. Travers was secretive about her life, and coupled with the screenwriters clearly glossing over well-known disputes between Travers and Disney, Saving Mr. Banks should not be considered a realistic depiction of events. However this does little to prevent the film from being a captivating and comical watch for adults, with skilled cast, faithfully replicated settings and nostalgia-inducing songs capable of stirring emotion and interest within a crowd from start to finish.
Similar to my review of Escape From Tomorrow, this was a review I originally wrote for a University assignment and not one specifically written for this site. However with it simply sitting on my hard drive, feel free to give it a read for yourself!