By Sara Gann —
In 1964, Disney released the film “Mary Poppins,” and ever since then Julie Andrews has sang and danced her way through the hearts of children and adults of all ages. So when “Saving Mr. Banks,” a movie about the making of Mary Poppins, was released, fans of the classic Disney movie raced back to the theater.
The story follows a middle-aged P.L. Travers, the original author of the book “Mary Poppins,” as she struggles to reach an agreement with Mr. Disney and his colleagues about how to turn a story of morals and life lessons into a children’s movie. Disney jumps through many of Ms. Travers’ hoops trying to appease her every whim in order to complete the movie, yet she makes demands that are near to impossible and threatens to withhold the copyright when they aren’t met. The audience then begins to see the story of the childhood of Ms. Travers, a story of a little girl who goes through many difficult times with a family struggling to get through the day. The pairing of these two stories brings to light an unknown back story and explanation for her love of the characters in the tale.
Though the movie is easy to follow, watching the 1964 film beforehand would be beneficial to catch all the references made. The casting was ideal for the movie; Colin Farrell plays the important role of Travers Goff, the author’s father, who ultimately was the inspiration for Mr. Banks. Emma Thompson delivers a wonderful performance as P. L. Travers, and although her character is hard to handle at first because of her stubbornness, she becomes more and more lovable as the movie begins to conclude. Tom Hanks had one of the harder roles to play, since he had to portray the legendary Walt Disney. When I first saw the trailer for “Saving Mr. Banks,” I was a bit skeptical of him playing such an important person, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Altogether, “Saving Mr. Banks” is a well-written and emotional movie. It pulls at the heartstrings and affects the audience in different ways. It is meant to be an emotional roller coaster of happiness, sadness, anger and a cornucopia of other intense emotions until the very end, which offers a heartwarming, more than satisfying conclusion to an inspiring story.