Yes, I’m late to the game but I finally was able to see Saving Mr. Banks tonight. Sometimes life gets in the way of things we’d really love to do but I’m happy to say that Saving Mr. Banks was definitely worth the wait. This is a movie build around the negotiations with P.L. Travers to get Mary Poppins made. Through the course of these negotiations and creative meetings, Mrs. Travers (Emma Thompson) is reminded of her childhood and her own father.
The casting for Saving Mr. Banks was simply wonderful. I was a bit worried going into it that I wouldn’t be able to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the movie and accept people for who they were supposed to portray…. especially Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Walt Disney after seeing this movie. The same could be said of Emma Thompson. The performances were wonderful and there were thankfully no cringeworthy moments. Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak performances as the Sherman brothers were charming as they worked with Bradley Whitford’s Don Dagradi. Then there is Paul Giamatti. His role as the Ralph, the limo driver was one of my favorites. I just couldn’t help but like that character. Collin Farrell definitely gets a hat tip for his role as well.
How do you write the music for a movie about the writing of a musical? I will admit, this worried me. Mary Poppins has one of the best soundtracks period. I was curious how the soundtrack would be able to highlight the beautiful songs found in the classic while also help tell the new story. Thomas Newman (Finding Nemo) offered a soundtrack that sounded completely different than Mary Poppins. At the same time, he was able to incorporate many of those classic favorites as they were utilized in the movie. It was an effective storytelling device. The use of some jazz greats (yes, definitely recognized some Dave Brubeck in there) added to the musical storytelling as well…and made me smile.
The settings for Saving Mr. Banks was really a lot of fun to see. It would be an understatement to say that I recognized a few of the locations. I think one of my favorite parts was getting to see Sleeping Beauty Castle in its original glory. Call me a purist but… I like it without all the extra frills. Sure, there were a few things in the movie that weren’t exactly as they would have been in the 60’s but… they did a great job of making it have the right feel and really, isn’t that what it is all about?
I really enjoyed the story. Clearly there were a few historical… discrepancies… However, this is a movie based on real events. It isn’t a documentary. Walt Disney created a legacy of storytelling and the Walt Disney Studios carried on this legacy wonderfully with Saving Mr. Banks. It wouldn’t be a Disney movie without a little bit of pixie dust added in at some point. I’m completely willing to forgive a few of the changes to history for the sake of storytelling. This was a wonderful story full of nostalgia, heart, and dare I say it… magic? I found myself genuinely feeling for the different characters throughout the movie.Mr. DAPs & Richard Sherman
Saving Mr. Banks easily gets a hearty hat tip. It’s a wonderful look at some Disney history told in the Disney way. I really enjoyed the way the story was told. I really can’t imagine a different cast doing a better job at portraying the characters in this movie. I think director John Lee Hancock did a wonderful job of weaving together the two stories being told. This is a must see for any Disney fan. It will warm your heart and make you want to go see Mary Poppins again. I also can’t wait to get my hands on the blu-ray and watch the bonus features when they come out! Go out and see this one, you won’t regret it!