Ok, so I am a bit behind in my movie viewing – but I finally saw Saving Mr. Banks last night – and I LOVED IT! I honestly was holding off as I wasn’t sure how I would like it – I had seen clips and previews and I knew how Emma Thompson would be portraying PL Travers – I knew she would be tough and unlikeable, so I honestly didn’t know if I wanted to bother with it – But I am glad I did! The story was heartfelt and I even shed a few tears (don’t judge me!)
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, here’s a rundown: it’s set in the 1960’s, and the premise is that Walt Disney (played by the always charismatic Tom Hanks) is trying to convince author PL Travers to allow him to purchase the rights to her Mary Poppins character and story. This has been going on for 20 years of him trying to convince her, and finally she agrees to come to Walt Disney Studios in California and meet with him. She is stubborn to a fault with her vision for the movie, with crazy demands and script changes, as we watch the story come together through bits of song (familiar ones like “Let’s go fly a kite” and “A Spoonful of Sugar”), drawings, flashbacks, and arguments. PL Travers is hesitant to give up the story partly due to her troubled past – a past we see unfold and one that Walt sympathizes with and that allows him to connect with her on a deeper level.
Without being too much of a spoiler, I wanted to share my favorite moment of the movie. PL Travers arrives in LA and walks into her hotel suite, which is filled with Disney merchandise – stuffed Mickeys, Minnies, Goofys, Donald, Chip and Dale – the whole gang is there to welcome her. She is of course disgusted by this silly display and shoves it all in the closet. Just when she thinks she is done, she walks into the bedroom to find a GIANT Mickey Mouse stuffed toy on the bed!
The movie truly did a great job combining humor and drama into the movie, and it truly was a great film. I highly recommend you rent it today!