“Saving Mr. Banks” is the story of Walt Disney and his attempts to aquire the film rights from Pamela Travers to her book “Mary Poppins”. Disney is played by Tom Hanks and Travers is played by Emma Thompson who each give a humous and touch performance. The film is directed by John Lee Hancock, who brings together a rather handsome production. I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would have based on the previews.
I didn’t know much about the back history of the making of “Mary Poppins”. I enjoyed getting to know Pamela Travers in particular, who was fiercly protective of her characters. The movie intercuts between the main plot and flash backs in to Traver’s childhood. We get to know her father and some of the challenges he was facing with alcaholism. Eventually we begin to piece together how the plot of the book is based on pieces of Pamela’s memories thus explaining why doesn’t want her book to be simply exploited. She also has a distaste for animation.
I don’t think I am ruining the ending of the film by saying that “Mary Poppins” was eventually adapted in to one of the most successful movies of all time. It is the making of the movie that is the most absorbing parts of this movie. I loved sitting in on the writing sessions as Travers tears apart the existing screenplay and songs with the Disney employees. Thompson dissappears in to this role and brings Travers to life.
Tom Hanks seems to be having a come back year with this and “Captain Phillips”. This is a different kind of role completely but the fact that he can transition from professional boat captain under duress to the jovial yet wise Walt Disney is pretty amazing.