One of the most beloved Disney films of all time Mary Poppins just got the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray treatment, but that’s not the end of her story just yet. Now Disney is bringing the behind the scenes story to life with their latest film Saving Mr. Banks starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, but does it do anything for the classic or will it just be another forgettable biopic film?
Saving Mr. Banks follows the story of Walt Disney’s quest to obtain the rights to make Mary Poppins, but is up against curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. When writer P.L. Travers reluctantly agrees to hear his plans, Disney pulls out all the stops ion hopes to finally make her come around. While there are many aspects to this film are not the way things happened and embellished this is still a great movie. Tom Hanks faced the hardest challenge here bringing Walt Disney to life for the first time by an actor and does an amazing job. It is no surprise that he could pull it off, but his portrayal is just magical on every level. Thompson gives a brilliant performance as well bringing this grumpy woman to life whose at times is annoying, but you can understand her concerns for something so dear to her and her fears of what might be done. The rest of the cast all bring it together perfectly to make for an overall great film that is full of humor and emotion that makes some aspects to this film pretty deep and others another full on Disney experience. What makes it work even better than expected is that it not only plays as a behind the scenes look at the making of this classic but it takes viewers on a journey of her life as well that not only explains where the book idea came from but actually enhances the original film on some level.
While this was one of those films that looked great from the trailers, it delivered so much more than expected. Sure there will be some that are a bit put off from the changes to the actually history and Disney-esque ending, but there is no denying that it is a great film. There is already award buzz around the film and both Hanks and Thompson deserve it. Whether you are a fan of Mary Poppins or not you are sure to enjoy this film. In addition to this great film the Blu-ray also includes deleted scenes, the featurette “The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins To The Present”, and “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” cast and crew performance.