After nearly a decade of offers and refusals, author P. L. Travers reluctantly agrees to meet with the man behind some of the world's most beloved movies and animated films, Walt Disney. Despite her longstanding adverse opinion of Walt and musicals, Mrs. Travers agrees to work with Walt and a team of writers, before deciding whether to sign 'Mary Poppins' over to be made into a film. Based on real people and events in her own life, her attachment to her character and books are evident. In the end, it is up to Walt to make Mrs. Travers believe that he loves 'Mary Poppins' and considers her a part of the Disney family, not just another brick in the foundation of a media giant.
At first glance, "Saving Mr. Banks" is just what it seems, a complex tale about the people and events, which inspired the creation of an iconic character, which inspired the creation of an iconic and beloved film. Directed by John Lee Hancock, "Saving Mr. Banks" spans more than fifty years and at least 3 countries, as the film shifts back and forth between 1961 and the early 1900s. As Mrs. Travers (Emma Thompson) wrestles with conflicting ideas and concepts for a film featuring Mary Poppins, flashes of the past overlap to reveal the real life events, which inspired P. L. Travers to write the Poppins books. While the use of flashbacks can often be more destructive than effective, Hancock's use is a powerful tool, punctuating Traver's strong emotional attachment and protective attitude, one which denied Walt Disney's licensing requests on a yearly basis, from 1938 up until 1960. Offering an ample amount of gravity and presence to the film, Tom Hanks stars as the legendary Walt Disney, maker of movies, animation, and storytelling magic. Despite the Disney's current goals and feature successes and missteps, "Saving Mr. Banks" reminds us that Disney was built on the dreams, ideas, and endurance of creativity and imagination. Whether you're a fan of Travers, Disney, or Poppins, "Saving Mr. Banks" is an exceptional tale about what inspired an author and how her dream inspired a filmmaker. If you are so inclined, this one is definitely whether the time and the price of admission.