Saving Mr. Banks Blu-ray + Digital CopyCategory: Blu-ray's and DVD's
Saving Mr. Banks did not win any Academy Awards, however it is an entertaining and interesting show that deserves recognition. It did take the title of “Movie of the Year” at the AFI Awards, and was nominated for many other awards including an Oscar for “Best Original Score”.
We all know the story of Mary Poppins, the magical and whimsical nanny who comes to take care of the Banks children. The beloved books were penned by P.L. Travers, who was very reluctant to have her endearing character of Mary Poppins turned into a film, let alone a Disney film. However, in the end she relented and in 1964 audiences around the world were charmed by the movie, which did win five Oscars.
Saving Mr. Banks is the story of P.L. Travers, her life, what made her into the person she was, and her relationship with Walt Disney and the Disney Studio. The film toggles between Travers’ childhood, which was bleak and often complicated with her alcoholic yet fun-loving father, and the early 1960s when Travers was in negotiations with Walt Disney about the Mary Poppins film. The scenes of her past are sad and let viewers into the mind of the author, with glimpses of her reality that ended up in her stories and even the movie. The scenes taking place in the 1960s are the clever, witty, fun scenes that make this film worthwhile.
It’s fair to say that Travers and Disney butted heads many times over the portrayal of Poppins. Travers did not want animation in the film, and she balked at the songs the Sherman Brothers were composing. She nitpicked everything and made the folks at the Disney studios crazy with her complaints. She just couldn’t see the vision they had for her beloved Mary Poppins.
Emma Thompson wonderfully portrays Travers and Tom Hanks is pretty convincing as Walt Disney.
Bonus features on this disc include some deleted scenes. One of which, “The Nanny Song” I would have liked to see in the final film, but at least viewers can see it now.
Another bonus is a look at the studio in the 1960s compared to today. The filmmakers carefully researched the history of the studio to recreate it for this film. In the early 1960s it was a busy place, turning out motion pictures, television shows, and exhibits for the 1964 World’s Fair. The studio is described as “Mouse Deco” and except for the back lot, which is now gone, looks pretty much like it did in the 60s.
Walt Disney was a hands-on producer. He visited each area of the studios at least once a day. Kids with parents who worked at the studio all felt like a family. To them it was a great way to grow up, and some of them share their experiences in this feature.
If you visit the studio today, the Animation Building, which is prominent in Saving Mr. Banks, outwardly looks the same. Note: It’s a magical place. I spend a lot of time on the lot and always love every minute of it from the time I drive on to the time I exit. It’s, to use a word from Mary Poppins, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”
To get the full story of Mary Poppins, you have to see this movie.
Saving Mr. Banks is also available on a single DVD. The movie is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, including some unsettling images.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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