Saving Mr. Banks: Blu-ray Review











The Movie:

When Walt Disney‘s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. TraversMary Poppins (1964), he made them a promise – one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt () comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers () reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

Mary Poppins was a movie that I can remember watching over and over again as a kid. The soundtrack was even on repeat in the house with the main song being played was “A Spoonful Of Sugar” (I’m sure my mom wanted to kill me after the 50th time I played it). So when hearing about this film I had to watch it because I wasn’t aware of the backstory regarding the film rights of the story. Thompson is extraordinary as Mrs. Travers and plays the hard edged writer with precision. She is absolutely so stubborn in her ways that they way Thompson portrays her had me getting frustrated and practically talking to the screen trying rationalize with the character…haha. The thing that really kept me going and stay invested in the story was Mrs. Travers’ past and her upbringing subsequently causing her to be the woman she became and her closeness to the Mary Poppins character. Hanks is Walt Disney and plays him to the greatest degree. I went back and looked at some footage of Walt so I could compare Hanks’ performance and I have to say that it’s pretty spot on. He can pretty much do no wrong and shines in all the roles that he plays. It may sound exaggerated but the film really does feel magical. There’s something about the emotional uphill trip that makes you smile by the time the final act starts. I found myself with a huge smile on my face and happy that Travers finally came out of her shell and learned to enjoy the moment. The scene where she started singing and dancing sealed the deal with me and had me realizing just how much I enjoyed the film. This is a definite buy!

Special Features:

From Poppins to the Present – This feature is a really good one. It’s a look at the past and present of Disney projects including the production of Mary Poppins. It also has interviews from former employees as they retell their memories from the films.

Let’s Go Fly a Kite – Mary Poppins co-songwriter Richard Sherman plays “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” with the cast and crew on the last day of filming.

Deleted Scenes – There’s a handful of scenes here that were pretty good. I would say they should’ve left them in but I’m sure there was a good reason for leaving them out.

Saving Mr. Banks is available NOW on Blu-ray and DVD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment


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