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Saving Mr. Banks
BLU-RAY disk
04.01.2014 By: Mathew Plale
Saving Mr. Banks order download
Director:
John Lee Hancock

Actors:
Tom Hanks
Emma Thompson
Jason Schwartzman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The story of the making of the classic musical MARY POPPINS and the struggles between author Pamela Travers (Thompson) and the creative team led by Walt Disney (Hanks).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The behind-the-scenes story of the making of MARY POPPINS seems like it would be better suited for a documentary than a narrative film. But here is SAVING MR. BANKS, about just that.

The story begins in 1961, with author Pamela Travers (Emma Thompson) arriving in Los Angeles at the insistence of none other than Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), who has been trying to make a movie of Mrs. Travers’ book for decades. She meets those that have been hired to turn MARY POPPINS into a cartoon/live action musical: screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford) and composers Richard M. Sherman (Jason Schwartzman) and Robert B. Sherman (B.J. Novak), who themselves would be the subjects of the 2009 documentary THE BOYS: THE SHERMAN BROTHERS’ STORY.

And then there is Walt, who is just as charming and jovial as you’d expect. (Granted, the movie leaves out the whole anti-Semitism part…) But even a personality like that can’t bring a smile to Mrs. Travers, who quickly disapproves of every character tweak and song choice.

Directed by John Lee Hancock (THE BLIND SIDE), SAVING MR. BANKS is a safe look at the difficulties of having both the stubborn and the gleeful team up on a project. There were likely a few stronger words exchanged than the ones Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith’s screenplay permits (Travers disapproved of much more than the movie lets on), but Disney has a reputation and MPAA rating to uphold and so it’s understandable that some taming was done.

But the characters who clash and collaborate with equal parts mayhem and steadiness—the bitter Mrs. Travers, the delightful Mr. Disney, the well-intentioned Sherman Brothers—are still quite colorful, courtesy of the terrific performances and chemistry by the leads.

In terms of approach, SAVING MR. BANKS offers far too many flashbacks (we get it, Mrs. Travers doesn’t want to taint her father’s name any more than it already is) and an abundance of self-congratulations. Despite this, it is still a highly enjoyable movie and just as sentimental as a Disney-produced movie about a Disney-produced movie should be.

THE EXTRAS
The Walt Disney Studios: From POPPINS to the Present (14:35): Director John Lee Hancock discusses his research, while former employees and family members share their memories of the studio and Disney himself.

“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” (1:47): Richard Sherman takes to the piano while cast and crew members sing the MARY POPPINS song.

Deleted Scenes (7:24): There are three here, which can be viewed separately or as a whole. They are: “Stargaze,” “Nanny Song” and “Pam Leaves.”

Digital Copy

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Although the making of MARY POPPINS doesn’t seem like it would necessitate a major motion picture, SAVING MR. BANKS is a nicely told and quite enjoyable film. Special features include a tour of the Walt Disney Studios lot, a cast and crew sing-along and deleted scenes.
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3:35PM on 04/01/2014

Saw it in the theater

I really liked this film. Shame it didnt play in theaters as long as other films have. It also did not get a huge publicity push, at least none that I saw. Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman and Paul Giamatti were especially great. There is a part in the movie where they are introducing the song "Lets Go Fly a Kite", where I can say with 100% pure honesty that it was one of the greatest joys I have experienced at the movies.
I really liked this film. Shame it didnt play in theaters as long as other films have. It also did not get a huge publicity push, at least none that I saw. Colin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman and Paul Giamatti were especially great. There is a part in the movie where they are introducing the song "Lets Go Fly a Kite", where I can say with 100% pure honesty that it was one of the greatest joys I have experienced at the movies.
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3:10AM on 04/01/2014

Colin Farrell

he was amazing in this movie, stole every scene!
he was amazing in this movie, stole every scene!
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