Saving Mr. Banks Blu-ray Review
When I saw the first trailer for SAVING MR. BANKS, I have to admit my heart did a little pitter-patter. I’ve loved MARY POPPINS since I was a kid and to this day I know every single word to all the songs and find myself every once in awhile snapping my fingers trying to get my house clean. So watching a film about how this movie came to life was right up my alley. Add in the mega-watt talents of Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Paul Giamatti and Colin Farrell and I was hooked. I wasn’t quite prepared for the sad story of P.L. Travers childhood, but what a treat to see how the character of Mary Poppins was created and then brought to life. SAVING MR. BANKS is one of those feel good films that I’m sure I will find myself reaching for many times in the future.
SAVINGS MR. BANKS follows the story of P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of Mary Poppins. Travers childhood is revealed in flashbacks while in the present day Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) is trying to convince her to let him bring the memorable nanny to life on the big screen. The reluctance of Travers is extremely high, but the charms of Walt Disney (especially when portrayed by Tom Hanks) are too great as Mary Poppins makes her way to theaters.
Unless you are anti-Disney, it’s hard to not enjoy this film to some degree. The chemistry and relationship between Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks is fantastic, and if Walt Disney were as genial and charismatic as Hanks portrayed him, then it’s almost hard to believe that it took so many years for Travers to sign over the rights to her beloved character. The interaction between these two was so fascinating to watch, and is just another great film they can add to their ever growing resumes.
Aside from the great performances from Hanks, Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman, the highlight of the film for this writer was watching the dissection of the script by Travers and hearing the infamous songs from MARY POPPINS being created. The Sherman brothers (played by Novak and Schwartzman) composed some truly fantastic songs for MARY POPPINS, and hearing them interspersed throughout the film was such a treat to watch and brought back a lot of great moments from the film.
As a lifelong Disney fan, SAVING MR. BANKS was a fantastic look behind the scenes at one of my favorite childhood films. It was heartfelt and touching to see the relationship Travers had with her father and it was tough watching her struggle to give up rights to such an important character in her life. From what I’ve read, it seems that the real P.L. Travers was still not happy with the end result of the film, but I truly hope she takes solace in the fact that her characters have been loved and enjoyed by millions of people for generations.
SAVING MR. BANKS BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: In true Disney fashion, SAVING MR. BANKS looks magnificent on Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio is equally impressive.
Deleted Scenes (6:58): Three scenes total that didn’t do much for me.
From Poppins to Present (14:56): Director John Lee Hancock takes us through a retrospective of Disney projects and how they’ve changed. Meh. Not really what I was hoping for in terms of informative featurettes.
Let’s Go Fly a Kite (2:02): The original songwriter leads the cast and crew on a musical number during the last day of filming.