Saving Mr. Banks

By: Monica Duggan

Students Mike O'Neal and Peter Creed experience the emotional ups and downs of the movie
Students Mike O. and Peter C. experience the emotional ups and downs of the movie

Walt Disney Productions newest stand out motion picture stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. The film, Saving Mr. Banks, is a captivating dramatic comedy that captures the story of how P.L Travers’s novel Mary Poppins was developed into a Disney film.

Emma Thompson’s portrayal of the micromanaging P.L Travers was on point, supplying consistent comedic relief throughout the film. Partnered with her comedic behavior is an air of mystery that leaves the viewer questioning some of her motives and the story behind her cold exterior. Her demanding banter with Walt Disney, played by Tom Hanks, gave the audience a vivid idea of how much Mary Poppins meant to Travers. Hanks performance as Disney left nothing more to be desired. His acting was magical to say the least. Everyone expects Walt Disney to be magical, and fatherly, a stereotype that Hanks portrayed flawlessly. Hanks made the fading memory of the charitable Walt Disney warm our hearts with the perfect execution of his passion for entertainment and how determined he was to create magic.

The movie had an unexpected aspect to the typical light hearted Disney humor. Throughout the movie, a second storyline played out. Except this storyline, at first, had nothing to do with the twenty year process of turning Mary Poppins into a big screen motion picture. The second storyline wasn’t set in sunny Los Angeles or England where Travers lived as an adult. It took place in rural Australia, there was no talk of business, only an eerie story of a young girl and her devoted love for her father. The storyline played out with no explanation, just clues, which had the audience crying one minute and laughing the next.

 The heartfelt sincerity of the melancholy second plot was balanced by Thompson’s hilarious portrayal of Travers’s particular obsession with getting her movie just right. Her demands were outrageous, including that the color red may not be used in the film. As ridiculous as her requests may have been Disney did his best to follow  through with nearly all of them. It became obvious that Mr. Disney was in love with the book because after twenty straight years of begging he was still just as adamant about getting the rights to the story of Mary Poppins.

Walt Disney Film Productions did a fantastic job with the casting, but what made the moments real was the fantastic score behind it. Classic Disney songs were slowed down and played by full orchestras. The songs lost their lyrics but not their meaning. As each song played it rang familiar and pulled nostalgic memories from each of the viewers. Chim Chimney, the iconic song from the original Mary Poppins, was played dramatically at the end of the film. None of the actors spoke, and no lyrics were sung but still looking around everyone had a tear in their eye.

Saving Mr. Banks warmed audience’s hearts as the true motives behind Travers obsession to detail  became apparent. The movie nears an end with a plot twist that one would not expect to witness in a Disney film. The movie as a whole is an emotional roller coaster. It’ll break your heart and stitch it back up with laughter. This movie is a must see, and from teens to senior citizens, it will give you a great lasting impression.

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