Friday, 21 March 2014

Blu-ray Review - Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks
Director: John Lee Hancock
Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Retail: $36.99
ASIN: B00HT944D4
Running Time: 125 minutes
Rating: PG-13


Arriving on Blu-ray this past week is the critically acclaimed Disney film Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. Special features includes The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins To The Present, "Let's Go Fly A Kite" and deleted scenes. The film is also available on DVD and Digital HD.

The 1964 musical, Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Almost everyone knows the tale of the nanny Mary Poppins flying down on her umbrella to babysit the Banks children. The film, along with P.L. Travers book series of the same name, has been entertaining kids for generations, but some people may not know the struggles that went into making the film.

Saving Mr. Banks is based on true events involving the creation of Mary Poppins and the tension between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers. Walt had made a promise to his daughter to make a film version of Mary Poppins, but it took twenty-years to acquire the rights.

P.L. Travers has never been impressed with anything Disney has ever created and is very skeptically on Disney's version of Mary Poppins; therefore, she travels from England to Los Angeles, where she collaborates with the Mary Poppins creative team at the Walt Disney Studio.

Throughout the film there are many flashbacks depicting P.L. Travers childhood in Allora, Queensland, which is suppose to have been the inspiration of Mary Poppins.

Some of the historical aspects have been fictionalized or changed for the film. In reality, Disney had already acquired the film rights before Travers arrived at the studio, but in the film she doesn't okay the film rights until much later. The film shows Travers liking the final version of the film, when it fact she didn't like the film and wouldn't allow any of her other books to be adapted, except for the stage musical of Mary Poppins.

Saving Mr. Banks is an interesting film about the feud between Disney and Travers, and what struggles the producers went through to get the film finally made. Emma Thompson (who ironically played Nanny McPhee - a similar Mary Poppins character) gives a great performance as P.L. Travers, while Tom Hanks steps into Walt Disney's shoes quite nicely. Overall, I enjoyed watching Saving Mr. Banks, though it was a bit slow in a few scenes.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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