Yes, the movie us Disney fans have been wanting for years has finally arrived. For those still unfamiliar…why are you on Laughingplace.com?! I kid, but this “Based on a true story” film depicts the process in which P.L. Travers gave up the rights to Mary Poppins for Walt Disney, allowing him to create the classic film we know and love.
If you are a big fact checker, you may be a tad annoyed. The scene where Walt and Pamela…excuse me, Ms. Travers, travel to Disneyland will have a bunch out-of-place details (Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in the Opera House, the new turnstiles not belonging whatsoever in 1960’s Disneyland, etc.). For the normal viewer, this is probably not an annoyance, but I can understand how most Disney fans might be irked.
Most people don’t realize going in, however, is how this movie isn’t really a Walt film, this is a love letter to P. L. Travers. The entire film is not only from her point of view, but it also frequently flashbacks to her childhood in Australia. At first, I became annoyed at the abundance of them. They seemed to never end, yet there is one flashback that is melted in with the Sherman brothers singing “Fidelity Fiduciary Bank” that made me completely enthralled with the storytelling component. From then on, seeing the connections between Mary Poppins and her childhood is very interesting.
My two favorite parts of the film, however, haven’t been mentioned all the much in other reviews, so I wanted to be sure and discuss them here. First off is the relationship between Ralph, Ms. Travers’ limo driver, and Ms. Travers herself. As the film progresses, you start to see Travers warm up to Ralph and understand where his pep is coming from. They had great chemistry and it really solidified Travers’ changing emotions throughout the story.
Second is the amazing score by Thomas Newman. I am one to really care about the score in a film, so I can firmly say it was my favorite one of 2013. While Gravity and Oblivion (random, I know) both had great ones, Saving Mr. Banks added depth and emotion to the film that could only be done through such a wonderful score.
Overall, the film is a must see for Disney fans, Oscar buzz film watchers and anyone who loves a feel-good story (even if it isn’t 100% true). Emma Thompson deserves an Oscar for her fantastic work in the film and Tom Hanks deserves a nod. I give it 4.5 made-up words (“RESPONSTIBLE IS NOT A WORD!”) out of 5. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.