Disney Home Video
After watching Saving Mr. Banks, I’m a bit surprised it received only a single Oscar nomination (Best Score, by Lionel Newman). No, it wasn’t the best picture of the year, but considering the Academy can select up to ten films, but only chose nine this year, it was certainly worthy of that tenth spot. Maybe it isn’t as gritty, quirky or intense as the other somber selections, but it’s beautifully shot, well-written and features terrific performances (Emma Thompson, in particular).
Maybe it was because of how the story itself is told, which chronicles the quasi-antagonistic relationship between Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and author P.L. Travers (Thompson) during his attempts to convince her to sign-over the film rights to her novel, Mary Poppins. I’ve read some criticisms that Saving Mr. Banks is too whimsical, too Disneyfied and perhaps an overly-romanticized account of what really occurred. It has been well-documented that Travers never cared for Disney’s iconic version adaptation of her novel, but you wouldn’t know it from this film.
|"Double-Tap! Zombie stays down!"|
|Walt's forced to stand in|
line at his own theme park.
Saving Mr. Banks makes no claims of total historical accuracy. It remembers it’s supposed to be entertainment first, history lesson last. As such, Travers & Disney (and every other supporting character, for that matter) are wonderfully-realized creations who touch us on a personal level, no matter how far-removed from their world we might be. Their story is poignant and charming, with a bittersweet, nostalgic tone underlying everything. Unless you’re a complete cynic (like the Academy apparently is), this is a hard movie to dislike.
The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to the Present (a sentimental look back at the studio during the last few years of Walt Disney’s life)
“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” (cast & crew members sing the famous song in honor of its composer, Richard Sherman, who plays along with them)
(OUT OF 5)