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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saving Mr. Banks and Mary Poppins

Yes, last Thursday was my first time to watch Mary Poppins. I am not antisocial, it is just it did not appeal to me until I saw Saving Mr. Banks. Though Mary Poppins is a regular film shown on the Disney Channel, it never occurred to me to sit through its very long run time considering that it is a kid's film. In this review, I will tell you why Saving Mr. Banks is a prerequisite before viewing Mary Poppins.

Saving Mr. Banks is a recent film about the production of Mary Poppins and the people involved in the film's development. It stars Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins book series and Tom Hanks as Mr. Walt Disney.

P.L. Travers is reluctant in giving the rights of Mary Poppins to Disney. This took Disney years and when Travers agreed to have her Mary Poppins filmed, she should be involved in all creative aspects of the film. Travers despised animation which means he despised the likes of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the rest of the animated characters by Disney. This created a tedious amount of work resulting to heavily managed creative differences between Travers and the writers.

As the film progress, we fully understand where the inspiration for Mary Poppins was drawn - Traver's personal life. We look back to the early years of Travers when she was in Australia living a not-so-comfortable life with her mother and her alcoholic father, Travers Goff. Incidentally, Mr. Goff works as a manager on a bank, thus an inspiration for Mr. Banks.

Mr. Banks is how P.L. Travers sees her father. Mary Poppins was the one that should make all the wrongs made by his father be right. There goes her resistance that Disney may not see her vision and make a travesty out of her beloved Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins, on the other hand, holds true to P.L. Travers' concept. Watching the Julie Andrews' classic made me connect to the children and to Mr. Banks. Saving Mr. Banks made me understand the film better and made me connect t the characters with deeper meaning. I made me see the heart of the film - that family comes first and none can be more rewarding than seeing the happiness of your loved ones.

Truly, Mary Poppins has withstand the test of time and one of the glittering gems of Walt Disney. Julie Andrews indeed delivered one of her best performances and no one can deny that.

Saving Mr. Banks, on the other hand, is definitely a film for all who loves Mary Poppins. The performances of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks is not to be missed but watch out for Colin Farell, he stole the show.


Saving Mr. Banks: A-
Mary Poppins:      A



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