Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins”. He promised them he would. What he didn’t know was that it was going to take him 20 years to do so! For 20 years straight, he asked P.L. Travers for the rights to only be turned down. She had no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get taken over by the Hollywood machine. Saving Mr. Banks is really about the two weeks in 1961 that Walt Disney pulls out all the stops and has P.L. Travers visit. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers. As the movie plays out, we find out why she does not want to give up Mary Poppins to just anyone.
I seriously can’t explain to you how much I loved this movie. It has an all-start cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Collin Farrell. Emma had P.L. Travers down perfectly. (She had made them record her sessions, so the actors for this film actually got to study from those records. The recording plays while the credits are rolling, so you get to actually hear P.L. Travers.) The story is great (and true). We also got to step into the life of P.L. Travers and you get to see how life’s experiences really can change you. I have told everyone I have seen since seeing Saving Mr. Banks that you have to go and see this. It’s that good. (I will be taking my husband to the theater to see it!)
Disney has also released SAVING MR. BANKS: The Official Multi-touch Book. The book includes a foreword by Academy Award®-winning composer Richard Sherman; never-before-seen correspondence between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers; rare storyboards and scripts from the Disney archives; an interactive timeline of historic Walt Disney Studios milestones; original recordings of the Sherman Brothers, performing their “Mary Poppins” hit songs; facts and profiles on the key characters in “Saving Mr. Banks”—all created by Apple’s digital book creation app, iBooks Author.
The “Saving Mr. Banks” book is available for free, exclusively on iBooks at www.iTunes.com/SavingMrBanks
Here’s a few interesting tidbits about Saving Mr. Banks:
- “Saving Mr. Banks” is the first feature-length, theatrical drama to depict the iconic entrepreneur Walt Disney, with two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”) stepping into the major role.
- In order to achieve an authentic look for her portrayal of “Mary Poppins” author, P. L. Travers, Emma Thompson chose to have her own hair permed in tight curls for the film and did not don a wig. Tom Hanks also grew his own mustache to match Walt Disney’s.
- Actor Jason Schwartzman, at 32, is the same age as his character, songwriter Richard Sherman, was when this story takes place in 1961; and, actor B.J. Novak, at 34, is the same age as his character, sibling songwriter Robert Sherman, was.
- “Saving Mr. Banks” filmed entirely in the Los Angeles area, with key locations that included Disneyland in Anaheim, TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly called Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) in Hollywood (where the 1964 premiere of “Mary Poppins” took place), the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank (which opened in 1940 and where the 1964 movie filmed in its entirety) and the 10,000 acre Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley (which doubled for the film’s early 20th landscape).
- “Saving Mr. Banks” was only the third feature film to ever shoot scenes at Disneyland. The last feature to film at the park was Tom Hanks’ directorial debut, “That Thing You Do,” with only one other film before that to shoot inside the 58 year-old theme park—Norman Jewison’s 1962 directorial debut, “40 Pounds of Trouble.”
Inspired by true events, “Saving Mr. Banks” is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen—and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it.
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Visit the official site here: www.disney.com/savingmrbanks
Inspired by true events, “Saving Mr. Banks” is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen—and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it. SAVING MR. BANKS opens in theaters limited on December 13th and opens wide on December 20th! If you go and see, let me know what you think!