‘Saving Mr Banks’ tells the story of P.L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson), author of the novel ‘Mary Poppins’. Legendary filmmaker Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) pulls out all the stops to get Travers to sign over the rights to adapt the story for a feature film. With the royalties from sales of the book dwindling to point that she won’t be able to keep her house, Travers reluctantly agrees to spend two weeks at Disney’s studios in California discussing ideas and plans for the adaptation.
The character of P.L Travers at first glance is a difficult pill to take. Travers is a very demanding individual, asking for every meeting to be recorded on tape and at one point for the colour red to be completely removed from the film. Stubborn, distant and very little patience for tomfoolery, Disney has met his match especially considering the talks of making the adaptation started 20 years prior.
The story at key points goes right back into Travers’ childhood, showing how her past has formed her personality and the powerful bond to her literary creation. Slowly over time, you begin to understand why Travers acts the way she does and wonder what lengths Disney and his employees will go to get her on their side.
I quite liked the subtle references to all things Disney with the classic musical themes hidden in the score to the many sightings of well-loved animated characters throughout the film. The 1960s style made famous by recent shows such as Mad Men, is prominent here, showcased in it’s music and costuming, even showing off the Disneyland theme park just like how it was during that era.
Featuring a stellar cast including Colin Farrell, Bradley Whitford and Paul Giamatti, this film is sure to inspire the fun-loving child in all of us.