Posted in Books, Movies, Uncategorized

Saving Mr. Banks

1banks7If I ever knew the story of how Disney acquired the rights to Mary Poppins, clearly I’d forgotten.

Walt Disney wanted to make the beloved children’s books Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (Helen Goff, no spoilers, look it up or watch) into a movie.
1banks3Travers didn’t approve of Disney and only succumbed when desperate.

Here’s the rub, as charming as it is, the entire premise of the movie is quite fictionalized.
P.L. Travers had already sold the rights to Disney before her trip to LA; there were no breakthrough moments; Travers and Disney never agreed on the film, and Walt Disney didn’t hang around to coddle Mrs. Travers, he left her with his minions.

Does this lack of historical accuracy take away from the film? Perhaps. Why not show that like many other authors, Travers, was displeased with the film adaptation of her work?

Although, it’s a film adaptation of a film being adapted; adaptation means change.1banks12

Purists who believe books or history shouldn’t be tweaked when progressing into film would probably be happier sticking with books or history, although those can be tampered with as well. They should never watch films adapted from books by Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, for example.

Travers is given to us by the ever-enchanting Emma Thompson and I-don’t-always-know-why-but-he’s-awesome Tom Hanks as Disney. Also impressive work by Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell, Rachel Griffiths, Bradley Whitford, and Annie Rose Buckley.


Most intriguin1banks8g part of this film? The underlying theme of fundamental acceptance, the need to accept, let go of your fears, worries, woes, bad memories, carpet baggage as it were and enjoy the moment.

It reminded me of The Resilience Breakthrough: 27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action by Christian Moore with Brad Anderson and Kristen McQuivey (Greenleaf Book Group Press). While some self-help type books can be long-winded and boring, this was very readable, with an easy flow and excellent points. I borrowed this ecopy from Netgalley  For bloggers this is a great place to get ARCs and ebooks to review, free.

Walt Disney was resilient. He knew fighting reality was not only exhausting, but you can’t win, the odds are never in your favour. He accepted reality and adversity, then changed his expectations to change his reality. Like or dislike him, Disney was intriguing and his changing of reality has left an indelible glass slipper shoe print on the world.

Mrs. Travers didn’t accept things. Her awareness was always tainted by her childhood memories, instead of accepting them as a part of her.

1banks14I like the movie and the book versions of Mary Poppins. Quite different, but sometimes, that’s for the best.1banks5

In the end this movie is a sweet story about how life can always, always, always surprise you. Always.

Don’t worry about the inconsistencies, after all, isn’t all of life based on a true story?



Very me

23 thoughts on “Saving Mr. Banks

  1. Mindfully done D. These days i don’t watch many movies, but i’ll keep an eye out for this one. Especially since “I-don’t-always-know-why-but-he’s-awesome Tom Hanks” too! 🙂
    And if i could make enough to quit my job… Disney can tweak my novel all they want. HBO can change all the characters’ sexual orientation and fill it up with ‘nekkid’ people!
    Hugs to you!


  2. Saving Mr. Banks is on my list of movies that I enjoyed much more because I did not know of the historical inaccuracies before I saw the film. I think we expect a certain amount of historical license, however some of the movies I have seen are permanently tainted by the knowing of the whole truth (ex. The Butler). It could be argued, however, that we don’t go to the movies to see a documentary, but rather because we want to see a good story. 🙂


  3. Well even though it’s based on a true story every author has their own interpretation of things….come on we’re not robots….oh and I’ve heard the most interesting things about how far our capacity to “fight reality” can go (teacher obsessed with quantum physics who goes on tangents despite the fact he should be teaching us herbal medicine)… me changing the world=fighting reality and I don’t care about the people who want to tear others down for even trying to do that, because I place absolutely no value on other people’s opinions unless I find them useful to me.


  4. Thanks for the reality check on this movie. I didn’t know it deviated significantly from reality but quite frankly, I should have known better.
    I had a great deal of difficulty liking the movie because Travers was depicted as such a disagreeable – and unlikeable – person. It was hard to sit through. Those kind of people make me crazy and I give them a wide berth whenever possible, so I questioned the wisdom of watching an entire movie about one behaving badly.

    The acting was so well done and … well, Tom Hanks. What’s not to like about Tom Hanks? I agree that the supporting cast were all excellent.


    1. It’s always difficult to be around negative people, even if they have things that make them that way…we all have choices to make.
      The acting was excellent… 🙂


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