Review: Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks
March 25, 2014 29 Comments
A couple of weeks ago I posted my top 10 tear-jerkers. Well, make that 11.
Sarabeth and I watched Saving Mr. Banks this last weekend. Actually we bought it without ever having seen it (such is the amount of faith I put in Disney movies). It was worth every penny.
However, I feel a qualifier must be made. There are two types of people who will not like this movie at all.
2) Anyone who doesn’t care about Disney stuff
This movie, though it’s a Walt Disney production, will likely bore kids to tears, and if you’re more of a Dreamworks/Fast and Furious kind of person then I’d steer clear of this movie.
It was so refreshing to finally see old Walt himself (not “Mr. Disney”, mind you) portrayed on screen (and by none other than the great Tom Hanks).
I read a few comments from people on the Internet back when this movie was being marketed and many people complained that if they were going to make a movie about Walt Disney, they need to make it about his whole life.
Years ago I read Neal Gabler’s titanic biography on Walt Disney and I told my wife before I ever knew about Saving Mr. Banks that if they were going to make a movie about Walt Disney it’d absolutely have to be about the chapter of his life with Mrs. P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins.
The battle for him to get the rights to make the film was almost epic, and it took him 20 years to seduce her to get her to sign over the rights.
Now, let me also make clear, I do not particularly enjoy the movie Mary Poppins. I think many of the sequences are too drawn out, and most of the scenes are just many long tangents from the bigger picture. I do own many of the songs, as they are exceptional. But as far as Julie Andrews musicals go, I far prefer The Sound of Music a hundred times over Mary Poppins.
But I enjoy the redemptive ending of Poppins. And Saving Mr. Banks is really a movie about how the writers came up with that ending.
Director John Lee Hancock (The Rookie, The Blindside) is known for being very factual in his movies, and only taking liberations when it will serve a bigger purpose. He does just that in Mr. Banks, and I look forward to what else he’s got up his sleeve for the future.
So, this weekend, after a hard week of work, watch Frozen (again) with the kids (you know you love it), then watch Saving Mr. Banks when the kids are in bed and have that box of tissues ready.