Review: Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks

saving-mr-banks-570A 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.

1) Kids

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.

About Andrew Toy
Writer when I'm not being a husband or dad. So mostly just a husband and dad.

29 Responses to Review: Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks

  1. vjstracener says:

    Thanks for that review. Ive been considering watching it.

  2. M. Zane McClellan says:

    Agreed! A great movie about two great storytellers putting their differences aside. Loved the egos on those two. I also loved that they both wanted to be true to their version of the story, and how they learned to compromise and still feel like they both had won. Great post, adoptingjames!

  3. This was perhaps the best movie I have seen in a decade!

  4. kriselayne says:

    I had to beg my fiance to go see this movie, and he ended up loving it, too. Funny that you mentioned Frozen as well, because I actually had him choose between us seeing that or Saving Mr. Banks. I loved that for all her irrational behavior and attitudes, there was an explanation, something in her past that explained it. I felt like they did a wonderful job of describing her as a whole person, where many movies neglect to do that with even their main characters.

  5. omtatjuan says:

    I’m sorry that was a boring movie… I happened to see it only after walking out of Her… But to each his own…

  6. pishnguyen says:

    This one is in my Netflix list! I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  7. oldageisnotforsissies54 says:

    I enjoyed the movie so much that I am currently reading the biography about P. L. Travers called “Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers”. She was truly a very complex lady, and I had no idea what was behind her writing of “Mary Poppins”. A wonderful story. I didn’t feel that the story was about Disney himself. I felt it was her story. They did a good job of helping me understand her.

  8. Alison J. McKenzie says:

    I wasn’t even aware of this movie. So glad you posted this review. This is definitely going on my “to-watch” list.

  9. lry93 says:

    This film is fantastic! 🙂

  10. librarylady says:

    I liked the movie too, all the background on MP was news to me. Someone told me that when Travers finally watched the film and was shown crying, that the tears were actually because she hated the movie and what they’d done with her story. Any ideas on that?

  11. You know I never got around to seeing the movie and I’d wanted to. Thank you for reminding me. I’m going to enjoy watching it this weekend.

  12. God is Good says:

    I saw this over Christmas, thankfully at home on a dvd copy that belonged to an editor and was given a copy to preview. I say thankfully at home because I cried … it was a beautiful movie … and it portrayed some of our history and the harshness of it well too (I’m Australian but from down south in Melbourne … the movie is set in Queensland up north).
    Anyway, beautiful movie, about two remarkable, people who both walked with a “limp”.
    Thank you also for stopping by.
    All the best with baby!!!
    It’s a ride and a half but worth it!
    Many blessings,
    God is Good!

  13. My thirteen-year-old daughter (who is a movie fanatic) and I saw this at the theater and absolutely LOVED it! Such a great movie. One of the things I enjoyed most is that she and I laughed at the same parts–we share humor though not genetics, so it was a sweet gift. Also, I had no idea this whole “battle of the wills” took place…for 20 years no less. Anyway, it’s a great movie! SEE it!

  14. Pingback: So You Wanna Write Part 3: Why Write? | adoptingjames

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