That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.
Are you one of the millions of people who haven’t seen Saving Mr. Banks? Saving Mr. Banks opened to only fair business at the box office, which may be because Mr. Banks played last holiday season and opened against bigger and more popular films like Frozen, The Hobbit, and The Hunger Games.
Saving Mr. Banks is based on the true story of how Walt Disney for twenty years courted the British author P.L. Travers in his attempt to acquire the film rights to her book, Mary Poppins. The cast is superb: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Paul Gimatti and Colin Farrell. Watching this movie made for a most enjoyable experience; and there is something unique in this story that, on a personal note, really grabbed me. Ms. Travers had a dominant personality, making her extremely difficult to communicate and work with. Where most men of Walt Disney’s stature wouldn’t have put up with her idiosyncrasies, Walt Disney gave a wonderful example of tolerance in his attempt to understand Ms. Travers.
I felt encouraged by this remarkable story: Saving Mr. Banks reminded me that people are who they are because of their life experiences. I appreciated the much-needed reminder that maybe I shouldn’t be too quick to distance myself from someone who doesn’t think or act the way I expect them to—maybe instead I should try to be understanding. While simplistic, the results could be life-changing—kind of like Walt Disney’s patience with Ms. Travers paid off as children will forever enjoy the classic Disney movie, Mary Poppins!
So, yes, Saving Mr. Banks is well worth the watch . . . enjoy!
A bit of movie trivia: Mary Poppins was released in 1964 (the same year the much anticipated Broadway musical My Fair Lady was released in theatres). Rex Harrison, the male star of My Fair Lady, desperately wanted Julie Andrews cast in the coveted role of Eliza Doolittle, as Ms. Andrews had already played Eliza Doolittle on Broadway and had received rave reviews. However, Warner Brothers, who released My Fair Lady, wanted a bankable name to play Eliza Doodle. So, they gave the Eliza role to Audrey Hepburn—whose name alone could bring star power to the film, and she was classic in her role! It looked as if that decision cost Julie Andrews her big opportunity at making movies in Hollywood. But, with her schedule now open, guess who came knocking—Walt Disney with Mary Poppins! Mary Poppins won the Academy Award as Best Picture of 1964, and Julie Andrews won the Academy Award for Best Actress in Mary Poppins. Between 1964 and 1967, Ms. Andrews was the most successful film star in the world!