Everyone has heard of Walt Disney. How can you not when Disneyland and Disney World are the most popular family vacation spots around. Add in his historic cartoons and animated features and you have a Hollywood legend. But how many people know what the man himself was like?
A new movie that involves Disney may give us a vague idea. “Saving Mr. Banks” is the story of bringing the popular 1960s film “Mary Poppins” to the big screen. It is not meant to be controversial or any sort of biography. In fact, it’s the kind of movie that would be perfect for a first date.
Disney isn’t even the main character. That belongs to Pamela Travers who is niftily portrayed by Emma Thompson. Travers wrote the book series “Mary Poppins” and Disney has to secure the rights from her in order to bring it to the big screen. It’s a personal mission for him since his daughters loved the books and begged him to do it. He didn’t realize it would take 20 years.
It turns out that Travers is a curmudgeon. She is not a likable person. She is totally protective and inflexible when it comes to her most famous character. The only reason that she is open to the idea of the movie is her dire financial situation (which Disney is unaware of). She agrees to come out to Hollywood for two weeks to see what he has to offer.
The film includes flashbacks to Travers’ youth in Australia and provides a backdrop to what inspired her to write “Mary Poppins” in the first place and why she is so protective of the characters in her novels. They are based on real people and Travers wants them to be portrayed as she remembers them. She is determined to have her way or she won’t sign away the movie rights.