Movie Details

Saving Mr. Banks

A biographical drama film about the production of the popular 1964 Walt Disney Studios film "Mary Poppins", starring Tom Hanks as filmmaker Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as author P.L. Travers. The film centres on the life of Travers, shifting between 1907 with her childhood in Queensland, Australia, the negotiations with Walt Disney and the making of Mary Poppins in the 1960s. While in California for filming, Travers thinks back to her difficult childhood in Australia, most especially to her father, the inspiration for the role of the story`s patriarch, Mr. Banks.

Language: English
Subtitle: Chinese
Classification: PG
Release Date: 27 Feb 2014
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes
Distributor: WALT DISNEY PICTURES
Cast: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B. J. Novak, Ruth Wilson
Director: John Lee Hancock
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Dzamira Dzafri

Writer Ratings:
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Watch this if you liked: "Mary Poppins"

Disney films have captivated the hearts of millions, possibly billions. While Disney is well known for making great and memorable animations, live action films like "Mary Poppins" made in a more 'Disney' fashion were just as magical to watch, possibly with even more magic.

But as we have already known, Disney have had a lot of history taking already well loved stories into more family friendly feature films. "Sleeping Beauty" or even "Snow White" in their original fairytales weren't made to look that wholesome. They have even emphasised it with "Mary Poppins" by turning it into a musical and adding in animated penguins, much to the disgust of P.L. Travers, played by the wonderful Emma Thompson.

So it doesn't surprise the reviewer that this 'biography' about the author and Walt Disney negotiating the movie deal couldn't possibly be true to the original story, even though it did show dark themes in Travers' past memories.

Apparently, "Saving Mr. Banks" has left a lot out about the author herself. It might be a based on a true story, but the key word there was 'based'. Travers was a mother, who had some history with male and female relationships, though she was never married. In the film, she was made to look uptight and fruitless.

All inaccuracies aside, "Saving Mr. Banks" is great fun to watch, especially if you're all too familiar with the classic film. From the disagreements in character names and mustaches, to the songwriters building up the well-loved melodies for the film, nostalgia will bring you back.

To the others who have not much experience with "Mary Poppins", there might not be too much to love here for you, and not even if you want to watch it for Tom Hanks or Emma Thompson, or even Paul Giamatti and Colin Farrell. You might feel like the film dragged most of the time, especially if you wouldn't know any of the references. This film is mainly a tribute to the film's fans, or to biography junkies.

The sequences between the time when Travers was a little girl and when she handles the negotiations between her book and Disney, was very well intertwined. It was good to change scenes every now and then so audiences wouldn't get the same feel throughout the whole film.

And while this particular review talks a lot about this biography being 'Disney-fied', it was a perfect way to tell a story in this case. But the story was still regular enough for you to think that certain things might actually happen like Walt Disney getting P.L. Travers onto one of the Disneyland rides, but not too whimsical where Travers starts to fly around and shout out "Wishes DO come true!".

Watch the film if you really did enjoy "Mary Poppins" and are a true Disney fan, because you will be delighted, but skip it if you think it is a regular entertaining Disney film, because it still is a biography movie.

Cinema Online, 11 February 2014
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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