Last night, Mr Kitty & I were lucky enough to be invited to an advanced screening of Disney’s Saving Mr Banks, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson.
As a lifelong Disney lover with a Tom Hanks crush and etiquette envy for Emma Thompson, this sounded like my absolute ideal night out.
Throw in some BJ Novak, Paul Giamatti with a disabled daughter & Jason Schwartzmann and you’ve got a party!
Oh, Colin Farrel is in it too – he’s alright.
The ‘Motion Picture’ tells the story of how Walt convinced a P.L Travers to give him the rights to film Mary Poppins, and her struggle to have the books properly represented on screen.
In all the film was warming, gently heartbreaking (in that “hits you right in the father-daughter” way) and just camp enough to avoid being cringeworthy but still lend a generous wink to the original Mary Poppins.
Tom Hanks, my handsome everyman, does a fabulous turn (as usual), as does Emma Thompson, who unarguably steals the show as grouchy, prim “Ms. Travers.”
I found it to be injected with just the right amount of magic for a Disney picture, and then a little more when Hanks was on screen. I honestly don’t think they could have better cast the man behind the magic.
What I perhaps enjoyed most, though, was the internal struggle – of the audience, Ms Travers and Walt.
Even though we all knew Ms Travers signs the film over (because the film exists), we worried she might not.
Even though we knew Dick Van Dyke took the role of Bert, we worried he might not.
Even though we all knew that Mr Banks was saved…. Ms Travers could not envision it.
In fact, all the “might nots” add up to a feeling of immense gratitude for the Mary Poppins we did get.
Plus you got a little glimpse of Walt Disney Studios, which was a fabulous throwback to the Backlot tour for me, and (I hope) a taster of holidays to come for Mr Kitty. The people in the studios were true Disney people, happy, welcoming.
My Mum worked at Walt Disney Studios (production company) for a while when I was young, and she was definitely a Disney person when she came home.
Plus there were tons of hidden “tid-bits” in the picture, which I won’t spoil for you!
One more point worth mentioning, although this is a Disney film, I doubt it would be suitable for really young Children. There are silly moments, but I’d say age 10+ would be most appropriate to avoid wriggling and squiggling.
Obviously, you know your kids better than I do, though.
Saving Mr Banks is released in the UK on November 29th & in USA on December 20th.