Just a Spoonful of Sugar

Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson play Walt Disney and
P.L. Travers in "Saving Mr. Banks." (Photo: Disney)
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I am so excited about the new Disney movie, “Saving Mr. Banks” which should arrive in theaters in time for Christmas and who knows, an Oscar nomination? Maybe that reaching a bit, still, it should be a good show.

In a nutshell, “Saving Mr. Banks” is about how Walt Disney secured the rights to book, Mary Poppins, and turn it into a movie. That may not sound all that appealing at first, but look at all you get for the price of a ticket:

Two Time Oscar® winner Tom Hanks will play Walt Disney
There is only one other time that the Disney family has allowed an actor to portray Walt in a movie. That honor went to Len Cariou who played the legend in the made-for-TV movie, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes: The Annette Funicello Story” (1995) which was based on her biography of the same name. Since Disney played such a large role in Funicello’s life, it was very important that he appear in the movie. It’s hard to imagine any actor playing Disney, but if anyone could do it, Hanks can.

Two Time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson will play P.L. Travers
P. L. Travers wrote “Mary Poppins” but  rumor has it that she was nothing like the flying nanny herself. Walt desperately wanted to make a movie based on her books, but she wanted no part of it. From the trailer, Thompson looks like a perfect foil for Hanks.

It’s about Mary Poppins
How great it will be to see how one of Hollywood’s greatest pictures of all time came to be.

It Features Disneyland
Disneyland is the original and probably the greatest of all Disney theme parks. Books abound of pictures of the place, but the park itself has only been seen in three movies to date. The first, “40 Pounds of Trouble” (1962) starred Tony Curtis and Suzanne Pleshette. Together, they take a little girl to visit Disneyland. The park was featured for about 20 minutes of screen time. The next movie to film there came 34 years later with “That Thing You Do,” (1996) ironically also starring Tom Hanks. Here, it only played a cameo. The most recent, “Escape from Tomorrow” was filmed without the Disney’s company’s knowledge or permission. Film entirely incognito with a digital SLR camera, “Escape” made its premiere at this year’s Sundance Festival and hasn’t been seen since. For “Banks,” Disney was filmed last year with a 1960’s makeover, so we’ll get an idea on how it used to look.

That Red Robin waitress is in it

Melanie Paxson, who is in just about every other commercial on TV these days (Red Robin, Fiber One, Yoplait), will be playing Walt’s secretary Dolly. This gal has so much spunk; she is a lot of fun to watch. The movie also features some other, bigger names as well including: Ruth Wilson, Colin Farrell, Rachel Griffiths, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, and Kathy Baker.

It’s got great marketing the movie poster tells it all as it features Disney with a shadow of the playful Mickey Mouse and Travers with a shadow of the no nonsense Mary Poppins. From watching the trailer, the movie appears to be drama with comedy throughout. Apparently, Ms. Travers had a few “issues” that needed to be dealt with first. It is reported that Travers was not a fan of the final movie, so it will be interesting to see how this is handled in this story. At any rate, it looks charming and a lot of fun. (See it below!)

Why the movie is called, “Saving Mr. Banks?” Because it is said that Travers said that Mary Poppins didn’t come to the Banks family for the children, but for their father and through that visit, he was “saved.”

“Saving Mr. Banks” will release in select theaters on December 13 and nation-wide on December 20.


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