Saving Mr. Banks: I wondered in the first 30 minutes how accurate this story of Pamela Travers consulting to the Disney production team – in the early 1960’s – might be for her consent to the licensing of her character, Mary Poppins. Sure, Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson lend a resounding credibility for the movie, but is their presence irrefutable credibility to the accuracy of the story? Is the entire movie a warm-up for the next Mary Poppins?
The story unfolded and it is nothing short of beautifully heartbreaking and encompassing. The permanence of Mrs Traver’s grief of her father’s death and the magical embodiment of the nurse who came to attend his final days, objectified into the mystical and fictional Mary Poppins, seemed plausible and marketable for Disney’s continuation of the Poppins franchise. But would they dare? They did. It was also fantastic.
Cut to one of the many scenes of a conversation with Travers and the Disney writers, noting a simple reel-to-reel audio recorder. I turned to Jaimi, “I want to know if they still have those tapes! What I would give to hear those conversations! She’s impossible!”
I must not have been alone. Watch the movie. Then stay through the credits. Wait for the original pictures. Then listen to the audio from one of the reel-to-reel.
It’s not often you are allowed to see through the veil of sales and marketing to find the very real life inspiration of fiction. This appears to be the real thing.