Saving Mr.Banks, movie review

I have been a fan of Disney and Walt Disney from the time I can recollect being able to recognize people, objects and colours as a child growing up……..

Ananth Mickey Mouse Disney Saving Mr Banks movie review
Mickey Mouse & Me as on Feb 9, 2014

In fact, Mickey Mouse is standing right by my workstation looking at me as I am typing this review of “Saving Mr.Banks” wherein the movie characters include Walt Disney himself, played by the immensely talented “Tom Hanks”.

Saving Mr Banks Movie Review
Saving Mr. Banks Movie review feb 9 2014

Having said that, let me assure you that this review of mine of “Saving Mr.Banks” has not been prejudiced in any way.

“Saving Mr. Banks” is not just another Disney movie, but it’s about the extraordinary journey and the untold story of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the big screen.

It’s brilliant, lovable and simply magical.
Saving Mr Banks Walt Disney P L Travers Mary Poppins Disney movie
Saving Mr Banks
  • Movie: Saving Mr.Banks
  • My Review: 5 STARS
  • Directed by John Lee Hancock
  • Main Cast:Two time Academy Award Winners – Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell , Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Jason Schwartzman, Richard Sherman


“Saving Mr. Banks” by Disney, is a movie about “Mary Poppins” or more precisely the journey in the ‘making of Mary Poppins’ from being a beloved children’s book to a Disney musical magic extravaganza.

Mary Poppins J L Travers Walt Disney Movie
Disney Mary poppins
J L Travers Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins the Book

Tom Hanks plays the role of the dreamer and visionary Walt Disney himself and the charming and talented Emma Thompson plays the role of P. L. Travers, the author of “Mary Poppins“.

The story is about Walt Disney’s journey to meet P.L. Travers, to get her sign the agreement to make ‘Mary Poppins” a Disney movie and about what really happens when he finally meets her after pursuing her for the same, year after year for two decades.

The journey shares an intense flashback of P.L Travers, that is mixed with emotions of love towards her father played by Colin Farrell (this is by far the best performance of Collin Farrell according to me), which the author, P.L.Travers takes through the movie as a sweet little girl named Helen Goff (played by Annie Rose Buckley in a simply spectacular fashion).

P.L.Travers nicknamed Ginty as she is referred to in the movie by her idol, her father, shares her experiences  through flashback as a kid growing up in a tough environment and under financial worries.

There are moments such as the beginning scene wherein Ginty is lying on grass and her father playfully talks to her and makes her laugh.

Saving Mr Banks Ginty P L Travers A
Saving Mr Banks

Then there are scenes with touch your heart and fill them with emotions of love, caring and make you experience a tremendous bond between a father and his daughter, like the one wherein she goes on a horse back ride with him. There are cinematic movements wherein you see her riding with her father on the horse but facing her father which catapults the scene’s intensity profoundly.

Saving Mr Banks Ginty P L Travers A

It’s without a doubt a typical Disney movie, in the sense that, it’s ingredients have something for everyone and at the same time it delivers a powerful message, a real story with a dash of sugar and a pinch of salt, but still make it desirable and magical in every scene.

Of course the brilliance of iconic performers like Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, the very different roles played by Paul Giamatti & Colin Farrell and the wonderful little Annie Rose Buckley definitely have a massive role in making this a superb movie. Needless to say the moving and so effortlessly played roles by Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak & Jason Schwartzman too add a magical touch and feel of being at “Disney” through the movie.

To the true fans of Disney and Mickey Mouse (like myself) there are scenes every now and then when the beloved character of Mickey Mouse keeps making its appearance as a soft toy, memorabilia or the character at Disneyland making tremendous impact especially in the scenes where the author is shown sitting alone facing the massive soft toy of Mickey Mouse and then yet again when she is shown cuddling up with it all alone in her bed when she feels lonely, confused and despondent.

Saving Mr Banks Mickey Mouse Movie review Ananth
Mickey Mouse

Throughout the movie, the unvarying author with a dingy and cheerless personality insists on being called P.L Travers or Mrs Travers and is shown to be a person who is unhappy and unpleasant as an individual right from the first sentence she says irrespective of whom she is talking to. These traits of hers are glorified in the scenes of the airplane, limo, disneyland and while at work in her own home.

paul giamatti saving mr banks

There are special moments when we as audiences are shown scenes from ‘work in progress’ parts of Mary Poppins and during these scenes the author’s indignant character keeps popping up to life and is eventually shown being mellowed down with the magical notes from the very lovable “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” song from the original movie of Mary Poppins which too is shown to be a work in progress.

There are memorable “OSCAR-like” moments in the movie wherein you see the struggle, the love, the anomalous adult behaviour of the author P.L Travers towards the character of Mary Poppins and the same is shared by Walt Disney for his indescribable passion and love for Mickey Mouse, the park and so on and how Walt eventually sees it from her eyes and tries to do everything to make the movie agreement work.

The movie journeys with the grim tales of Ginty and her dad’s love for her with dark and yet with a glimmer of delicate family love portrayed with great sagacity.

Owing to her childhood miseries and issues, the author is shown to be a crusty and uncompromising writer who trusts no one and likes nothing offered to her, be it money, offer, concept, ideas, songs, lyrics, screenplay or even food. There are funny moments where she “shouts” to Walt Disney’s secretary and asks her to stop bringing cakes and pastries, when she says “NO,no,no” to every single idea proposed even before she thinks about it and scenes where others are shown to be surprised and utterly happy when they hear anything positive at all from her.


There are lovable sides and human emotions of hers shown beautifully in scenes where she talks to her limo driver, while drawing the very beautiful river / lake in the middle of an open area in the grass, where both of them sit down and create a small house / farm house using sticks, pebbles, coffee mug etc.

Now whether the movie has been a little too harsh on the author to show her being depicted so insufferable or depicting the people at Disney being so flexible throughout the movie is an altogether different debate. But being a hardcore fan of Disney and the iconic Walt Disney all my life and being someone who would someday love to work with them in any way or manner possible, let’s just say, for now I go with the flow of the movie and the way in which they have depicted the characters to be true.

The movie is a “Wholesome family treat”. I loved it!

Note to those who have read this even though they have not yet watched the movie: Make sure to stay in the theater till the end of the Credits, as there is a wonderful surprise if you watch and “LISTEN” closely at the conversations at the end…… while the credits roll……..Don’t miss it!

If you love a movie that has every bit of family entertainment as a nutritious and wholesome treat… you might want to see “Saving Mr.Banks”. and did I mention…. they take you for a small tour of the then ‘Disneyland’!


My Favourite scenes from the movie:

  • When Walt Disney stands inside Disneyland ready to welcome P L Travers.
  • When the author hugs and cuddles Mickey Mouse and lays in her bed.
  • When the author is shown reacting positively to the musical notes of “Let’s fly a kite”
  • Others: The airplane scene of P L Travers, the early introductory scene when the author is welcomed by the employees at Disney, Disneyland wager scene & the storyboard depicting ‘no,no,no’


My Favourite quotes from the movie:


Walt Disney: Oh Walt you got to call me Walt!

Walt Disney: Well when does anyone get to go to Disneyland with Walt Disney himself?

Walt Disney: You know you haven’t been to Disneyland and it’s the happiest place on earth.

P.L. Travers: If you so much as step into the room with that thing, I’ll scream!

P.L. Travers: No, no, no, no, no! “Responstible” is not a word!

Travers Goff: A man must shave for to spare his daughter’s cheeks! Swish!

Walt Disney: I’ve fought this battle from her side. Pat Powers, he wanted the mouse and I didn’t have a bean back then. He was this big terrifying New York producer and I was just a kid from Missouri with a sketch of Mickey, but it would’ve killed me to give him up. Honest to God, killed me. That mouse, he’s family.
At the end of the day…..let’s not forget, it was all started by a Mouse! Dreams can come true…………

Have a wonderful weekend ahead.

Have you seen the movie? Did you enjoy it? Do feel free to share your comments, views with me here.

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Be Well

Ananth V

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