ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bank on Disney – A review of Saving Mr. Banks

Updated on December 26, 2013
Tom Hanks is Walt Disney and Emma Thompson is Mrs. P.L. Travers in the endearing drama Saving Mr. Banks that tells the story of the making of Disney's classic Mary Poppins
Tom Hanks is Walt Disney and Emma Thompson is Mrs. P.L. Travers in the endearing drama Saving Mr. Banks that tells the story of the making of Disney's classic Mary Poppins

Title: Saving Mr. Banks

Production Company: Disney

Run Time: 125 minutes

Rated: PG-13

Director: John Lee Hancock

Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Annie Rose Buckley, Paul Giamatti

5 stars for Saving Mr. Banks

Summary: P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) is the Ebenezer Scrooge of the film world as she fights with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) who yearns to bring Travers’ Mary Poppins character to life for the big screen.

This movie is ideally timed for the holiday season, given the stark parallels between this tale and A Christmas Carol, albeit without the Holiday tie-in.

P.L. Travers was an author who was born around the turn of the 19th century. In flashbacks throughout the movie, we see her in her younger years as she watches her vibrant father (Colin Farrell) drink himself to oblivion. The titular character, Mr. Banks, is based on him.

We are all a product of our upbringing and Travers grows up to write a series of marvelous children’s novels centering around her umbrella wielding nanny Mary Poppins, a character loosely based on her visiting Aunt Ellie.

As with many authors (Walt Disney included, we come to find out), Travers dotes on her own creation and cannot abide the thought that Walt might ‘Disney-fy’ her character. But she has reached a point close to destitution and agrees to travel stateside from her British home to meet with the man behind the mouse.

Almost immediately, she takes a dislike, not only to the writing team on her story, but with America as a whole, it seems. Having grown up in the stark wilderness of Australia and subsequently settling in England, she seems to find American culture barbaric by comparison.

She virtually browbeats the script writer Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford) into stupefied submission and disdains the Sherman Brothers musical team. And she stands up to the genial Walt every chance she gets and makes it very clear that, unless he capitulates to her every unreasonable demand, that he will lose the rights to make this charming musical a reality.

Listening to the music and the story come to life sheds new light on the creation of this timeless movie classic. This is this year’s Hugo, a magical look at the behind the scenes making of an iconic piece of cinematic history that officially turns 50 next year.

But the real charm of the tale is seeing Thompson playing a stoic character who must be wooed into allowing the team to bring Mary Poppins to life. This character and the situations she writes about are so much a part of her history that she struggles within herself to see the vision that Walt Disney wants to create.

Paul Giamatti plays Ralph, Travers America chauffeur who has a story all his own to share with Travers. It is a tale that manages to move this relentless woman, if only a bit. But it might be all she needs to relinquish part of what she holds on to so tightly throughout the story.

Annie Rose Buckley, who plays Travers in her childhood years, is perfectly cast as the girl who would grow up to become the jaded Mrs. Travers (as she prefers to be called). The love she has for her father is strongly evident as she tries desperately to hope that things will work out for her family despite increasingly declining odds.

Every part of this story is solid through and through and even though the main character is a decidedly unlikable old biddy, there are few if any who can withstand the Disney charm for long. And there isn’t a finer actor than Tom Hanks to bring Walter Elias Disney back to life for the cinema of today.

This tale isn’t for little children, though. There are strong thematic elements that really young children might find difficulty assimilating. Of course, if they haven’t seen Mary Poppins, yet, that would be a great place to start. This film is PG-13 for very definite reason.

There aren’t likely to be many characters more acerbic than P.L. Travers who can frustrate the likes of a genial man like Walt Disney. I give Saving Mr. Banks 4-1/2 out of 5 stars.

Have you ever seen the original Mary Poppins?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)