Saving Mr. Banks (2014)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 6 mins

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When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney's desire to bring her beloved character to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario's concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past. During her stay in California, Travers reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only moulded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book. None more so than the one person whom she loved and admired more than any other, her caring father, Travers. Goff, a tormented banker who, before his untimely death that same year, instills the youngster with both affection and enlightenment (and would be the muse for the story's patriarch, Mr. Banks, the sole character that the famous nanny comes to aide). While reluctant to grant Disney the film rights, Travers comes to realize that the acclaimed Hollywood storyteller has his own motives for wanting to make the film - which, like the author, hints at the relationship he shared with his own father in the early 20th Century Midwest.

Cast: Annie Rose Buckley, Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks

Crew: John Lee Hancock (Director), John Schwartzman (Director of Photography), Thomas Newman (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, History, Musical

Release Dates: 07 Feb 2014 (India)

Tagline: Where her book ended, their story began.

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Music Rating
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Did you know? Emma Thompson wrote and appeared in the Nanny McPhee films, which were also about a magical nanny. Read More
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as P L Travers
as Walt Disney
as Mr Belhatchett
as Robert Sherman
as Doorman
as Don DaGradi
as Nanny Claire
as Travers Goff
as Bartender
as Lillian Disney
as Flight Attendant
as Richard Sherman
as Premier Emcee
as Tommie
as Allura Business Man
as Katie Nanna
as Dick Van Dyke
as Woman with Infant
as Biddy
as Waiter
as Dolly
as Young Woman
as Porter
as Polly
as Ralph
as Refreshment Tent Man
as Aunt Ellie
as Academy Awards Attendee
as Diarmuid Russell
as Margaret Goff
as Bank Clerk
as Julie Andrews


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Associate Production Company
Line Producer
Production Supervisor
Unit Production Manager


Screenplay Writer
Script Supervisor

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Recording Studio
Sound Re-recording Mixer
Sound Effects Editor


Art Director
Production Designer
Set Decorator
Assistant Art Director


Casting Director
Voice Casting

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Assistant Editor

Makeup and Hair

Hair Stylist

Post Production

Special Effects

Special Effects Technician


Stunt Coordinator
Stunt Driver

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Studio
Film Type:
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Datasat Digital Sound, Dolby Digital
Panaflex Platinum, Panavision Panaflex
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
Archival Source:
Where her book ended, their story began.
When P L Travers is leaving LA, across the street is a bus with an RTD (Southern California Rapid Transit District) sign. In 1961 it was still the MTA (Metropolitan Transit district).

The bike at the end of the movie in London leaning against the fence has modern reflectors on its pedals.

The film shows the license plate of the limo as three digits followed by three letters. In California, license plates at the time were three letters followed by three digits; three digits followed by three letters were not used until 1969.

The Eastern Airlines Logo shown at LAX was not introduced until 1965.

On her ride from the airport to the hotel, Mrs. Travers' limo passes several light posts of curved metal tubing and arc lamps which did not exist in 1961. Also, at the entrance to the hotel we see the base of a tapered metal telephone pole with metallic clamps, that style did not come into use until the 1990s.

When Pamela and Walt are riding the Carousel at Disneyland, you can see the ride "Pinnochio's Daring Journey" behind them in some shots. While the ride does reside near the Carousel, it wasn't built until 1983.

When Walt Disney and Mrs Travers arrived in Disney for a visit in the morning with people were queuing for the gates to open the clock tower at the train ride showed it was about 3:30pm. The mistake appeared twice on screen.

Factual Mistake
At the airport there is a sign stating "Trans World Airways -TWA". TWA stood for Trans World Airlines.

Where Travers is riding the horse bareback with her father, a saddle girth strap is visible in a shot of their legs.

The other drivers at the airport hold signs bearing the current logos of Warner Bros. and MGM, not their 1961 versions.

Several changes had been made to real-life Disneyland to make it look like how it was during Walt's time (i.e., the area in front of the train station is lined with posters advertising the park's attractions). However, Fantasyland remains unchanged despite going through a complete overhaul in 1983, some twenty years after the release of Mary Poppins (1964).

When Travers arrives in her hotel room, there are two Winnie the Pooh dolls among the gifts. In 1961, Disney only owned film rights to the Milne characters, and did not acquire merchandising rights until many years later.

When Mrs Travers arrives in her hotel room she pushes a button on the remote and the TV comes on immediately. In 1961 when the movie is set, TVs used vacuum tubes and it took a couple minutes for the TV to warm up. The first TV with an "instant on" feature wasn't marketed until 1968 by Westinghouse.

While Walt is escorting Mrs. Travers down Main Street USA, the sign for "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" can be seen in the background. That attraction did not open until 1965, after "Mary Poppins" had been released.

The security lock shown on the door of P.L. Travers's hotel room had not been invented in 1963, but is of the type currently in hotel rooms.

When Ralph drives P.L. Travers into the Disney Studios for the first time, the period limo goes over a speed-bump at the guard shack which didn't exist back then.

The present-day computer terminals at Disneyland's Main Gate turnstiles can be seen in the background when Travers first arrives at the park.
This movie is inspired from true life events, delving into Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) novel Mary Poppins and the rocky relationship that formed between the two when she finally came to Hollywood.

This is the first time Thomas Newman has composed music for a live action film made by The Walt Disney Company, as opposed to subsidiary Disney-Pixar, for which he composed Finding Nemo and WALL·E.

Second movie Tom Hanks has done with the word 'Saving' in the title, after Saving Private Ryan.

Emma Thompson's first live action film project for Walt Disney Pictures, as opposed to Treasure Planet for Walt Disney Feature Animation (now Walt Disney Animation Studios) and Brave for Pixar Animation Studios.

The first film directed by John Lee Hancock not to have music by composer Carter Burwell; eleven-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman (The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Finding Nemo, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, WALL·E, Skyfall) was engaged to score the film instead.

Saving Mr. Banks could also be described as "a sincere, heartfelt apology to P.L. Travers" by the Walt Disney Company for the troubles and misunderstandings between her and Disney during Mary Poppins' production and other matters related to it, with help from the film's producers from England and Australia like BBC Films, Essential Media, Ruby Films, and Hopscotch Features.

The first dramatic, non-action/adventure film made by Walt Disney Pictures (and not its subsidiaries Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures) to be rated PG-13, as well as the fifth Disney film to be rated PG-13 following Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (not counting its sequels as they are of its own franchise), Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, John Carter, and The Lone Ranger.

Tom Hanks was 55 when filming began, making him only 5 years younger than when Walt Disney began work on Mary Poppins.

Emma Thompson wrote and appeared in the Nanny McPhee films, which were also about a magical nanny.

The film's cinematographer John Schwartzman (The Amazing Spider-Man, Pearl Harbor, Seabiscuit) is the half-brother of Jason Schwartzman, who plays Mary Poppins songwriter/composer Richard M. Sherman in the film. This is also the first time that John Schwartzman has collaborated with director John Lee Hancock since The Rookie.

To prepare for his role, Tom Hanks made several visits to the Walt Disney Family Museum at San Francisco's Presidio and interviewed some of Walt Disney's relatives, including his daughter, Diane Disney Miller.

The first American-British film project for the Walt Disney Company, who co-produced and co-financed the film with BBC Films.

For the Disneyland sequences, Disney blocked off certain parts of the theme park, including the Sleeping Beauty castle; Main Street, U.S.A.; Fantasyland and the Astro Orbiter attraction from November 6 to 7, 2012. The park's cast members were also hired as extras.

The first theatrical film from Walt Disney Pictures or any other film studio in Hollywood to feature Walt Disney as a lead or supporting character in a feature film.

In 2011, Kelly Marcel's screenplay was listed in film executive Frank Leonard's Black List, voted by film producers as one of the best unsold, un-produced screenplays circulating in Hollywood. In early 2012, Walt Disney Pictures acquired the screen rights to Marcel's script; Alan Horn, newly-appointed Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, referred to the film as "brand deposit."

According to an article on the website The Flickcast - All Things Geek, during their Saturday panel, "Working with Walt," renowned Walt Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr began to tear up while speaking about the film. As the web article reads on, "He, and the fellow Disney legends that joined him on stage, were touched by how director John Lee Hancock and screenplay writer Kelly Marcel brought Walt to life again. Little quirks, like Disney clearing his throat to let you know that he was about to enter a room, have added a level of authenticity often lost in films like this."

Mary Poppins songwriter and composer Richard M. Sherman served as a consultant for the film. In a manner of coincidence, it's similar to P.L. Travers serving as a consultant for Mary Poppins, as the two of them talking with the filmmakers about what to include in a film to serve as authenticity from the respective source material.

Even though she didn't like much of the Sherman Brothers musical score, P.L. Travers was shocked and dismayed when Julie Andrews wrote to her that the filmmakers were planning to delete the song "Stay Awake" - one of Andrews' favorite songs and Travers' only favorite song from the movie - from Mary Poppins. She, then, requested the filmmakers to still retain the song in the film.

According to the 40th Anniversary DVD release of Mary Poppins in 2004, Walt Disney first attempted to purchase the film rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers as early as 1938, but was rebuffed because Travers was disgusted by Hollywood's handling of book-to-film adaptations, and did not believe a film version of her books would do justice to her creation. Another reason for her initial rejection would have been that at that time the Disney studios had not yet produced a live action film. For more than twenty years, Disney made periodic entreaties to Travers to allow him to make a Poppins film. He finally succeeded in 1961, but Travers demanded and got script-approval rights. Planning the film, writing the script and composing the songs took about two years. Travers objected to a number of elements that actually made it into the film. Rather than the Sherman Brothers' original songs, she wanted the soundtrack to feature known standards of the Edwardian period in which the story is set. She objected the "anti-feminist" ending, in which Winifred Banks, the mother of Jane and Michael, lays aside her devotion to the cause of women's suffrage to be with her children and to round up help and support to find George Banks after he fails to come back from the bank. Travers also objected to the idea of using animation to depict the chalkboard world. Disney overruled her, citing contract stipulations that he had final say on the finished print. Travers refused to allow any other Mary Poppins books to be filmed, even though Walt tried very hard to get her to reconsider.

P.L. Travers never forgave Walt Disney for what she saw as vulgar and disrespectful adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" novels. Forty years after the release of the film, stage producer Cameron Mackintosh (Cats, Les Misérables, Oliver!, The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon) approached Travers about a musical theatre version of her work. The author initially refused, citing the film as a reason why she would never again allow an adaptation of her "Mary Poppins" series. After several meetings, the author relented, though when Mackintosh suggested using the songs from the Disney film in the production, Travers again balked. After much more pleading, Mackintosh convinced Travers to allow a stage production with the songs from the film on the strict proviso that no Americans participate in the development, and further that no one involved with the film version--including original film composers the Sherman Brothers, both of whom were still alive and working at the time--could participate. Mackintosh proceeded with development of the stage adaptation for several years without any involvement from Disney, per Travers' wishes, though after the author's death in 1996, the Walt Disney Company was allowed some degree of creative involvement and went on to co-produce the musical with Mackintosh.

P.L. Travers never did approve of casting Dick Van Dyke as Bert in the pre-production stages of Mary Poppins. Although he claimed that it was the best film he was in, Van Dyke felt that he was miscast to play Bert and said that either Jim Dale or Ron Moody should have been cast to play Bert. Travers suggested actors like Richard Burton, Alec Guinness, Richard Harris, Rex Harrison, Ron Moody, Laurence Olivier, Peter O'Toole, and Peter Sellers for the role, in keeping with the British nature of her books. Even Travers and Walt Disney both favored Stanley Holloway for Bert, but Halloway had to turn down the role due to his obligation on reprising his stage role of Alfred P. Dolittle for the film version of Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady, which later became Mary Poppins' chief competitor in 1964.