Walt Disney, the studio not the epoymous founder or Tom Hanks, has released several featurettes spotlighting Saving Mr. Banks, which opens today.
Release Date: December 13, 2013, limited; December 20, 2013, wide
Running Time: 120 min
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker and Colin Farrell
Director: John Lee Hancock
Producers: Alison Owen, Ian Collie, Philip Steuer
Executive Producers: Paul Trijbits, Christine Langan, Andrew Mason, Troy Lum
Written by: Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith
Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.
When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.
For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.
It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.
Inspired by true events, Saving Mr. Banks is the extraordinary, untold story of how Disney’s classic Mary Poppins made it to the screen—and the testy relationship that the legendary Walt Disney had with author P.L. Travers that almost derailed it.
- Saving Mr. Banks is the first feature-length, theatrical drama to depict the iconic entrepreneur Walt Disney.
- Richard and Robert Sherman’s original score and song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) would go on to win Oscars® at the 1965 ceremonies.
- Mary Poppins won five awards of its 13 Academy Award® nominations: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Effects, Best Film Editing, Original Score and Original Song. Among the nominations were Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
- P.L. Travers’ father was a banker and is the basis for the Mary Poppins story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks—the character in the book whom the famous fictional nanny comes to aid.