Disney, oh how we love that sickeningly saccharin nectar which oozes from deep darkest bowels of this rodentia worshiping corporation. For Generations this company has manufactured childhood dreams, and sold wishes. In Saving Mr. Banks we watch as the charismatic Walt Disney convinces author P.L. Travers to sell him the movie rights to her book Mary Poppins. (Spoiler alert) She does, but that is not the point of the film. We all know Mary Poppins was made into a film because we all grew up watching it, so rather than this movie being a story of “will Disney succeed?” It is the tale of how the happiest man of his time melted the heart of a very cold and jaded woman.
Walt Disney and P.L. Travers could not be more different. Disney is a kind, warm, friendly man, whose goal in life is to spread the joy of childhood with children and adult alike. P.L. Travers is an intelligent, proper, strict woman, who’s used her books to prepare children for the truth of adulthood. While Disney tries to extend childhood, Travers tries to shorten it. With all these differences they do both a have a common trait, they’re stubborn. This is where the tension comes from. Disney wants to turn Poppins into a singing, dancing, whimsical nanny, but Travers has a deep personal connection to the character. Not many people can understand the connection an artist has with the characters they create, but as a writer I do, so I found myself on Travers side I wanted her vision to be fulfilled. However, by the end of the film I began to see where Disney was coming from.
I’ll be honest my parents had to drag me to this movie. I expected a silly film barely grounded in reality, but I was so wrong. This movie was beautiful visually and thematically. It had a heart and a message that I could really get behind. This is one of the few movies which moved me to tears in a good way. It was also amazing that Disney was not made out to be this perfect deity of entertainment. He was human and relatable. This film reinforced my desire to someday work for Disney. Now, I’m gonna go watch Mary Poppins.