Disney has released two character featurettes for director John Lee Hancock‘s Saving Mr. Banks. The plot centers on Walt Disney’s (Tom Hanks) pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ (Emma Thompson) classic novel Mary Poppins and the icy relationship that developed between them.
The each featurette focuses on one of the leads, in this case too of the all-time greats.
I’m not sure what to make of this film, everything I’ve seen so far suggests a standard fish out of water story. Travers’ arrives in the Disney universe and doesn’t like /fit in with the direction Walt Disney and company are pushing the film.
Hancock (The Rookie, The Blind Side) excels at telling feel good stories that border on well made Hallmark movies on the week. Tricky thing is this sports an incredibly charismatic cast of particularly comedic actors so well it seems predictable it could be very entertaining and charming.
The supporting cast includes Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker, and Colin Farrell.
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 molded 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.