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Saving Mr. Banks Now Available on DVD & Blu-Ray

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Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

Based on a true story, Saving Mr. Banks is now out on DVD. It is the fascinating story of the making of the movie, Mary Poppins and the difficult relationship between Walt Disney and author P.L. Travers.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

It started with a 20 year promise Walt Disney made to his daughters to bring the magical nanny Mary Poppins to life in one of his movies. After years of pursuing financially strapped Pamela Travers, Disney finally persuaded the reluctant author to allow him to make the film.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

The relationship between Walt and Pamela was tumultuous as the author verbally decimated the “Disneyfied” script. Refusing to sign away the rights to her book, Pamela Travers insisted that she had final say. She despised cartoons, didn’t approve of Dick Van Dyke or Julie Andrews for the roles and abhorred most of the music. In the author’s own words,

“[Mary Poppins was] already beloved for what she was—plain, vain and incorruptible—(and now) transmogrified into a soubrette. … And how was it that Mary Poppins herself, the image of propriety, came to dance a can-can on the roof-top displaying all her underwear? A child wrote, after seeing the film, ‘I think Mary Poppins behaved in a very indecorous manner.’ Indecorous indeed!” -Author P.L. Travers

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

As production continues, we see how the author’s childhood has influenced the story of Mary Poppins which seems to whisper a message of deeper significance than the whimsical flying nanny. What we see is a little girl’s love for her alcoholic father who we assume is Mr. Banks and the aunt who “will fix everything”.

It is a grim picture that helps us to understand why the rigid author had such difficulty with the transformation of her cherished story. Born Helen Goff, the author used her pen name Pamela Lyndon Travers after her father, Travers Goff.

I was in tears by the movie’s end and so fascinated by the story that I had to look up everything I could find about T.L. Travers. If you are inspired to do the same, I must warn you that her reality was even harsher than what the movie has portrayed. The movie ends with us listening to the real life recordings of Pamela Travers reviewing the script with the writer Don DaGradi.

Photo courtesy of Disney

Photo courtesy of Disney

This is an excellent movie and intriguing story. It is definitely worth seeing.

[Mary Poppins was] already beloved for what she was—plain, vain and incorruptible—(and now) transmogrified into a soubrette. … And how was it that Mary Poppins herself, the image of propriety, came to dance a can-can on the roof-top displaying all her underwear? A child wrote, after seeing the film, ‘I think Mary Poppins behaved in a very indecorous manner.’ Indecorous indeed! -Author P.L. Travers

“Oh, he’s clever, this Disney! … The very pith of his secret is the enlargement of the animal world and a corresponding deflation of all human values. There is a profound cynicism at the root of his, as of all, sentimentality.” -The Secret Life of Mary Poppins

Terri Garcia has been a Southern California girl since the age of two. She has lived in Los Angeles County and both North and South Orange County. A stay-at-home mom and confessed “pinaholic”, she loves all things creative. She believes in giving back and practicing random acts of kindness. She finds joy in creating thoughtful, creative gifts, traveling, historical fiction and most importantly being mom to two very active boys. Similar to the Little Red Hen, she likes to do things herself; although in the end, she will happily share the homemade bread with family and friends.
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