Saving Mr. Banks


Saving Mr. Banks

Critics Consensus

Aggressively likable and sentimental to a fault, Saving Mr. Banks pays tribute to the Disney legacy with excellent performances and sweet, high-spirited charm.



Total Count: 254


Audience Score

User Ratings: 111,374
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Movie Info

Two-time Academy Award (R)-winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar (R)-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. (C) Disney


Emma Thompson
as P.L. Travers
Tom Hanks
as Walt Disney
Colin Farrell
as Robert Goff Travers
Bradley Whitford
as Don DaGradi
Jason Schwartzman
as Richard Morton Sherman
B.J. Novak
as Robert Sherman
Ruth Wilson
as Margaret Goff
Rachel Griffiths
as Aunt Ellie
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Critic Reviews for Saving Mr. Banks

All Critics (254) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (200) | Rotten (54)

Audience Reviews for Saving Mr. Banks

  • May 27, 2017
    affectionate reminiscence of the butting of heads between walt disney and p.l.travers when he was trying to buy the rights for mary poppins from her. without emma thompson in the lead role it would not have been worth seeing. unusually colin farrell didnt bother me by being present and the background story of p.l.traver's childhood kept me intrigued. tom hanks was adequate as the dynamic animator.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2015
    This is one of those movies as a fan of nearly everything Disney I love watching and re watching. Even for someone who is not a fan of Disney this is a well crafted movie. The story of PL Travers resistance and indifference towards Walt Disney's promise to his daughters of adapting Mary Poppins. Also with the story of Travers' young life with a broken home.
    Kameron W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2014
    Charming, beautifully told, and rendered with both a zeal for life and a mature sense of nostalgia, Saving Mr. Banks is a film that strikes a balance between sentimental and authentically dramatic, and does so quite, quite well. Inspired by the back-story of the making for "Mary Poppins", the film examines the woman behind the characters, her unique temperament, and a past that forever inspires her present. In a several decades long journey to secure the rights for a screen version of the story, Walt Disney must convince her of his company's merits and benevolence. That the film is pro-Disney goes without saying. One can't pretend it's an unbiased view of history. However, taken on its own merits, I was quite impressed by the film's complexity yet endearing simplicity, much like the story the film seeks to make. The telling of Ms. Travers upbringing, for instance, is handled in a very elegant, unique manner. Its flashbacks are vividly real, heartfelt, tragic, and completely germane to the story. Narrative structures like this can be clunky, yet with Saving Mr. Banks, director John Hancock does opts for a more subtle approach to his characterization of Travers, letting us connect the dots, and never feeling the need to be overly explicit with us. The narrative is smartly written, capturing an immensely strong-willed and interesting character in Ms. Travers, and an equally big personality in Disney. The direction weaves the story seamlessly, and never loses sight of the ultimate focus, that of Travers ultimate revelation and journey of forgiveness. The most rewarding thing about the film are the performances. Some of the minor characters, though admirable, are a bit one note, yet the major players are done brilliantly. I found this to be especially true of Collin Farrell, in one of the more memorable flashback roles I've seen. Emma Thompson is fantastic, and is matched well with Tom Hanks, both of whom have the appropriate amount of chemistry for their roles. All of this is set in a film with strong world-building, and a narrative worthy of its talent. Great all around. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2014
    "INSPIRED by the extraordinary backstory of how Disney's classic "Mary Poppins" made it to the screen." Sure they must have distorted the facts to turn it in Disney's favor, thereby making it inspirational!! While maybe a bit dramatic, the transformation of Emma's character seemed quite unrealistic. The story may work better for children, I guess. For me, even Emma and Hanks' efforts/performances proved short for Saving Mr. Banks.
    familiar s Super Reviewer

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