Saving Mr. Banks

2013, Drama/Comedy, 2h 5m

266 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Spurred on by a promise he made to his daughters, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) embarks on what would become a 20-year quest to obtain the movie rights to "Mary Poppins." The author, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), proves to be an uncompromising curmudgeon who has no intention of letting her beloved characters become mangled in the Hollywood machine. However, when the books stop selling and she finds herself in need of money, Travers reluctantly agrees to consider Disney's proposition.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Saving Mr. Banks

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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