For those who actually saw "Mary Poppins" when it opened in September, 1964, the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" is highly enjoyable, but for a writer, it is an amazing exploration of what it's like to hand over your beloved characters to someone like Walt Disney, who believed in entertainment above all else. I liked the way the movie shows another side of him without getting maudlin. I also understand P.L. Traverse feelings when she sees her characters portrayed in a way she finds irreverent. We all know our characters better than anyone else and she guards hers tenaciously. If Walt hadn't been such a salesman, this movie never would have seen the light of day.
Kudos to Mr. Disney, although I will never get over not being able to see this movie the first time I went to the theater. It was sold out and I couldn't understand why they didn't just make more tickets! That's what I thought at ten. I didn't know they had run out of seats! I remember the lights on the marquee, "Mary Poppins" in huge letters, and the pictures of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. I had the album and listened to the music like kids listen to the "Frozen" soundtrack today. My mother probably hated "Just a Spoonful of Sugar."
(Spoiler Alert) I cried with P.L.
Travers when she watched her story unfold and recalled the real man she had based Mr. Banks on slowly succumb to TB. My father was kind of boring in comparison to P.L. Travers' dad so I've never based any of my characters on him, sorry William H., but I have used family members in my book, "But the Children Survived." They all know who they are.
"Saving Mr. Banks" is playing on Starz right now. It's also available on DVD.