Finally, we went to see the movie Saving Mr. Banks. It is the profoundly moving story of Australian native P.L. Travers (1899-1996), the author of the Mary Poppins book series, and Walt Disney (1901-1966), who desperately wanted to fulfill a 20 year-old promise to his daughters that he would make their beloved book into a beloved cinematic wonder.
Though the musical fantasy eventually debuted on August 27, 1964 to rave reviews and forever cemented the lives of its lead actors, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, into Disney’s forever wonderland as well as the imaginations of children for generations to come, 2013 welcomed Saving Mr. Banks as it beautifully tells what happened not only behind-the-scenes at Disney Studios that led to their movie, but even more importantly, in the young life of Pamela Travers that led to her book.
I won’t say more about the film itself other than to implore you to see it, especially if you are a father. This one movie is the Father’s Day movie of our time. It is all about fathers and it is all about the enormous impact that they have upon the lives of their children. When Ms. Travers realizes that the Sherman Brothers and Mr. Disney believe her book is about Mary Poppins saving the children, she is stunned (and her response stunned me). It is about saving the father, and that sentiment is at the core of this movie – from Travers’ father to the father she created in her books, to Walt Disney’s father and his own life as a father – and, if you are also a father, it is one mesmerizing event.
I will never forget this movie. For years, we have had most of the P.L. Travers works (Mary Poppins Comes Back, Mary Poppins in the Park, and Mary Poppins from A to Z), but have never read them. That ends tonight. We will review each of them here on the website in the coming months. So dads, gather up your own kids and get these books and join us as we begin the adventure. Or at the very least, “go fly a kite!”