The Story Behind Saving Mr. Banks

The Tom Hanks movie Saving Mr. Banks is about Walt Disney and his campaign to secure the film rights to Mary Poppins from its author, P.L. Travers. The film comes out in December, but we know something about the true story behind the movie. Travers was dead set against her character being "Disneyfied."

Since Saving Mr. Banks is a Disney production, of course, I’m guessing that the movie will end with P.L. Travers and Disney agreeing to disagree goodnaturedly. But nothing could be further from the truth. Despite the picture above of Ms. Travers smiling with Walt and Julie Andrews at the movie premiere, she was actually miserable. She cried when it was over, feeling her characters and ideas had been butchered.

Mary Poppins, Travers said, 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!”

Mental_floss has a list of objections Travers had to the finished film, and the steps she took to make sure it never happened again. Link

(Image credit: Zannaland.com)


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The movie and the book have a passing resemblance. This is usual and should not surprise anyone. What amazes me is that Disney would put so much effort into getting and developing a movie with such an uncooperative partner.
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More savage rewriting of history, and application of the Golden Rule.

Personally, I think Travers was wrong in many of her objections - but Poppins was _her_ character.
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