Saving Mr. Banks is a Movie About . . .

by | Jan 6, 2014 | Catholic Mom Movie Review, January | 8 comments

movies. It’s a movie about the creative process, and the investment of creators in their creations. It’s a movie about charming doggedness triumphing over crabby nitpickiness. 

But mostly, it’s a movie about fathers.
A really good movie about fathers.
The Big Story of Saving Mr. Banks is of Walt Disney’s very challenging, but ultimately successful, twenty-years-long campaign to convince P.L. Travers to let him make her novel, Mary Poppins, into a movie. The most entertaining moments in the film come courtesy of Mrs. Travers’ extraordinary particularness about EVERYTHING. At one point she insists that, if the movie is to be made, it mustn’t contain the color red. And no animation. And NO singing or prancing about.
But the Heart of Saving Mr. Banks is all about fathers. Specifically, how the complicated relationships of both Walt Disney and P.L. Travers with their complicated fathers still loom large over their adult lives. Both fathers are deeply flawed, but deeply loved by their children. A common enough occurrence, I would think, but one that’s not often explored on film. 
The movie is endearing and unexpected and unique and funny. The husband and I both enjoyed it very much.
There isn’t any language or raciness or gore, but there are complicated and troubling adult situations that probably account for its PG-13 rating. I don’t think it would be particularly interesting to children younger than that, but I highly recommend it for adults.


  1. Son Mom

    My husband and I loved it as well – it was a great story, and such a pleasure to watch Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks work.

  2. Emily

    This movie was AMAZING. As soon as I saw the trailer, I wanted to see it when it came out. I loved how heart-felt and genuine it was, and amidst all the heaviness of life, how there was STILL hope and love. I really want to read the "original" Mary Poppins books now

    • Kendra

      I read the book last year as part of our Little Flowers book club and I have to agree with Mrs. Travers — Walt Disney's Mary Poppins is barely recognizeable in the original character. I, personally, didn't care for the book. The characters are all really unpleasant people. I like them much better in the movie. But THIS movie gave me a little more context for them, I guess,

  3. Kirsten

    Thank you for your review. My husband and I were wanting to see it. I love to get the background story of movies and books, etc. It's nice to hear that it is clean. That's always a worry. So many good movies are ruined by scenes that are just not necessary to the story line.

  4. Anna

    Mary Poppins was hands down my favorite movie growing up. I watched it as often as my parents would allow. I am so excited to see this movie but my husband is hard to convince. He likes action, heavy comedy or classic films and really isn't into Tom Hanks. Light hearted and fun aren't his thing. Do you ever run into this problem with Jim?

    • Kendra

      Those are usually the movies Jim likes too. This one he hadn't even heard of, but some friends recommended it, so we went. And it really is very funny. I think it would be husband-appropriate!

  5. Christy from fountains of home

    And you go to the movies too…seriously…crazy! I didn't see any movie in theatres during 2013. Baby who nurses + finding babysitters for 5 kids + living hours from civilization = no movies for me. But it kinda makes sad when there are actually good movies out there to see. I can't imagine Mary Poppins without music. Crazy talk!

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

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