Saturday, December 28, 2013

To Save Mr. Banks

*Warning, this post contains spoilers.  Read forward at your own risk.*

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Last night, my sisters, my dad and I went to see the movie Saving Mr. Banks.  Since reading about the movie a couple of weeks ago I have been really excited to see it.  I love Mary Poppins end was excited to learn how the movie came to be.  I cannot remember to whom I was speaking, but shortly after learning about the film I was talking with a friend about the title.  My question was this:  Why was it called Saving Mr. Banks?  Why not Saving Mary Poppins?  I mean, to my childhood recollection, the original movie is about her, right?  And how she comes to the children?  That's what the child in me remembered most strongly.  My friend replied that they thought it was because Walt Disney was trying to save Mr. Banks by bringing him to the big screen and not letting him go unknown to the younger generations that were further removed from the original novels.  At the time, that sort of made sense so I shrugged the question off.

After having watched the movie, the question returns, only now it is answered.

  1. P.L. Travers: Stop! Mary Poppins is not for sale! I won't have her turned into one of your silly cartoons.
    Walt Disney: Says the woman who sent a flying nanny with a talking umbrella to save the children?
    P.L. Travers: You think Mary has come to save the children?
    [Walt and the other filmmakers are stunned silent]
    P.L. Travers: Oh, dear!

Throughout the film, Mrs. Travers has numerous flashbacks of her childhood and namely of her father.  As the story progresses, the spectator learns that her father, though very loving, struggled with staying employed and also had an alcohol problem.  The bond between father and daughter was emotionally moving for me. Mrs. Travers was reliving her past showing how her father's circumstances went from bad to worse--how all she wanted to do was help him, save him.

And that's the clincher.

Mary Poppins didn't come to save Jane and Michael but to save Mr. Banks.  In doing so, Mary Poppins was also saving Mrs. Travers father.

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