Two thumbs up! Two hankies! What a movie. This (fictionalized) account of the meetings between Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers and Walt Disney and his minions at Disney Studios is among the best movies I’ve seen this past year.
It helps that I am a huge fan of the Disney movie Mary Poppins, Even if you’re not-and if you’re not why?-it’s still a profoundly affecting movie. Travers (a pen name) was raised in Australia, and this movie toggles back and forth between her childhood and the early 60’s in Los Angeles. Walt Disney had, apparently, been trying for 20 years to obtain the rights to the Mary Poppins books from Travers. When she arrived in L.A. she had still not signed away the rights. She was afraid that the “Disney treatment” would turn her beloved creation into a caricature. She spent weeks working with Disney’s team before signing over the rights to the books.
And the rest is history. 50 years after its release, Mary Poppins remains one of the most popular and best-loved movies of all time. It’s hard to know what is truth and what is fiction in this movie. I recommend enjoying it merely as a good story. And if you haven’t seen Mary Poppins, you should see it before seeing Saving Mr. Banks.