Number of Times Seen – 1 (24 Dec 2013)
Brief Synopsis – The behind the scenes story of the process that Walt Disney needed to go through in order to adapt P.L. Traver’s Mary Poppins into a movie in the early 1960’s.
My Take on it – As kids and as adults, we all want a movie to be able to take us to a magical place that makes us feel at home and also keeps us entertained. Mary Poppins (1964) is one of those movies. Most of us saw it as children and continued to love it as adults.
The making of that movie was apparently a very complex feat for the great Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) who had to find a way to convince the talented author of the children’s book series, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to allow him to make the film. This movie tells that tale.
I use the word tale because although much of this movie is based on fact, there has been a bit of controversy as to how true the narrative and plot really are, so it’s entirely possible that this is just another Disney fantasy or perhaps it is true. We will probably never know, but it doesn’t really matter because this doesn’t claim to be a documentary so they are allowed leeway.
Both Hanks and Thompson are amazing here. Hanks is a distant relative of Walt Disney and people who knew him claim that Hanks perfectly resembles him including mannerisms and speech patterns.
This movie tells two stories at once that eventually converge; the story in L.A. in the early 1960’s and the story of a young girl in Australia during the early 1900’s. The seamless editing of these two stories together is done superbly.
Watching this movie made me understand numerous aspects of Mary Poppins (1964) much better than I had in the numerous times that I have seen it. This will (hopefully) affect my future viewings (including one in the next few days…What can I say, I’m inspired) in a way I could never imagine.
Making a movie can be a grueling and difficult task, but who woulda thought that the story of how such a well loved movie was made could be so engrossing.
This is one of my favorite movies of the year.
Bottom Line – Great movie that tells the story about a story we all thought we knew, but apparently didn’t. Thompson and Hanks are both excellent here. Highly Recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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