Walt Disney created a world of make believe, films to leap into and escape with through animation and song but then he began mixing live action with animation; the results were films like Mary Poppins but what happens when even the great Walt Disney can't acquire the rights to a book in order to fulfill a promise he made to his daughters? What happens when fans of the studio discover that one prickly old broad nearly put a stop to a movie that inspired parents and children the world over?
Saving Mr Banks stars Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks as we chart the turmoil and upheaval that Walt Disney went through in order to acquire the rights to a book so he could make the movies his children had only dreamed of.
When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.
For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.
It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.