Saving Mr. Banks

December 13th 2013
  • Drama/Historical,
  • PG-13,
  • 125 min,
  • Walt Disney Pictures
  • Cast: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Rachel Griffiths, Bradley Whitford, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Kathy Baker, Victoria Summer, Dendrie Taylor, Ronan Vibert, Mia Serafino, Demetrius Grosse, Melanie Deanne Moore, Michelle Arthur, Ariana Guido, Kristopher Kyer, Dwight Turner, Fuschia Sumner, Alexandra Surer, Alan Gray, Steven Cabral, Cheryl Dent, Christine Ames, David Ross Paterson, Lynne Alana Delaney, Claire Bocking, Jaeden Bettencourt, Melissa Bickerton, Anna Roberts
  • Director: John Lee Hancock
  • Writers: Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
  • Producers: Ian Collie, Alison Owen, Philip Steuer
  • Executive Producers: Christine Langan, Troy Lum, Andrew Mason, Paul Trijbits
  • Art Direction: Lauren E. Polizzi
  • Casting: Ronna Kress
  • Costume Design: Daniel Orlandi
  • D.O.P.: John Schwartzman
  • Editor: Mark Livolsi
  • Makeups: Deborah La Mia Denaver, Julie Hewett
  • Music: Thomas Newman
  • Production Design: Michael Corenblith
  • Set Decoration: Susan Benjamin


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

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: Los Angeles, USA
  • MPAA Warning: Thematic elements including some unsettling images
  • Production Budget: $35 million
  • Production Companies: Ruby Films, Essential Media & Entertainment, BBC Films, Hopscotch Features, Walt Disney Pictures
  • Production Schedule: September 2012 - 21 November 2012

Featured Articles


2013 Guide Analysis: "Aside from the Marvel films, Disney has essentially opted out of producing further live-action films unless they are based on a property they can exploit - namely pre-owned franchises (eg. "The Muppets," "Star Wars") or film versions of their own intellectual creations such as the upcoming "Maleficent" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ser1ies. One that fits the bill in an entirely unexpected way is this feature which has the distinct possibility of being both a commercial and critical success if it comes together right.

Kelly Marcel's script deals with the fourteen-year courtship by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) to persuade Australian author P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to sell him the film rights to her book "Mary Poppins". Travers' book was highly personal, and reflected hardships in her own life and her relationship with her alcoholic father (Colin Farrell) who died when she was seven and living in rural Queensland. Disney finally persuaded her to let him make the film, though she was prickly all the way to the end.

Though acclaim for the film was immediate, Travers hated the animated sequences so much that she refused to sell any of her other works to Disney. The story will switch between three time periods - her childhood in 1907, the negotiations with Walt in the 1940s and 1950s, and the making of the film in the 1960s. There is also a pretty incredible cast on offer here including Ruth Wilson as Travers' mother, Rachel Griffiths as Travers' aunt, Bradley Whitford as screenwriter Don DaGradi, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as the songwriting Sherman Brothers, Paul Giamatti as Travers' kindly limousine driver Ralph, and Kathy Baker as one of Disney’s trusted studio associates.

Originally slated to film in Australia, the entire production ended up shooting in Los Angeles - a place that really doesn't have any areas that look anything like rural Queensland. Set for a Christmas release, Disney might take its chances in the awards contention game like the film's director John Lee Hancock did with his last effort "The Blind Side". An interesting gamble that should pay off."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 29 November 2013: Ireland, UK
  • 20 December 2013: Turkey
  • 26 December 2013: Australia
  • 9 January 2014: Hong Kong
  • 10 January 2014: Spain
  • 16 January 2014: Greece
  • 23 January 2014: Argentina
  • 30 January 2014: Germany
  • 7 February 2014: Brazil
  • 20 February 2014: Denmark, Italy, Thailand
  • 26 February 2014: France
  • 27 February 2014: Singapore
  • 14 March 2014: Sweden