Pause for kids 12 & under
Sweet peek behind Poppins story, with very dark moments.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while Saving Mr. Banks is about the making of a classic family movie, some of the topics -- alcoholism, suicide, and a difficult childhood -- might be tough for younger kids to handle. While there are plenty of lighthearted moments to entertain tween and teen viewers, the surprisingly sad moments can be a bit jarring -- including a very sick man on his deathbed and a woman attempting suicide in front of her daughter. Parents should consider whether kids are ready for these subjects -- or if they'd even enjoy a movie that bounces back and forth between silly and serious.
Families can talk about Travers' character. Why is Travers so protective of Mary Poppins? How much of the story seems to be based on her own life? What do you think she learns from the process?
Do you think the movie is entirely factual? How can you find out what the truth is? Is there always one real truth or does it depend on perspective or opinion?
If you wrote a story that was going to be turned into a movie, what aspects would you be willing to change -- or not change?
Is this a movie for kids? Is there anything that kids can learn from this movie? Does anything touch on issues that kids aren't ready to handle?
The good stuff
Messages: To some degree, the idea that sticking to one's principles is more important than money or fame is part of the story. Also, that it's important to find a way to heal from past emotional wounds.
Role models: P.L. Travers is incredibly devoted to her fictional creation, Mary Poppins, and won't permit Walt Disney to make a movie about the famed magical nanny unless it meets her exacting specifications. Despite Disney's incredible charm, Travers refused to budge, not until she's assured he won't tinker too much with the character.
What to watch for
Violence: A woman almost commits suicide by walking into a river in front of her daughter. A man argues loudly with his co-worker within earshot of his child. A sick man is shown in bed, hacking up blood.
Sex: Not applicable
Language: "Damn" and "hell" are as rough as it gets here.
Consumerism: The entire film promotes the classic Disney movie Mary Poppins, as well as the commercial aspects of the Disney empire, though it's all in a historical context.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A father can't control his cravings for alcohol and literally drinks himself to death, leaving his family in despair. Walt Disney is a secret cigarette smoker.
Fan Reviews provided by
Marry Poppins in a Whole New Light by cball4889
I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by this wonderful feel good movie. I will never watch Mary Poppins again the same way. To really see what went in to making this movie come to the big screen and the work the Walt Disney and his staffers had to do to make it happen was simply amazing. I am now looking for the Mary Poppins DVD in my collection so we can watch it. If you want a movie that makes you feel good, then this is a must see.
Great! by RickNCarla
Touching, and revealing account of the Mary Poppins' author struggling to keep the integrity of her character and fighting inner demons. Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson are superb!
Save Your Money, And Keep It In The Bank! by IWantMyMoneysWorth
Torturously punishing two-story line plot, yielding zero entertainment value. While true stories about famous people may be worth being told, they all aren't also automatically worth being made into movies.
Hanks added his usual golden touch, and as usual, Emma Thompson excels at playing the unhappy neurotic. But, we are asked to long (2 hours!) suffer along with Walt and his staff through the main-story non-stop senseless unilateral bickering, as well as suffer through the back-story drunken father coughing up blood.
Then, in the final few minutes, after a lifetime of being who she is, as if with the wave of Tinkerbelle's wand, the she-author from Hell suddenly transforms herself into a smiling, dancing bell of the ball (??)
Heavy handed Hollywood politics are behind the totally unworthy buzz for this film. Keenly aware of what entertaining story-telling was all about, and even though it casts him in the best possible light, Walt would have never have approved this dirge
Charming and very fun! by Billy58
"Saving Mr. Banks" was much better than I thought it would ever be. Good story and great performances from, of course, Emma Thompson, but also, Colin Farrel,l and Bradley Whitford, who was excellent!
Treat yourself and see this movie!
Great movie! by jenniferinvt23
I really enjoyed this movie. I laughed and cried at the same time. There were more adults in the theatre than there were kids. I would definitely purchase this film when it comes out on DVD.
Beautiful Story by sagroup
This is not a Disney, thrill a minute, laugh your tail off kind of movie. It is a serious biographical type film, much along the ,ones of something like The King's Speech. My family (who are fans of both Mary Poppins and Disney World) and range from adults to 11 years of age, loved this film. All six of us stayed glued to our seats as the story wove from the author's childhood memories back in Australia to her "battles" with Walt's songwriters and creative writers. I am not sure why some reviewers are saying that they are sad after the movie. There are moments of sadness in both the author's life and in Walt's but there is redemption and realization on both parts. It was a WONDERFUL movie. I am recommending it to my 83 year old father and my friends with teens and older. My youngest would have rather been in a cartoon type movie, but she did really enjoy it as well.
Great Performances, Moving Story by antndeb82
Better than I expected. Moving story. Great performances by the Whole cast. I admire Walt Disney even more. Great insight into how our pasts can shape us and yet should not entirely define us. See this movie and be moved. And Enjoy!
I'm glad Disney stuck with it by cdanese
I consider Mary Poppins one of the greatest movies of all time. After seeing Saving Mr. Banks, it's a miracle Mary Poppins ever got made. Disney has the patience of a saint!
Saving Mr. Banks by jmargaroli
Great movie. Very interesting story. The MRS. was fabulous and Walt Disney could not have been portrait by a better actor than Tom Hanks. Definitly a most see.
Liking the Un-likeable by Arturzinho
I noticed that "Saving Mr. Banks" had consistantly high reviews, but I didn't read much ls about it. So I headed off expecting a long smile about Mary Poppins. There is very little to smile about in this movie. Relentlessly serious. I was uncomfortable for the first 95% because the Travers character is so unpleasant, grating, offensive; in a way that was clearly not meant to be amusing. It's nice that the impression is explained and softened by the end, but it's a long journey to get there. As I write this, the Oscar nominations have been announced, and there is much discussion that Thompson was overlooked. I'm not surprised since the portrayal calls for constant seriousness and brittleness. Rarely a glimpse of a sympathtic character. All that said -- I highly recommnd the movie. Superb performances by Tom Hanks and the supporting characters. Happy to see Bradley Whitford (with a few extra pounds ...).