Image Map

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Dear friends,

“ Winds in the east / Mist coming in / Like something is brewing / About to begin / Can’t put me finger / On what lies in store / But I feel what’s to happen / All happened before.”

** WARNING!!! This post contains a review of Saving Mr. Banks and also some trivia regarding it (a big Thank You! goes to IMDB ;) my reliable source when it comes to movies data). It will be an extensive post and it will have loads of pictures and text so please grab yourself a cup of tea and a warm blanket and Enjoy!**
I know this movie came up a while ago, but tell you the truth I did not manage to watch it on the big screen - shame on me! One fine night this week I was in a mood for a musical or a fun movie and I remember how I wanted to watch Saving Mr. Banks. It was not quite a musical, but it was about a musical, and it was not quite a comedy, although it was somewhat fun 50% of the time and 50% serious.
P.L. Travers
Saving Mr. Banks tells the story of how the magical musical Mary Poppins came to life. It is a biographic movie about the writer that created Mary Poppins and her fight/struggle with Walt Disney in order to do the right thing by the story. P.L.Travers was a stubborn and serious writer and she wanted Mary Poppins to be “never, ever just Mary”. For children worldwide Mary Poppins was just a fairytale, a lovely story, for her it was a real person, from real life, flesh and bones, transcripted to page so she would remember her and not only... Mary Poppins was a story about her, her sister, her parents... and to be more precise, about her father. For her the story she created was not only about the nanny, but about the hardships of life, of the adult life that one day each child will have to face!
***
Walt Disney: "No whimsy or sentiment!" says the woman who sends a flying nanny with a talking umbrella to save the children.
P.L. Travers: You think Mary Poppins is saving the children, Mr. Disney?
[Walt and the other filmmakers are stunned silent]
P.L. Travers: Oh, dear!
[Walks away]
P.L.Travers and Emma Thompson - who played her :)
Mary Poppins did not came to save the children, but rather her father... Mary Poppins is actually her very own aunt, put on paper. The movie switches between scenes of here and now and the scenes of P.L.Travers when she was just a little girl. Her father is played brilliantly by Colin Farrell and her mother by the very delicate and lady-like Ruth Wilson ( that I just adore in Jane Eyre ). We can see her growing up in Australia and being forced to move from the beautiful house in the city to a small house in the middle of nowhere. Somehow her father manages to keep her dreaming for a better world, but her mother sees and faces the real troubles of the family - raising 3 kids and taking care of the house and a husband who is drinking and not able to maintain his job at the bank...
Great attention on details like the outfits, to fit the characters and the period of time
P.L.Travers loved her father that much that she wanted to preserve his memory somehow... and what better way to do that than writing a book about it? She wanted Mary Poppins as a serious movie, yet a children movie. She wanted no animations, no musical made out of it. Somehow it went half-way: neither what Walt wanted nor her. It took them 20 years of beating around the bush to get her on a plane to USA in order to get the movie going - by that time, unlike in this movie, Walt had already purchased the rights to do Mary Poppins. Unlike the movie, she never danced on the music they created for the movie, but she did particulary liked the song "Feed the birds".
P.L. Travers: No, no, no, no, no! "Responstible" is not a word!
Richard Sherman: We made it up.
P.L. Travers: Well, un-make it up.
Richard Sherman: [quickly hides sheet music to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."]
And when it comes for a little trivia, let me tell you this: Tom Hanks, who is playing Walt Disney, is actually his distant cousin ;) The audiotapes of the working sessions between Travers and the Disney creative team amounted to 39 hours, all of which screenwriter Kelly Marcel and later Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson had access to. Emma Thompson has said she listened to all of them in preparation for her role, and that the experience was "like being poked in the ear with hot forks!". To tell you the truth, at the end of the movie credits you can hear a real piece of the audiotape and I think her voice is very much royal :)
Julie Andrews (she played THE Mary Poppins), Walt Disney and Mrs. Trevors

According to the 40th Anniversary DVD release of Mary Poppins (1964) in 2004, Walt Disney first attempted to purchase the film rights to Mary Poppins from P.L. Travers as early as 1938, but was rebuffed because Travers was disgusted by Hollywood's handling of book-to-film adaptations, and did not believe a film version of her books would do justice to her creation. Another reason for her initial rejection would have been that at that time the Disney studios had not yet produced a live action film. For more than twenty years, Disney made periodic entreaties to Travers to allow him to make a Poppins film. He finally succeeded in 1961, but Travers demanded and got script-approval rights. Planning the film, writing the script and composing the songs took about two years. Travers objected to a number of elements that actually made it into the film. Rather than the Sherman Brothers' original songs, she wanted the soundtrack to feature known standards of the Edwardian period in which the story is set. Travers also objected to the idea of using animation to depict the chalkboard world. Disney overruled her, citing contract stipulations that he had final say on the finished print. Travers refused to allow any other Mary Poppins books to be filmed, even though Walt tried very hard to get her to reconsider.
***
And how about you lads/lasses? Have you seen Saving Mr. Banks and/or Mary Poppins? For me it was a trip down to Memory Lane. I loved it, I laughed, I cried and I managed to get my husband watch it as well. Overall it was a great success and I would watch it again :) 

Yours truly,
A Mary Poppins Fan LadyBug