Dancing Penguins, Dick Van Dyke, Elizabeth Fais, Emma Thompson, Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins, Movies, P.L. Traverse, Saving Mr. Banks, Tom Hanks, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Family Museum, Walt Disney Studios, WDFM
The Trailer That Stormed the Twitterverse
A couple of weeks ago, news of the just-released trailer for a new movie about Walt Disney stormed the Twitterverse. That’s how I first heard about “Saving Mr. Banks”, the untold story behind Walt Disney’s acquisition of the rights for “Mary Poppins” — the much-loved children’s book by P.L. Traverse.
P.L. Traverse’s Mary Poppins books were loved by many, well before Walt Disney turned the first book in the series into a major motion picture in 1963.
But the whole world fell in love with Mary Poppins, when Julie Andrews starred in the leading role opposite Dick Van Dyke. The Sherman Brothers’ musical score had everyone singing the hit songs Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Spoon Full of Sugar, Step in Time, and Feed the Birds, to name a few.
Maybe it’s because so many of us grew up loving this story and its characters (even the dancing penguins!), that the trailer about the untold story behind the personalities that brought this story and film to life sparked a reaction similar “the tweet heard round the world.”
Characters Need To Be Larger Than Life
Anyone who’s seen Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on TV (or became addicted to the reruns), is familiar with Walt Disney, the man: his voice, his mannerisms, and demeanor. So, it would be a hard-sell for any actor to fill those shoes. The same could be said for P.L. Traverse, if we were as familiar with her as we are with “Uncle Walt.”
I admit, that at first I was taken aback by Tom Hanks‘ impersonation of Walt Disney. My internal editor said things like, “Walt Disney didn’t talk like that” and “Walt Disney wasn’t that demonstrative.”
Then I took a step back and realized that P.L. Traverse probably wasn’t as pinched and twitchy as Emma Thompson‘s impersonation either. I finally realized that, much like the characters in the stories we write, the characters in movies have to be larger than life to be interesting.
Along with the characterizations of Walt Disney and P.L. Traverse … I’m sure embellishments were added and (or left out), to make the “story” screen-worthy. I’m OK with that, for the sake of an engaging (based-on a true) “story”. How about you?
A Sneak Peak at “Saving Mr. Banks”
To Learn More About the REAL Walt Disney…
If you are captivated by Walt Disney (the man) and all he accomplished, you should most definitely visit the Walt Disney Family Museum (WDFM) in the San Francisco Presidio. Trust me. It’s not like any museum you’ve ever been to. You will be amazed. You can find out more on my blog post about the WDFM here.