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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Saving Mr. Banks

The trailers for Saving Mr. Banks prepares you for the story of Walt Disney as he tries to obtain the film rights to P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins books. But this is only the surface of the movie and a real drama is what awaits you.

The movie spends its time between two different time periods. We follow a young P.L. Travers and her relationship with her father in Australia at the turn of the 20th Century. That is matched up in the 1960s in Los Angeles as Walt Disney brings to an end his 20 year quest to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen.

The film manipulates you and throws in more than a spoonful of Disney Magic. But there is real heart here and filled with some brilliant performances. Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers brings a haunting believability to the role. She brings a fine balance between humor and emotion. Tom Hanks was the perfect choice to play Walt Disney. Another fine role for one of the best actors around!
Also strong are the supporting characters. BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman are brilliant as the Sherman Brothers. Most of the scenes with them are some of the highlights of this film. Paul Giamatti's fictitious character in this movie is low key but how his character plays out in the movie is heartwarming. Ruth Wilson and Colin Farrell who play PL's mother and father are excellent here. The tough relationship PL has with them makes up the darker parts of the film. But my favorite role was played by Annie Rose Buckley the young girl who plays the young P.L. Travers. She is so convincing dealing with the turbulent relationship between her mother and father. She sells the film and is the heart of what makes P.L. the woman she is.

The darkness of P.L.'s childhood was very much unexpected. How this ties into the other half of the film is powerful! This combined with a brilliant use of The Sherman Brothers classic Mary Poppins score and so many brilliant performances will leave you applauding at the end of the film!

A film that will go down as a classic and a perfect fit in front of Mary Poppins! I actually came home from my screening of Saving Mr. Banks and immediately put in Mary Poppins! You will look at Mary Poppins in a whole new way! Now let's go fly a kite and send it soaring! 
Video Quality:
The 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation practically perfect in every way. The 1960s color palette has never looked better. Details are crisp, skintones are true and everything looks as sharp as it can be.
Audio Quality:
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is intelligently put to great use here. The film is not a showcase of audio by any means but creates the atmosphere of the outdoors and inside the studios perfectly. At Disneyland, the crowds and music sound like you are actually in the theme park.
Bonus Features:
  • From Poppins to the Present (HD, 15 minutes): In an all too brief look at the Studios, you get to hear from several former employees and family members about the development and production of not only Mary Poppins but films at the Walt Disney Animation Studios as well.
  • Let's Go Fly a Kite (HD, 2 minutes): Join Disney Legend and Mary Poppins co-songwriter Richard Sherman signing "Let's Go Fly a Kite" with the Saving Mr. Banks cast and crew on the last day of filming.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 7 minutes): Three deleted scenes are include here: "Stargaze," "Nanny Song" and "Pam Leaves."
  • Trailers & Sneak Peeks (HD, 6 minutes): Three trailers are presented here: MaleficentSleeping Beauty on blu-ray and Mary Poppins on blu-ray.
Conclusion:
A film that won over the hearts of Disney fans and non-fans alike is heading home. Filled with fantastic performances from some of the finest actors today, the spirit of Mary Poppins, and a solid video and audio presentation make this a movie to bring home.

*Disclaimer: A copy of the movie was provided for review purposes. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.*

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