Plot: We all know the charming story of Mary Poppins. It was only turned into a film after a long battle over the rights and strict rules about what Disney was and wasn’t allowed to do with the film. That battle was fought over twenty years before P. L Travers finally travelled to Disneyland to sign over her beloved Mary Poppins.
But Mrs Travers has her own reasons for not wanting to let go of her creation. She must learn to accept and let go of her past before she can part with her Mary Poppins – easier said than done.
Quote: `George Banks and all he stands for will be saved. Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.`
Opinion: I have wanted to see this film for some time now. I was not disappointed. It made me laugh and I am not ashamed to admit it also made me cry. There is pure charm in anything that puts legends such as Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks in the same film together. This was truly a magical tale, one I would happily watch again.
The narration is split between the present day and the past of the uptight Mrs Travers. As she fights to keep Mary Poppins and the Banks’ exactly the way she imagined them, Mrs Travers – really Helen Goff – thinks back to her carefree childhood and the events that caused her to create the beloved governess in the first place. There is never any confusion over what is going on despite the change in time; the plot is straight-forward and that simplicity gives it an element of beauty.
The casting was perfect. Emma Thompson portrays the uptight and extremely British Mrs Travers perfectly. Her movements are stiff and precise when being observed, but she brings a gentle vulnerability to the role. Without that, her personality would have been hard to engage with. Tom Hanks is also powerful in his role as Walt Disney. His voice is so well-known for Disney characters – especially Toy Story – he is just right for this role. The two of them together have an excellent dynamic and are a real joy to watch performing together.
The side-characters all bring an element to the film. No one feels like they are there just because they needed another body in the room. Each of these characters also prove themselves across the film, leaving the audience engaging with everyone.
This story is an emotional whirlwind. Based on the true events of how Mary Poppins was made into a Disney film, it brings to light the love an author or film-maker has with their characters. They are more than words on a page: they are family.
For the first time in a while, I realised I would be more than happy to watch this film again. It has charm, it has wit. It has everything one needs in a film.