A story we all know so well, the magical nanny floats in to save the day with her healing songs and her kind, but stern, words – but is this picture perfect nanny the one PL Travers had in mind when she created Mary Poppins?
When Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) promises his young daughters that he’ll turn their favourite book, Mary Poppins, into a successful motion picture, he did not envisage the trouble he’d have convincing Miss Travers (Emma Thompson) to sign her beloved nanny over to him. Saving Mr Banks uncovers the harsh reality Travers faced, when after 20 years of refusing the offer and on the brink of bankruptcy, she agrees to fly to LA to meet Mr Disney and hear his proposed ideas for the movie.
With recurring flashbacks to Travers’ childhood, it quickly becomes clear Mary Poppins is not simply a figment of her imagination, but a character close to her heart, inspired by her own childhood experiences. In just two frustrating weeks Disney pulls out all the stops to impress Travers with fluffy songs and lavish sets, but she isn’t having any of it – he’ll be damned if he turns her nanny into an all singing all dancing cartoon!
We all know what happens in the end but how does Disney win over Travers, transforming the magical nanny into the character loved by many today?
Saving Mr Banks – Tonight, BBC Two, 8.30pm