by Paul Lawson

Like most DISDads, I first saw the trailer for Saving Mr Banks way back in January. It seemed like such a long wait until the film would hit the cinemas, and to be honest I was a bit worried that the expectation would be too much for the film to carry. I shouldn’t have been concerned. the film gave so much more than I expected and is one of the best films I have seen in a long while.

Following two time lines, it tells the story of how Walt Disney brought the story of Mary Poppins to our screens, to fulfill a promise to his daughters; and the events in P.L. Travers’ childhood that gave birth to the story in the first place. We really liked this film, mainly because it was not at all what we were expecting. At times, it was laugh out loud funny. And the acting, not only from Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson but from the supporting cast as well, was great. The biggest surprise was just how much you warm to Emma Thompson’s character. (Note: possible spoilers after the jump)

You get to see, as Walt does in the end, that all the fuss and pomp is just a way to hide the hurt that she went through as a child. We learn about how her father takes the family away to a small town at the end of the line, and succumbs to drink. We see, as she did, the total despair her mother goes through. Ultimately, it is one of the most touching films I have seen. I don’t want to give too much away, as there are one or two surprises. And I really want you all to get as much out of this film as my family and I did.

Expect some laughs, a few tears – and don’t expect to be able to watch Mary Poppins in the same way ever again. I give the film a 10 out of 10 – not only will we be buying the DVD, but we are actually going to see it again at the cinema because it was so good. If you’re looking for the perfect family holiday film, this is it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Saving Mr. Banks will be in U.S. theaters on December 20, 2013.

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