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In Saving Mr. Banks, Robert Sherman (B.J. Novak) interrupts a diatribe from P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to ask a critical question: “Does it matter?”

Sherman is asking about Travers’ objections to the design of the Banks’ house. But Saving Mr. Banks is the P.L. Travers biopic/Mary Poppins creation story that has us wondering, just how much does historical accuracy matter to a film? The film depicts the complex relationship between Travers and Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), as Disney attempts to convince Travers to hand over the right to her beloved Mary (Poppins – “never just Mary!”).

It is a delightful story. Unfortunately, it is not really a true one.

Related: Film review: Saving Mr. Banks doesn’t quite save Disney

While we enjoyed the Disney-fied final product (it was, after all, produced by Disney), we started wondering about Travers’ life. The film might be based on a true story – but we all know that means very little in Hollywood with regards to historical accuracy. Here are 9 facts you may not know about Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers.

What ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ didn’t tell you:

Disney already owned the rights when Travers went to L.A.

saving mr banks historically accurate
Yes, the central conceit of the film is fictionalised. Travers had already handed over the rights when she traveled to Los Angeles to consult on the script. Saving Mr Banks screenwriter Kelly Marcel also admits that the conversation Disney has with Travers, when he convinces her to hand over control based on their shared experiences with troubled fathers, is total fiction (although the stories about Disney’s childhood are true).

Disney did not stick around to charm Travers

saving mr banks historically accurate
Rather, according to a Disney historian, he quickly abandoned ship and left the Sherman brothers to work with Travers. Since he already had approval for the film, it was up to the team to argue over Travers’ script changes. As is portrayed accurately in Saving Mr Banks, Travers was granted script approval, but apparently Disney did not wait around to haggle over the details.

The ‘Mary Poppins’ songs never got Travers dancing

saving mr banks historically accurate
There is a beautiful moment in Saving Mr Banks when Mary Poppins screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford) asks Travers to dance. But in reality, the only song that Travers showed any affection for was “Feed the Birds,” and even then she disliked the Sherman brothers’ songs so much that she forbade them (and anyone involved in the film’s production) from contributing to the Mary Poppins stage musical.

Travers was not crying tears of happiness during the premiere

saving mr banks historically accurate
Saving Mr Banks depicts Travers’ time at the Disney studios as a somewhat cathartic experience, as she relinquishes her death grip on her beloved character. According to The New Yorker, Travers’ tears were a result of the anger she felt towards Disney’s treatment of her books. While the film implies that they are tears of relief and release, her offhand joke that they are a result of the animated penguin sequence may not be so far from the truth.

The split between Travers and Disney was less than amicable

saving mr banks historically accurate
Given Travers’ reaction to the film, it is not surprising to learn that Saving Mr Banks once again embellished reality, for the sake of a happy ending. Well, it is Disney. After the premiere, Travers told Disney that they had a lot more work to do before the release, and asked for certain sequences to be entirely removed. Disney’s response, according to actor Tom Hanks? “Pam, the ship has sailed.”

Travers co-wrote a ‘Mary Poppins’ film sequel

saving mr banks historically accurate
According to Brian Sibley, who wrote the screenplay along with Travers, there could have been a Mary Poppins sequel in the 1980s. The film was to be based on the sections on Mary Poppins Comes Back, the Mary Poppins sequel penned by Travers in 1935, that went unused in the first film. There was even talk of casting Michael Jackson. However, the film fell down over casting difficulties, and obstacles arising from the new Disney management.

After the premiere, Travers did not watch the film for 20 years

saving mr banks historically accurate
Additionally, Sibley states that when he re-watched Mary Poppins with Travers as part of their writing process, she claimed that she had not watched the film since the premiere. Sibley also comments that by this point, Travers’ original opinion of the film must have mellowed, because she found certain sequences very enjoyable. But, we are willing the bet, the animated scenes were not one of them.

Travers wasn’t alone in the world – she was a mother

saving mr banks historically accurate
But as with everything in her life, this situation was also complicated. Travers was set to adopt twin boys as a single mother, but at the last minute decided to only take one of them. She never told her son, Camillus, about his brother – but the twins ended up meeting in a bar as adults. This naturally created a rift in Travers’ relationship with her son, especially as up to this point, he had not known that he was adopted.

Far from practically perfect, Travers was not so prim and proper

saving mr banks historically accurate
Travers appears in Saving Mr Banks as the lonely spinster, in contrast to Uncle Walt’s jovial outlook. But in real life, Travers’ life was far more colourful than Disney’s conservative one. According to The New Yorker, Prior to her adopting of Camillus, she attempted to adopt her 17-year-old maid. And far from being alone, she had long term relationships both with a much older married man, and with a woman with whom she lived, and was openly bisexual.

Does historical accuracy matter to you in films like ‘Saving Mr Banks’?

  • Ultron

    Although I’ve heard it’s a good movie, the historical inaccuracies of this movie are ultimately what’s keeping me from seeing it. If they really wanted to make this movie pay homage to Travers or whatever, why didn’t they depict it right? O, that’s right, they didn’t want to make Disney look like a villain. So much for trying to right the wrong!

    • Connor

      Disney the villain huh? So you knew him personally, you were there when this film was being made? You know the the full story? Oh thats right, you probably believe all the shit that goes on the internet. So how the f*** do you know!?

      Btw, I’m so sorry this film doesn’t include iron man or superman or whatever. We all know thats another reason you’re not seeing this film.

      • Ultron

        First you’re still a dick. Second, I love Disney. Third, you must know nothing about the Travers story with Disney. Travers cried at the Mary Poppins premiere because of how much Disney ruined her story. She HATED the movie. She even wrote in her will about it becoming a musical. From what I understand, Saving Mr. Banks did not portray it this way. They didn’t want to tarnish Disney’s reputation because of the way he bullied and badgered her for 20 years about making her book into a movie. Now why don’t you leave me the fuck alone. I’m sorry you’re such an asshole who feels the need to be a complete jackass to me because I didn’t like the Hobbit. Grow the fuck up and move on. I’m not seeing this movie because it’s not completely true and what really happened. Lastly, I hate Superman. Get your shit right and go away you pathetic human.

        • Andy

          Well said!

      • Tom Anjing

        If he knows fuck all , you know less than fuck all. Yes as you age pre-pubescent Connor, you will realize the true nature of these corporate types. Its all business. Look at Trump. You think he has all that money from being a “nice guy”. Bill Gates? The saying is very true. Nice guys finish last. I am not ashamed to say I will finish last, rather than have the heaps of guilt of the aforementioned.

    • Heather Martin

      Completely agree. I always knew the story did not end happily and I’ve become really skeptical of this film because I know it’s not even close to being 100% accurate. Or even 75%. That, and I’ve never been a huge Tom Hanks fan :P

      • Ultron

        I just don’t see the point in seeing a movie that’s distilling a false story in people’s heads. I mean I’m sure it’s well acted and everything but that’s really not enough to make me watch an inaccurately portrayed event.

        • Dennis

          Aren’t all “movies” false stories? This doesn’t claim to be a documentary, or non-fiction. It’s as much fantasy as dancing penguins.

          • Ultron

            Well, yeah but I mean this movie is based on an actual event. I expect it to be accurate especially when they wanted to basically say they were sorry to Travers

          • Tom Anjing

            I worked a lot of years in the mouse house. I love and respect the Walt Disney legacy. I was really disappointed when we had to tear down Roy Disney’s studio at MGM in Florida. I was nearly maimed during the dis-assembly of the half ton cell scanners. The east side was Roy’s, They took it away from him and moved it all to the west coast. That’s what I was told.

          • Tom Anjing

            usually names are changed to protect the innocent, On this one the facts were changed to protect the guilty. Make sense?

          • Jelsemium

            Your comment amuses me because in the movie, Disney tells Travers that part of the reason that people become storytellers is that it gives them a chance to “fix” the past, if only in their fantasy universes.

          • kenkap

            No they’re not,. And strangely enough TV is way ahead of the movies in this regard. “Hell on Wheels”, or “Deadwood” about the American West could never be made into Hollywood movies. Way too mature. “Lonesome Dove” as a mini series would be the closest.

            “Unforgiven” won the Oscar and was feted as a “realistic” Western yet in the end it gave in to the typical Clint Eastwood “bang bang” violent-revenge ending.

        • Curious


          • Ultron

            Yeah idk I probably used it wrong. It sounded alright in my head when I was writing it haha

          • Tom Anjing

            Instilling is correct. Distilling is for water and alcohol.

        • Tom Anjing

          That’s the media influence. About 75% of the audience can’t think for themselves and believe and trust famous people in whatever they portray. I already do not want to watch this shit of a movie but my half of a brain wife is pushing for it because of a half of a brain friend of hers, This is why Tom got paid millions to star in it. If it was Eric Roberts as Walt I would not even be here right now.

          • Realist

            Tom Anjing writes : “but my half of a brain wife …”. ROTF,LMHO … that someone would write something like that of their wife is actually all the evidence an observer would need, to consider the comment very close to the truth … after all, what but a half of a brain wife would marry a husband who’d write such a thing … sorry, Tom … but that comment reveals much more about you, than it does about your wife, or her intellectual status …

          • CliveRogan

            I feel so sorry for your wife.

          • Jelsemium

            You’re such a creep. I feel sorry for anybody who has to deal with you. Your poor wife deserves better.

    • Codewizard

      Because real life if boring. duh.

      If you want a documentary, I suggest History Channel.

      • Ultron

        You’re right, lets tell a false story so it’s more interesting to watch and not actually right the wrong done to Travers despite that being the intended purpose of the film. The movie would be way more interesting if the actual story had been told correctly. They’re dealing with actual events here, the least they can do is get it right.

        • Jonathan Lund

          It’s not a “false story,” it’s called fiction. Movies do not unfold like real life, they are self contained stories that may draw from real events but they are still fiction. Obviously a narrative that concludes within 2 to 3 hours will greatly differ from the fullness and complexities of “real events.” Not to mention, if the movie just ended with her hating the adaptation and storming off no one would have liked it, except I guess for you maybe. Look watch documentaries if you want something that “feels like real life.” I would argue even those are a kind of fiction but that’s another story. Expecting a narrative film to mirror reality is always silly and ignores the basic logistics of telling a story in a medium like film.

          • Tom Anjing

            Reality check. If its not fact its false, False is fiction. Its “made up” in other words. The land of make believe. Never never land, Hello Poindexter!?!?!?!

        • Realist

          Ultron writes: “… right the wrong done to Travers despite that being the intended purpose of the film.” Hmm … Ultron? For starters … what ‘wrong’ was done Travers? Ms. Goff was paid (handsomely) for the ‘rights’ ($100k [$750k in 2013 buying power], and 5% of the gross [to give an idea of that value, "Mary Poppins" is 23rd on the top 100 movie gross/adjusted gross earnings list]. Ms. Goff’s novel was a fiction/fantasy – and a less than pleasant read – a very forgettable book. The story was treated quite reasonably, by the film adaptation. If not for the ‘sentimentalized’ Disney treatment of a – gasp – basically fanciful (inanimate objects have feelings, and a voice, in the book …) ‘survive – barely – a childhood filled with cruel, uncaring adults’ story, Ms. Goff’s Mary Poppins herself would be entirely forgotten.

          Ultron, I’m wondering, what were the preliminary productions discussions like – as, I’m sure you MUST have attended such, to know what the ‘intended purpose of the film’ was; my guess, having NOT attended any of the development meetings, would be that the intended purpose of any film being produced by the Disney corporation is to MAKE MONEY – if you want ‘truth’ – live it. You cannot get ‘truth’ from any other source, whatsoever … as everyone’s ‘truth’ is skewed by their own observational perspective …

        • blackmoses

          There is not a motion picture you can name that is based on a true story that tells “the actual story of actual events”. Dialogue, events, and even characters are invented to make the film’s story work. They’re works of historical fiction, not documentaries or historical documents.

        • kenkap

          But the actual story would not sell, for the great victor was the bottom line. It was not a pleasant tale in real life. So they just rewrite it with a happy ending and a warm fuzzy, deeply emotionally engaged Walt. Which he wasn’t in the least.

      • Realist

        I’m wondering, Ultron, just how old you are … and just how intimately you knew Ms. Goff, that you can state without reservation the cause for Ms. Goff’s tears (or even state that there were any tears), when she attended the showing of Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins’ … (for all we know – or for all anyone actually witnessing any supposed tears knew – Ms. Goff may have been stifling a sneeze, and that may have caused her eyes to water … she may have been wearing heels that, like the Louboutins that Ms. Thompson wore, were hurting her feet … I’m thinking, if there were tears, at all, only Ms. Goff knows to what they can be attributed … everything else is useless speculation …) I’m also wondering, just how did you obtain a copy of Ms. Goff’s will, that you know what was therein written. I’m also wondering if you can state, as an eye-witness, any specific case of bullying and badgering done, by Mr. Disney of any employee, any family member, any associate, any one at all …?

        Codewizard … I would not rely on ‘History Channel’ for reliable historical integrity … the History Channel is a commercial entertainment venue. As a matter of fact, I would not rely on any ‘history’ book for reliable historical integrity … history books are written by the victors – to the vanquished is left the realm of historical novels …. I believe nothing I read … and only half of what I see with my own eyes. (This, BTW, does not mean I don’t ‘study’ history, and don’t read history books … it means that there are some facts written in history books that may not have happened exactly as they were reported …).

        • Tom Anjing

          Is true. History facts have been skewed to benefit the “storyteller”. This is why we rely on hard evidence. Yet there are still people that believe in the “moon hoax”. The moon rocks exist, like Jesus, people still find excuses not to believe, like the Van Allen belt,

      • Tom Anjing

        I have never turned to Disney for documentaries. But real life is not as boring as you might think. If you have a brain.

      • kenkap

        History is fascinating and seeing how things really went in all their complexity can be riveting. Sorry you’re such a dullard.

    • Peter_FairMarket

      Short of documentaries, all films going to have dramatized elements. A prime example is Captain Phillips (coincidentally also starring Tom Hanks). Tom Hanks lost out on what I consider an Oscar-winning performance due to the negative press regarding the real Capt. Phillips. When watching any dramatic film, I prefer to judge it on the story and performances, and not by how accurately it depicts historical events.

  • Grace

    I’d like to see an un-Disneyfied version of THAT woman on film. As enjoyable as “Saving Mr. Banks was from a family-film standpoint, an accurate portrayal of her life sounds so much more interesting.

    • Anon

      If you have DirectTV, they are doing a segment on P.L. Traves on the 26th

      • Anon


      • Alexandra Camacho

        what is the film called?

  • xiku

    I think this post is a must read. Also, if you want, read the special note from Cameron Mackintosh that is found in an edition of the first Mary Poppins book – it’s quite interesting, and shows us a bit of her hatred towards the whole production of the movie.

    • Tom Anjing

      why waste my time and money on this piece of crap about how things didn’t happen? I’ll just go watch “the notebook” for the 50th time cause that didn’t happen either.

      • xiku

        I’m simply stating that we can find quality in a movie, even if that movie is a huge lie. That is the case here, the facts are all twisted, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie. Everyone looks for different things when watching a movie, and I look for quality; I found it here. If you found what you were looking for in The Notebook, then congratulations, go and watch it again. Every single movie I’ve seen so far is fictionalized, apart from documentaries,, and I do believe that most people are aware of that; if they’re not, I did suggest that they should look up the facts.

        • kenkap

          Doesn’t your conscience at some point say ” enough”. If you were Native American and saw all the beastly portrayals of your people, would you feel the same sway?

      • MarkTele

        You have spent a lot of time here posting your negative crap. What a pathetic loser.

    • kenkap

      How much a difference is there in shadiing the truth (like composite characters) vs completely upending what happened for your own cosmetic purposes? Yes the movie was enjoyable although it completely rips off Travers (who hated the movie) and makes a rather ruthless Disney into a warm fuzzy.

      I’m sure on some level Disney was sincere (he did pursue her for 20 years) and was probably sick of her dour personality but that doesn’t translate at all into a family movie, does it? After all Disney knew his public and the bottom line. What did he care if he ran over Travers with a Mack truck? But as pop culture family fare he was right..So let’s just rewrite history. We do it all the time.

      A true Disney film about the tension between art and commerce would be fascinating.

      Thank God at least for Peter Jackson.

  • Chelsea

    It’s been a few weeks since I’ve seen the movie, but I feel like there may have been a part where they were hinting at her having a child or some sort of similar relationship.

    Unless this film was called “The Biography of P.L. Travers,” then I don’t mind the historical inaccuracies. It was a lovely movie!

    • Samantha

      At one point Disney or Ralph (can’t remember which) asked if she had children and she got flustered and said “not exactly” or something like that

      • Duane

        I think it was Ralph when he and Pamela were sitting on the ground

        • Marco

          It was Disney, when he and Mrs. Travers first meet at his office. Hes asks her if she has children and she answers “No. Well, not precisely”.

      • FutureAnthropologist

        At that point in her life she and her adopted son were not getting along as he had discovered he was adopted, hence the reason she said no one would miss her. Her son was very much an adult and there are some questions as to the quality of her mother skills.

  • Stephen

    Honestly, who cares? Anybody with half a brain could see that this was a strong bit of Disney propaganda. Why in the world would Disney release a film bashing themselves for something that went on to become one of their most popular achievements? It was still an entertaining film that was well worth the price of admission. If you really went into this film hoping for an accurate portrayal of the real story then you are just naive.

    • CliveRogan

      “Why in the world would Disney release a film bashing themselves for
      something that went on to become one of their most popular achievements?”


      I don’t ever go into a biopic without expecting it to be partially fictionalized, very few real life stories are neat enough to fit into a two hour film without some liberties being taken.

      That being said, the film makers have chosen to tell the story knowing they’re selling everything in it as fact so it’s their duty to do their best to tell the truth, not perform character assassination to make themselves look good.

      • 537les

        I disagree it is the film makers job to make a great movie. No one claimed it was 100% true.

        • Tom Anjing

          sorry but its still not a great movie. Anymore than “Tucker” was. No matter how much you lie you cant polish a turd. This is a piece of shit movie.

      • Jonathan Lund

        I disagree entirely. It’s the audiences duty to realize they are seeing a fictional film that draws off real events not some documentary that is pretending to “tell the truth.” Of course a self-contained two hour story will differ from the real events the story is drawing off of. It’s fiction, not “character assassination.”

        • Tom Anjing

          I could make a movie about sandy hooks that shows Adam Lanza throwing candy and presents to all the school children and then skyrocketing into the ionosphere leaving a trail of fairy dust and all these lame brains would say “oh what a great movie its not about the facts ” And one could still say it was based on “true events”.

      • Tom Anjing

        WOW! Sorry but if you believe anything on the big screen as factual you need to see “Bad Grandpa” that’s a true story. I was that little fat kid and thats based on my life.

        • CliveRogan

          Sorry, I didn’t realize this comments section was an exercise in cynicism. This isn’t Inglorious Basterds, telling a story for entertainment in a factual setting, or even America Hustle telling a satirical version of events. This is a film about real people doing real things. I don’t think it’s too much to expect for them to add a nougat of truth to proceedings.

          Anyway, I notice you’re here just attacking anyone and everyone in this comments section for merely mentioning this movie. If you hate the idea of the film so much why are you putting so much time and effort into talking about it?

    • Tom Anjing

      As well worth the price of admission to “Battleship” you mean? Why everyone is abuzz about a suck movie that’s about another suck movie just because it bears the Disney name. In all its hoitey toitey english goodness about a mid 20th century business man and his brat kids he wouldn’t let have a life and a illuminati witch nanny. I wont pay two pence for this piece of shit. Hollywood has long run out of creativity with all the remakes and spinoffs. Same story new actors, They are banking on the younger generations that will never realize it.

  • Victoria

    I knew there were inaccuracies when I went to see it, but I expected that. What film that’s “based on a true story” is EVER accurate?? I’ve never seen one. I never trust the “facts” that films like this portray. This film told a story. It’s not a documentary, it’s a fictional film, and I watched it that way. It was a very lovely story, actually, and I really enjoyed it.

    I don’t think most people actually care enough about the life of P.L. Travers or Walt Disney enough that this is going to mess up their thoughts on the facts. Anyone who really wants know about this stuff probably already does, and a quick look on the internet will yield tons more info.

    • Tom Anjing

      Sorry but they are portraying factual people in a fictional way. This does mess up peoples thoughts just as that movie I saw about you DP’d by two big black cocks and another one in your mouth, in the end they all ejaculated into a glass and you drank and mummed it all down your chin rubbing the excess all over your nipples. It wasn’t accurate and it didnt change my thoughts about you, so your right I guess.

    • Frances

      Most bisexual, trans, and gay people who are aware of the fact are hurt by the blatant disregard for a sexuality she was most definitely proud of. What leads me to think she’s proud? She was openly bi in a time when that was nearly unheard of. And she was poly.
      That part of her story, at the very least, deserves to be displayed accurately.

      • Gigi

        Why? do you need to know anyone’s sex preferences??

      • Jelsemium

        If this had been a biography of P.L. Travers, then you’d be right. However, this about how her relationship with her father colored her world view. Personally, I’m sick about having everybody’s sex life shoved in my face.

      • googlharrie

        We’ve come along way baby, to get where we got to today. Consequently, us gay folks are becoming more and more comfortable in their own skins, and many straight people are genuinely tolerant of them. The results have been the maturity of both cultures, among other things as being gay is viewed as being far more commonplace today. Not everything is where it should be yet, but its a very far cry from where we were even 10 years ago. With these developments is a growing population of gay people who have reached their pennical. Many have grown and developed far past the need to proove anything anymore. Personally, I would find time spent focusing on Traver’s sexuality in this film unecessary, passe’ , and perhaps a bit boring, especially if she made no particular important strides in furthering equality. She was out of the old proverbial closet. Good for her. Now on to the story about Travers and Disney and a most interesting story of developing the film “Mary Poppins”.

    • http://www.last.fm/music/Samuel+Barber/_/Adagio+for+Strings adagioforstrings

      I find it ironic that people expect complete historical accuracy in a biopic about a woman who wrote about a flying nanny. The screenplay is a collage of subjective memories from different POVs w/poetic license thrown in.

    • narcogen

      When you say something happened on Monday when it was actually Tuesday, you’re being inaccurate. When this film alleges that Travers relented and enjoyed the film, when it omits her continued objections, when it says the rights were still negotiable during script approval– there it is not inaccurate, it is worse– it is untruthful. It is a lie. The central thesis of this film is an unadorned falsehood which makes ugliness of its outward beauty.

  • theaterboy1

    The inaccuracies didn’t bother me at all! I loved the movie and am proud of the work they did on it.

    • Tom Anjing

      I am sure they are too and many a party.

    • Tom Anjing

      your fucked in the head

  • Hannah Howden

    I haven’t seen this yet ’cause I’ve been waiting for my day off but from the reviews I’ve read it seems to be a Disney film through and through. I can see why they’d want to put a brighter spin on things. However, I’d like to see another production company take on a biopic about Travers. Now THAT sounds like a movie I’d want to see (or a book I’d like to read).

    • Helen Fearn

      You would hate a biopic of Travers because she was a right bitch, partly shown in Saving Mr Banks. It would be interesting to know what turned her into that, an unloved & uncaring witch but I doubt it would be enjoyable. I loved the film as it was, knowing what she was. Hell, I wanted to jump the screen & smash her through most of it. But I believe it explained why she didn’t want it filmed and that was really the point. If crying at the Premiere had been because she loved it she would have been humbled somewhat but she remained a bitter woman. I choose to enjoy it as I saw it. I hope Emma sneaks up & snatches an.Oscar. Just enjoy it for what it is, a wonderful movie.

      • Tom Anjing

        Why would I hate that? Most English women are right ugly snaggle tooth snotty blue blood stuck up bitches. The English men have to be very desperate to procreate with them. If natural selection was involved they would be extinct.

    • Tom Anjing

      save your money and time.

  • Jazz

    I don’t particularly care about historical accuracy in fictional films and last I checked this wasn’t a documentary. I saw it and pretty much knew most of it was probably garbage but it was still a fun little movie. I mean you should go into most films “based off a true story” and not believe most of it honestly. If its a well done story then who cares.

  • Carolyn Martinez Golojuch

    My, my. Not a historically correct movie?!? That’s not always why I go to the movies. I read biographies for that. Life is not Disney no matter what we would wish. As a social worker, I hoped it would bring some peace to those with alcoholic parents. The scenery was beautiful. The parts well played and very enjoyable. I knew there was so much not being told about Travers, but it didn’t ruin the film for me. I have already read other biographies on Disney and yet I don’t let them keep me from enjoying what he brought to my world over the years. Pure escapism and fantasy. Thanks Walt. I know he wasn’t perfect but his company has made such great steps for social justice that I can over look that. I’m the proud mother of a gay son and I’ve always loved his work.

    • Tom Anjing

      This is why I would rather watch a movie like “Bad Grandpa” because I can take it for the fiction that it is. But don’t try to sell me fiction as non fiction because most of the time it just insults my intelligence. Even some fiction I cant watch if its too far fetched like in Riddick when he kicks a blade laterally across a room and cuts a guys head off and then in the end converts a ugly lesbian, That’s the recipe for a flop.That’s too much of the main character going ” Me Me Me Me Me Me”. I cant stand it. Next!

    • kqs

      he was the steve jobs of the entertainment industry! thanks uncle walt! :)

    • kenkap

      Then don’t make a picture that pretends to portray the truth of an historical situation. Fantasy is fantasy. History is history. How far you deviate indicates your integrity and ability to deal with the human condition.

  • Deva

    True or not the movie was very touching and I thought exceptional and gave me some idea of the real people behind the scenes even if not entirely truthful. The truth is not always essential when telling a story. The story, I have to add, lead me to the facts of the real characters which is also interesting. But whatever, sometimes to get a story across, it has to be embroidered on or fictionalized to a degree.. Now that it is out there it would be interesting to have a film with the whole entire true story–not just the fictionalized version. After all before this untruthful film who is really thinking about Ms Travers?

    • xiku

      Actually, a lot of people. The book is still loved by many (though not nearly as many as those who are familiar with the movie) and people have always been fascinated by Travers’ life story, because it is quite interesting and mysterious, as she kept it private.

  • jon

    the movie was enjoyable so who cares if its not true. we dont go to the movies to see reality. reality is not usually entertaining. and it’s not important to be accurate in a movie like this because it’s not a historically significant event or even that interesting.

    • Ultron

      They made this movie to pay homage to Travers because of what they did to her. And then they told the story wrong. And why isn’t it important to be accurate? It’s about something that actually happened so why shouldn’t it be? And if it’s not that interesting why did you go and see it.

      • John

        They made the movie to make money and entertain. That’s what movies are for. Just look at JFK, Platoon, the Wizard of Oz and tons of others. Mostly not true certainly not like the books or life. They are entertainment not truth.

  • hpboy13

    This film was trying to tell a story, and it succeeded monumentally at that. The story may not be true, but so what? This isn’t a documentary. They aren’t claiming this is what really happened. This is “based” on a true story – they drew inspiration from history, and that’s it. So I still love the movie.

    • Tom Anjing

      Saving Private Ryan, Pain & Gain, Monster, Snowtown, Texas Chainsaw Masacre. We watch movies “based” on a true story in hopes to get an inside look of what transpired. Once its embellished by Hollywood its no longer believable but most of the public does not know it, like the the twist the news networks likes to put on on things, they can turn an accident victim into public enemy #1 and they do so just to sell a story true or not and in the process can ruin peoples lives. They don’t care. They are making money.

      • MarkTele

        Are you trying to be a turd in the punchbowl here? or does this come naturally to you?

    • Richmond Mom

      I agree, hpboy. I found the story very touching, and could identify with much of it. I personally was crying at the end, too — as I did at the end of Mary Poppins. The “letting go of Daddy” theme always gets me in the gut.

  • Ray Felitto

    I thought the movie was terrific ! Emma Thompson was outstanding and very authentic. I was not left with the idea that she was being ingratiated. Her fondness for the chauffer brought many of the PL Travers traits to life. Having grown up during the 60′s the movie brought back many pleasant memories of that era. Go see it !

    • Tom Anjing

      Good for you, Emma who? Another puppet that doesn’t matter, Authentic what? The movie was as misleading as “Black Snake Moan”. Why didn’t Disney put their name on that one?

      • Jennifer

        Good Lord, Tom, calm yourself. There’s no reason to get so angry over someone’s liking a film that you choose to hate. You are seriously overreacting here.

  • Andy

    I thought Hypable was done bashing Saving Mr Banks for not being accurate?..I guess not..

  • Heather Martin

    I feel like more movies should just take a leaf out of David O Russell’s book and just say “Some of this actually happened”, instead of saying it’s based on a true story (which has the connotation that most of the story is true). Saying “Some of this actually happened” would be way more accurate when it comes to based-on-true-story movies.

    I don’t mind when some things are dramatized for the sake of the story, but when you more or less change the ending or a person completely, you may as well just admit that your story is only kind of true.

    • 537les

      Well for me based on a true story or event has always meant some of the story is true. So i guess it depends on the viewer. If something was really interesting to me i would look it up to see what was true in a movie or even looked it up before i saw the movie.

    • Tom Anjing

      Its a HUGE grey area isn’t it? They bank on it.

  • Heather

    I haven’t seen the film yet, but if they had incorporated all this stuff into the movie, I think it would make her seem WAY more interesting and complex. It feels like she’s one dimensional by comparison. But it wouldn’t be the first time Disney made a movie with a one-dimensional female character.

  • missxsteph21

    I honestly could care less about the inaccuracies. The film wasn’t supposed to be a documentary and I have never seen a movie based on a true story that is really depicts what happened. I went into it knowing that there would be things different. I went in for the story, which in my opinion was a darn good one. I’m actually taking my mom to see the movie tonight and hopefully she’ll like it just as much as I do.

  • Peggy

    Frankly the movie was close enough to truth! We loved the movie!!!

    • Tom Anjing

      and you would know. Great now go watch a ballet.

  • Guest

    Well I still enjoyed the film, I would have enjoyed a more accurate version of the film. As it is, it comes off as having a “take these creative rights were taking away, with a spoon full of sugar.”

  • homesickyank

    Just saw the movie and am glad I didn’t read this before! I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but that enjoyment has now been tarnished by reading all the false info in it…..how sad!

  • Eric

    People…it is a movie. Yes it is based on a true story…but in the end it is a movie about an author who wrote about a flying Nannie. Seriously, Disney never denied he sparkled the truth in the world. How do you think the Magic Kingdom came to be?

  • Posey

    I wonder if the folks who are so consumed by the trivial alleged truth/fictions depicted in the movie got as stirred up about the alleged truth/lies the current administration told us about Benghazi.

    • Tom Anjing

      Yes except for the fact Mary Poppins got her name because she was especially attracted to young girls who were “intact” (hence the name Poppins) In the original English story she liked to teach young boys how to explore their boyhood with a “hands on” tutorial. Of course this was left out. Also the fact in the original novel Mary was a pupil of Aleister Crowley and the “Do what thou will” philosophy. Why they chose to make this as a movie and bring all this up is just plain sick.

  • Dan

    Just as Mary Poppins was adapted from the book to make it a Disneyesque story with a happy, feel good ending, so was Saving Mr. Banks. But, that is exactly what we expect from a Disney story. Disney was all about story telling with a happy ending. And to go to see a Disney film and expect anything less is just unrealistic. It is what makes Disney intrinsically Disney… Having read numerous books about Walt Disney, I knew that this was not an honest account of the situation. But it is what I expected, and frankly, I loved the story and enjoyed the movie. Though I am curious about the historically accurate accounting of Travers and Disneys lives, I would much prefer to watch that on a good Discovery channel documentary. I go to a movie to see a good story and that is what Disney delivered… I am not disappointed at all.

  • Catherine

    Yeah and The Little Mermaid is inaccurate because in the real story Ariel turns into sea foam and Ursula wins. Welcome to the world of Disney Production. Though I love Disney movies with all my heart, they glorify them like there’s no tomorrow.

    • Tom Anjing

      Yeah if everyone would watch “Saving Mr. Banks” Like they would “Pirates of the Caribbean” but guess what? They’re not.

  • alaskay

    It is a Disney movie. No movie by Disney will ever be 100% correct. The point of the movies is enjoyment, not facts, unless it is a documentary. However the movie was beautiful, and just because it wasn’t perfect doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth watching.

    • 537les

      I Agree

    • Tom Anjing

      Sorry but the producers predicted I would see and like this movie just because it has Tom Hanks, Its a total piece of crap. Disney likes to base a lot of its theme park attractions on its productions, IE: Monsters inc, Peter Pan, Finding Nemo. Philharmagic Theater, This thing whatever it is put me to sleep..

  • claystripe6514

    I appreciate the article for being very educational, but knowing the truth of the matter doesn’t change my opinion of the film at all. It’s a movie all about storytelling, about how we make movies and books and every other creative thing out of a desire to give the world the order and hope it needs. I’d almost be disappointed if there hadn’t been any inaccuracies, to be honest.

    Oh, and before I forget: 10. Ralph wasn’t real.

    • Tom Anjing

      How can the non truth be educational??? For crying out loud! You are a perfect example of the ” General Public”

      • claystripe6514

        I’m going to assume you just skimmed through what I said, stuck a couple of unrelated words together into a sentence based on a preconceived notion, and then decided to call me, essentially, a moron (though, honestly, I’d much rather be a member of the “general public” than an elitist jerk).

        I said that I felt educated by the article because it provided a number of facts about the events Saving Mr. Banks fictionalized for the sake of creating a nice, cohesive narrative. I certainly never said that I felt educated by the movie- I knew, as all moviegoers know, that “Based On a True Story” does not equal “A True Story”. But I was *entertained* by the movie, and it had a number of things to say about fiction that left me thinking about it for awhile after I left the theater. That’s what movies are supposed to do. And Saving Mr. Banks did it excellently.

  • Katharine Rosenstiel

    I’ve seen Saving Mr Banks twice and loved it despite that it made me cry both times, inaccurate as it may be in places what it has done is made me want to find out more not only about P L Travers but the real Walt Disney and I think that’s what counts

  • Codewizard

    > Unfortunately, it is not really a true one.

    It’s a film NOT a documentary. Geez.

  • jdawg

    she sounds like a freakin b. I’m glad she’s dead. the b is like the anti-mary poppins.

  • grutz

    Absolutely not! My husband and I totally enjoyed the film. We understand “based on a real story” is not the same as the making of a documentary. When I left the film, I couldn’t wait to get to my computer and look up Helen Goff, and couldn’t wait to get to the library for a copy of Mary Poppins and a biography of Walt Disney. Many movies leave me with nothing. That was not true, with this one, and I am finding the points you listed as “grasping at straws” and upsetting to think it could chip away at a good movie.

    • Tom Anjing

      Is your IQ even in the triple digits?

  • Pat

    I saw the movie and found it very good, accurate or not. However, if any of the depiction of P.L. Travers’ life is correct, it shows the “Adult Child of an Alcoholic” very clearly.

  • 537les

    Anyone who has seen a based on a true story or based on true events should or do know it will not be the entire truth..I haven’t seen one that has and honestly you have to be crazy to think it will be. It never says all the real facts or it is a true story/event but its based on one. All a film studio wants to do is make a movie that will make money. Some have more actual facts than others but none are fully true. Look at Sound of Music, 42, Ray, the Bling Ring, and the list goes on. I have no problem watching a movie based on a true story because i know its not going to be 100% true its not the film studios job to make it true its their job to make a movie. Now if it claimed it was the 100% true story and it wasn’t then that’s something to complain about.

    • beartracker

      So Tom doesn’t like the movie, or Disney. I think we got it. Continuing to call people names who liked it (for whatever reason) is only reflecting back on you. If you read the various biographies on her you would see no one really knew that much about her. I’m not even sure she understood herself. I just came back from Disneyland’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon week-end. Had the best time and saw the movie in Downtown Disney while there. I enjoyed it as did everyone in the theater and I don’t think they were all half-brain people.
      As for the person who brought up Benghazi, please take it back to faux news. No one was talking about Benghazi and I can guarantee you definitely don’t known anything about that except what you want to believe.

  • Travers fan

    She also liked the lullaby “Stay Awake,” according to the correspondence between her and Julie Andrews (whom she approved of, except for the fact that she was too pretty). When the filmmakers cut “Stay Awake” from the film, Travers wrote a stern letter of protest. Andrews wrote a letter to Travers saying, “My lullaby is back in! Your letter did the trick, I think.”

  • imarod

    Yes it matters, who wants to be fed a pack of lies? I also think it is not fair to the real human beings who’s identities and reputations are being tarnished. The film even provided evidence in the end (actually video tape recording from the time) that showed Travers being more constructive and level headed than the impossible, half crazy old spinster that was depicted her in the movie. I mean if you were misrepresented in that way wouldn’t you protest? And the fact that Disney had the rights to her books to begin with completely changes the entire crux of the movie…they actually really had no need to please Travers, and in the end they clearly didn’t. What a crock of *****

    • rosie1843

      Are you really that dumb or anal that you would demand that Hollywood movies be historically accurate? Many of our school history books are inaccurate. So are a good number of documentaries. And you’re pissed off about Hollywood? Grow up.

  • rosie1843

    P.L. Travers did dance to one of the Shermans’ tunes. There is a drawing by Don Di Gradi of her dancing.

    When Disney first met Travers in 1959, he managed to acquire an option to the stories’ film rights. He didn’t have the full rights by the time she arrived in L.A. in 1961.
    I really don’t care if Travers disliked the 1964 movie. I don’t see why her feelings have to determine my opinion of it. I just watched it recently and I still love it.

    And finally, who gives a shit how accurate this movie is? It’s a motion picture, not a documentary. You want the life story of P.L. Travers? Read a damn biography or watch a documentary . . . and hope that either of them are telling the entire truth.
    I’m sick to death of this “it’s not completely accurate” bullshit. I’m tired of people demanding that a movie be completely accurate when it comes to history. There’s a rule in historical drama. If the history gets in the way of the drama, change it or chuck it. If you don’t like that rule, don’t write historical drama.

  • Chimney Sweep

    I fucking hate Hollywood and everything they touch, They could fuck up a sailors wet dream. Fakest of the fake. Not respectable by any means. This is why I don’t feel bad about piracy because most of their crap isn’t worth paying for and last time i looked all these Hollywood fucksticks were still way better off financially than I will ever be

  • Tom Anjing

    Hanks is the worst choice for Walt. Vin Diesel looks more like Walt than he does. They didn’t even try to cast his character, It shits me the people that would even give in to this shit, Its like casting Laurence Fishburne in a movie about Barack Obama. Not even close. Skin color only.

  • rosie1843

    People can be so stupid sometimes that I still find it incredible. There is NO SUCH THING as complete accuracy when it comes to historical drama. Some of William Shakespeare’s plays like “MACBETH”, “JULIUS CAESAR” and “HENRY V” were historically inaccurate. A great number of paintings depicting historical events were wrong. Before the advent of movies, there were dime novels that were inaccurate. I can the same for many historical novels.
    And if you think that Hollywood is the only film industry that indulges in historical inaccuracy, you really must be limited in your thinking.

  • Emily Morris

    “In Saving Mr. Banks, Robert Sherman (B.J. Novak) interrupts a diatribe from P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) to ask a critical question: “Does it matter?”

    Sherman is asking about Travers’ objections to the design of the Banks’ house.”

    …wait a minute. Wasn’t Sherman asking about whether Mr. Banks’ mustache mattered?

  • Carilyn

    A note on the “Travers was a mother” thing. I just saw the film a few hours ago, and when Disney asks Travers if she had children, she starts to say “Not exactly.” Which I think refers to the adopted child. Doesn’t completely deny his existence, though it doesn’t go into detail. Neatly parallels the fact that there were more Banks children in the book not included in the film, actually.

    Plus, considering Travers adopted him when she was 40, in 1939, and that he found out about his twin when he was 17, in 1956, thereafter straining their relationship (plus, as noted in the linked article, the son was in jail at the time Travers was in Hollywood), it makes sense that he’s not living with her, and probably hasn’t for some time, by 1961, when the film takes place.

  • Jeremy Williams

    I’m a stickler for historical accuracy. Why make a biopic, if much of it isn’t true? Could be Disney didn’t want to cast Travers (or Walt, himsel), in a bad light.

  • Tracy Carpenter

    I cried when Hanks was visiting in her London home, and talked about our need to re-write our stories with a redemptive ending. As a child of a loved but alcoholic father, I understand this so well. That scene was the heart of the story, true to Traver’s life or not. It is absolutely true for many of us.

  • SusanElaine Smith

    No movie, book, documentary, news story, etc. has ever EVER EVER gotten the complete story on anything. Writers do the best they can, and the rest is up to the reader, viewer, listener. This was an interesting movie and it made me want to know more about PL Travers. What I learned made me less enthusiastic about her, and more glad that Walt Disney DID “Disneyfy” Mary Poppins. PL Travers (not even her real name) apparently passed away not loving anyone, and not being loved by anyone. I’m glad I didn’t have to see that in the movie.

  • Gigi

    No.. I knew it was just a one sided story and love it to the end.

  • Dorothy Courtright

    The movie about Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George, was not entirely accurate either. Purely accurate movies might be snoozefests that sell no popcorn. Many people read the books, either before or after viewing, and that’s a good thing; this film will generate re-prints, of course. If books could be condensed into screenplays without adaptations AND be entertaining, there would be no need for screenplay writers. If movies are not entertaining, they don’t pay the bills or make profit. Few people expect Disney anything to be ‘historically accurate’ to the nth degree. Movies are typically attended as an escape from hum-drum, and total truth is seldom uplifting. We have movie trailers and the internet to guide our choices even before going to a movie, so that people who feel betrayed or cheated by inaccuracies generally have only themselves to blame for not researching a bit ahead of time. Ticket prices being what they are, research pays off.

  • Dorothy Courtright

    sort of a PS: how many ladies out there suffered the indignity of having to sit still for Saturday Night pin curls? Even secured by two bobby pins, typically some broke loose during the night, leaving hair stick-straight in places. And Toni permanent waves—administered at Grandma’s house, with her help—that was child abuse, albeit mild variety. The farm house stunk to high heaven from the fumes. Emma Thompson’s hairstyle for this movie brings it all back.

  • BadGrandpa

    P.L Travers Ghost : Be nice to people Tom. Don’t be a bad boy. Tsk tsk tsk…

  • MK

    After seeing the film–and historically correct or not, liking it–I am of the opinion that the story is less about how Disney convinced Travers to make the film and more about the author’s relationship with her father; her traumatic life with two totally ineffectual parents; how it took a take-charge aunt to bring some order to the chaos that was her life at that time and her appreciation for that; and how all of that impacted every day of the rest of her life. I will be watching the PBS special about Travers life with great interest.

  • Amelia

    I really don’t like the title at all, sure the article is informative, but the writing sounds like Disney had said ‘this is what happened it is facts all facts’ where they did not. Of flipping course it is embellished. It is a film, meant to entertain for christs sake! I understand you mean ‘things that were not true’ but the ‘not get right’ is like you’re saying the fact checker didn’t do their job, when they were not supposed to do that. Surely, they would know what really happened, they’re Disney, not a bunch of idiots!

  • Spock

    If I wanted historical accuracy I’d read a history book. I’d rather spend my time and money being entertained. It was a good, thought provoking movie.

  • andyjh64

    I really enjoyed the movie, but to find that there are so many fundamental inaccuracies is disappointing. If a true story isn’t interesting or entertaining enough to at least stick reasonably to the facts, why bother making it?

  • Carol Cronin

    Saving Mr Banks was a very enjoyable movie….It makes no difference in my enjoyment of the movie Saving Mr. Banks….now I want to see Mary Poppins again!! Both films were absolutel wonderful…..No guns no killings k no savagry …just pure entertainment… which is what I go to the movies for…..C. Cronin

  • Larissa

    Well, let’s just watch it as a Disney Movie… there are certain things one cannot expect from a Disney Movie.. telling a true, not so charming story is one of them…

  • lena

    Who says you cannot be prim and proper and be gay or bi or have older lovers? You can do all that in a prim and proper manner. Tea?

  • Roxanna12

    What the film did for me was create even more curiosity about the real author and her life… It also communicated how highly creative people are often driven by deep emotional pains..I very much liked the movie, even if it wasn’t so factual.

  • Chris Topher

    she’s a woman nothing would have made the b#### happy … she needed LAID.

    • Chuckawobbly

      Yes of course, getting laid is always the answer isn’t it? Maybe it is…if you’re a MAN.

  • Chuckawobbly

    Well really. What do we expect from Hollywood? Things are always changed around or left out. I thought this was a little better than average film despite who all was involved in it. Poor Emma Thompson was left to wear an uptight perm to fit in exactly with Traver’s uptight personality.

  • Glenn

    Every hollywood movie made of a “true story” takes liberties with the truth. Why make such a big deal about this one? A very intertwining movie…but I recommend watching Mary Poppins “again” before you see “Saving Mr Banks”.

  • Bonnie

    I got the impression from other material (possibly source material for this piece) that the nature of Travers’ relationships with an older, married man, and with a woman, were a matter of speculation. I’m not sure Travers was “openly bisexual” in the way we think of that today. Hence, while her love life probably would be a very interesting part of the whole picture, I imagine not much of it is known for sure, and I wonder how many people are still around who would know much about it. Also, it would make more sense to explore that part of her history in a whole different movie; it didn’t have much to do with this story.

  • Mansgame

    Perhaps PBS will do a full life story of her the way they do, but I have my doubts about this site too. Before googling my way here, I never even heard of hypable. What are YOUR sources?

  • jennifer

    She seemed to NOT want this movie made. Why release the rights, or entertain the possibility at all then? She seems insufferable!

  • Jasmine

    My family and I loved the movie. And these facts don’t change that. It was an interesting and entertaining movie. But one of the songs did get Travers dancing and singing.

  • Misha Rael

    While I don’t have a personal problem with Travers’ sexual preferences, I do believe that Disney intended this to be a family movie, and most parents would not approve of any sexual behavior being highlighted. Also, as far as being historically accurate, from what I understand regarding movies of this sort is: The writers, producers, and “others” get as much info as possible. They certainly recieve conflicting accounts, as well as little tidbits of information that they just like, whether it’s true or not. If it were a “true” story, it would be on the Discovery Channel. This is supposed to be as true as they believe it could be, fun, entertaining, and respectful to the characters. Don’t forget surviving family members and Disney (the corporation) has say in what is allowed to be told. In other words, give it a break. It was a fun movie, complicated, but worthy of words of praise. Hanks and Thompson were perfect, as usual.

  • kqs

    total accuracy in films would, at the very least, be booooooooooooooooooooooooring most of the time. we dont go to see movies just so we can get another lesson in how the real world actually is; we know this already. movies, mostly, are entertaining, and generally the opposite of real life.

  • grace

    I´m Grace and I agree with Grace. It was obvious that the character was Over acted, and What a pity to waste a talent li Emma on that mediocre film

  • Thomas

    Sometimes the world needs a happy ending, just let us fucking have it

    • ROCPizzaGuy

      Then don’t read stuff that might burst your bubble. I’d rather know the truth.

  • charlite brooks

    if you look at the points they pointed out, they were actually somewhere in the movie. Just not elaborated on because it’s not a biography about p.l. tavers. It’s about the story of Mary poppins and how it came about. 1) Disney already owned the rights. So What? One minor detail that was changed. Doesn’t change the fact that she fought everything. Contract or not. And since the contract states she still has controlling votes and say so, the contract would become breached if she decided. So technically, they got it right in the movie. 2) Disney didn’t stick around to fight with her. So What? Again. Still doesn’t change the fact that she fought everything. Plus, if you know the story, her and Walt damn near hated each other. So again, small detail changed but still accurate. 3) none of the songs got her dancing. But then they said except one. So this post lied already. 4) not crying tears of happiness but of anger. That’s something that’s more of an inside thing. I don’t think it mattered one or another why she was crying. She cried nonetheless, so again, accurate. 5) why would they need to show an anger split between Walt and her? The point would’ve been what? Baseless because it’s not a biography. 6) pointless to put that she was writing a sequel that never took off. This movie is about how Mary poppins the movie came to be. Not about a sequel. 7) her not watching the movie for 20yrs. Anything thing that would be pointless to the movie. Plus she ended actually enjoying it when she finally did. 8) they did hint at her being a mother when she went to L.A. to meet with Disney. When he asked, she said, not exactly, or not quite, or something to that nature. So again, movie was accurate. No need to go into that because it’s not about her background. Nowhere does the movie say she was alone. 9) and that last one about being bisexual and the issues with the adoption and blah blah blah. What does that have to do with the movie and the story of Mary poppins? Nothing. That’s her business and it contributes to no part of this movie, Mary poppins and that movie, or how Mary poppins came about with Disney! But they did touch on her not being so prim and proper, and her changing her name, and not being who she really is or whatever, and her having daddy issues. So, again, movie is accurate.And of course it’s gonna have a happy ending. Nobody wants to en Mary poppins story with 2 creators cussing each other out and vowing to never speak again! So this whole blog about inaccuracy is completely bogus.

  • Bonita

    Thank God for Walt Disney!

    • Ken3580

      Yes, if they had produced it Travers’ way the film would have flopped. P.L. Travers should have been thankful. Not only was Mary Poppins a household name because Disney made it better, but Disney also made P.L. Travers a lot of money. That’s ingratitude for you!

  • blackmoses

    Re #9, according to the screenwriter’s research (whose very first draft of this film was a typical full-life biopic of Travers before the decision was made to focus on the Mary Poppins film development process), Travers was shown to be a spinster in this film because, by 1961, whatever lovers she had, male or female, had left her and she was to be alone for the rest of her life.

    She maintained a strained relationship with her adopted son, but her grandchildren apparently did not enjoy visiting her.

  • bfin43

    I think historical accuracy is always important though rarely seen in movies, whether its Disney or other filmmakers. This film was and could have been truly gut wrenching had the accounts been true. Like so many films fiction seems to get the better of the truth. However it did give a good child’s eye view of how children believe and sometimes perceive their parents even against the backdrop of a painful reality.

  • VirginiaLibertarian

    When it comes to storytelling, you should never let the facts get in the way of the truth. If you get into the weeds of trying to depict everything exactly as it happened, some of the essence of the tale would be lost on bored audiences.

    Travers and Disney did haggle over the details of the thing — in letters and telephone calls. I doubt anyone would like to see a movie about two people writing letters. And, Travers did come to the studios and spend time writing with the Shermans — but without any dramatic overhead, as she’d already signed the release. Again, not exactly exciting stuff. SO, why not combine those two things, the haggling and the production, into one timeline? What does it really change about the essence of the story? Did Travers not haggle with Walt and fight with the Shermans regarding the traslation of Mary Poppins to the screen? Did the film not tell you that?

    As far as the characterization of her as prim and proper, it may not have been accurate. However, that WAS the characterization of Poppins that she wanted, vs. Walt’s Julie Andrews version, and that creative difference is played out in the film by the proponents of each…Disney IS the fun-loving version and Travers is her own Mary Poppins. That’s dramatic character work.

    Lighten up, guys.

  • kevin

    According to Travers’ relatives, when she died she did not love anyone and was not loved by anyone.She was not a pleasant person, and this is comprehensible, since she had a difficult life. By the way, the movie depicts her as a harsh, but sensitive woman.The director wants to highlight that she actually had good feelings and the last scene, when she cries, marks this point. On the other hand, Disney is not depicted as a completely perfect person: in the movie he sometimes appears presumptuous (in Disneyland he says that he created a tree as God did) and dishonest (includes animated sequences without telling Travers and refuses to invite her at the premiere). I think that this film, far from being just a praise of Walt Disney, should be entitled “Saving Mrs Travers” since she is depicted as a better woman than she was. Sorry for my English,but I am not a native speaker.

    • kevin

      My viewpoint, of course, may not be shared by others.

  • kenkap

    Yes. I would like to see films far more accurate historically. The problem for our consumer cultrure is it won’t fly. Americans have a deep distaste for realism and authentic emotion. Less so in Europe and independent films. There is a reason its called a “Hollywood ending”.

    Life is hard enough, most people go to the movies to escape. I was enraged at twelve when I went to see a Hercules film expecting the grandeur of the Greek myth only to see a watered down dubbed Italian film.

    We are fortunate that there has been room for certain great adaptations (Lord of the Rings, Gettysburg, others) but the greatness of the late 60′s 70′s film period was destroyed by Spielberg, Lucas and the summer blockbuster.

    It is truly tragic that we live in a culture that is in such deep emotional denial and cannot tolerate the ambiguities of historical reality.

    “Lincoln” is a prime example. It perpetuates the “great man myth” and conveniently lops off the historical and social forces, engineered in large part by the War and the ex slaves themselves that pushed Lincoln and Congress to action but it is too messy, grand, and complex for the American psyche.

    The true story would have been a fantastic epic but one America could not stomach. A complex, sometimes repugnant Lincoln would be unacceptable.

    When as a culture you cannot fathom your own emotional conflicts and depth, how can you honestly access or portray them.

    As the story above shows, the movie is a lie. Travers hated the movie. Disney was a combination of sincere shrewd and cruel.

    How can Disney make a s movie showing their founder as he truly was?

    Walt Disney has touched every corner of American life. He was a genius, a phenomenal entrepreneur, a ruthless businessman who sparked animation but simultaneously stifled its expression world wide but especially in America. He had tremendous light but also a large shadow.

    His true story would be an amazing movie. But too much like the Godfather without the killing. Americans don’t like grey.

    Want realism? Watch Oliver Stone’s Untold History. A polemic for sure but much closer to truths we have denied.

  • The Pool Man

    Hi. I’m a screenwriter that’s written a script or two where I take real people and put them in fantastic fictions. I’d like to take a shot at answering the question about historical accuracy… since I’ve been down this road a few times.

    Historical accuracy doesn’t matter if you’re OBVIOUSLY creating critical story facts from the get go.

    Suppose someone wrote a screenplay suggesting Paul Anka wrote every great pop song by all great acts since he was 11 years old. Obviously this is a fiction to the audience, and the only way they’ll be entertained is if the writer makes every effort to make the ridiculous possible with otherwise historical accuracy. Fun, right?

    What SAVINGS BANKS gets wrong is that it suggests it’s telling an essentially true story but takes too much license on critical facts. If Disney did have the rights in the first place, that ruins the entire plot. You walk around telling your friends what an incredible detail that is… and it turns out you’re completely wrong. Not fun and this story should have never been a ‘yes’ in this condition.

    Poetic license should only be tolerated in minor details. You know the scene where the author starts tapping to the song? Well, if in fact that’s all she did, we the audience wouldn’t mind the stretch to her standing and dancing. Her tapping indicates as much and that’s for our benefit.

    This article indicates that dancing scene never occurred. So is that good or bad? If she did warm up to the fellow creators, it’s good enough. If she despised them more and more each day and refused to even speak with them after a certain point, bad.

    Now that I know the details of this story I believe it never should have been produced. It’s a story about Disney’s hopeful charm wins all… when it didn’t.

    And therefore doesn’t.

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