Saving Mr. Banks

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Saving Mr. Banks
Walt Disney and P.L. Travers walking in unison against a white background with their shadows appearing as Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins, respectively.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Lee Hancock
Produced by
Written by
Music byThomas Newman
CinematographyJohn Schwartzman
Edited byMark Livolsi
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
Running time
125 minutes[1]
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$35 million[2]
Box office$112.5 million[3]
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Saving Mr. Banks
Walt Disney and P.L. Travers walking in unison against a white background with their shadows appearing as Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins, respectively.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Lee Hancock
Produced by
Written by
Music byThomas Newman
CinematographyJohn Schwartzman
Edited byMark Livolsi
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release dates
Running time
125 minutes[1]
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Budget$35 million[2]
Box office$112.5 million[3]

Saving Mr. Banks is a 2013 period drama film directed by John Lee Hancock from a screenplay written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Centered on the development of the 1964 Walt Disney Studios film Mary Poppins, the film stars Emma Thompson as author P. L. Travers and Tom Hanks as filmmaker Walt Disney, with supporting performances from Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson, B. J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, and Kathy Baker.

Named after the father in Travers' story, the film depicts the author's fortnight-long briefing in 1961 Los Angeles as she is persuaded by Disney, in his attempts to obtain the screen rights to her novels.[4] Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Ruby Films and Essential Media and Entertainment in association with BBC Films and Hopscotch Features, Saving Mr. Banks was shot entirely in the Southern California area, primarily at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, where a majority of the film's narrative takes place.[5][6]

Saving Mr. Banks was released theatrically in the UK on November 29, 2013, and in the United States on December 13, 2013, where it was met with positive reviews, with praise directed towards the acting, screenplay, and musical score—Thompson won the National Board of Review Award for Best Actress, as well as receiving BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award, and Critic's Choice Award nominations for Best Actress, while composer Thomas Newman received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. The film was also a box office success, grossing $112 million worldwide against a $35 million budget.[7]


In London in 1961, the famous but financially strapped author Pamela "P. L." Travers (Emma Thompson) reluctantly agrees to travel to Los Angeles to meet with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) at the urging of her agent Diarmuid Russell (Ronan Vibert). Disney has been courting Travers for 20 years, seeking the film rights to her Mary Poppins stories, mostly due to his daughters' request to produce a film based on the character. Travers, however, has continually resisted to allow Disney to adapt her creation because he primarily produced animated feature films, which Travers openly disdains.

Travers' difficult youth in Allora, Queensland in 1906 is depicted through flashbacks, and is shown as the inspiration for much of Mary Poppins. Travers idolized her loving and charismatic father, Travers Robert Goff (Colin Farrell), who's chronic alcoholism caused his repeated demotions or firings from bank positions, strained her parents' marriage, and led her distressed mother to attempt suicide. Goff dies at an early age from consumption when Travers is about seven-years-old.

In Los Angeles, Travers is put off by what she perceives as the city's unreality and the inhabitants' intrusive friendliness, personified by her assigned limo driver, Ralph (Paul Giamatti). At the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Travers begins collaborating with the creative team assigned to develop Mary Poppins for the screen, screenwriter Don DaGradi (Bradley Whitford), and music composers Richard and Robert Sherman (Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak respectively). She finds their presumptions and casual manners highly improper, a view she also reciprocates on the jocular Disney.

Travers' working relationship with the creative team is difficult from the outset, with her insistence that Mary Poppins is the enemy of sentiment and whimsy. Disney and his associates are puzzled by Travers' disdain for fantasy, given the fantastical nature of the Mary Poppins story, as well as Travers' own rich imagination. Travers objects to how George Banks' character is being depicted, insisting that he was neither a cold or cruel man. Slowly they grasp how deeply personal the Mary Poppins stories are to Travers and how many characters were inspired by her past.

The collaboration continues, although Travers becomes increasingly disengaged as painful childhood memories resurface. Seeking to understand what troubles her, Disney invites Travers to Disneyland, which, along with her progressive friendship with Ralph, the creative team’s revisions to George Banks' character, and the insertion of a new song to close the film, help soften Travers. Her creativity reawakens, and she engages with the team.

This progress is upended, however, when Travers discovers that an animation sequence is planned for the film. She confronts and denounces a protesting Disney, angrily refusing to sign over the film rights and returns to London. Disney learns that Travers writes under a pseudonym. Her real name is Helen Goff—she has taken her father's christian name as part of her pen name. Equipped with this new insight, Disney departs for London, determined to salvage the film. Arriving unexpectedly at Travers' residence, Disney reveals his own less-than-ideal childhood, while stressing the healing value of his art. He urges her to shed deeply-rooted, past disappointments that prevent her from enjoying life in the present. Travers relents and grants him the film rights.

Three years later, in 1964, Mary Poppins is nearing its world premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Travers was not invited because Disney fears she could inflict negative publicity on the film. Persuaded by her agent, Travers returns to Los Angeles, unexpectedly arriving in Disney's office. He reluctantly issues her an invitation to the premiere. She watches Mary Poppins initially with scorn and dismay, particular over the animated sequence. She gradually warms to the rest of the film, and seems emotionally touched by George Banks' redemption. Back in London, she is seen working on a new Mary Poppins book.


Dendrie Taylor, Victoria Summer and Kristopher Kyer appear in minor, non-speaking roles as Lillian Disney, Julie Andrews, and Dick Van Dyke, respectively.[17][18]



In 2002, Australian producer Ian Collie produced a documentary film on P. L. Travers titled The Shadow of "Mary Poppins". During the documentary's production, Collie noticed that there was "an obvious biopic there" and convinced Essential Media and Entertainment to develop a feature film with Sue Smith writing the screenplay.[19] The project attracted the attention of BBC Films, which decided to finance the project, and Ruby Films' Alison Owen, who subsequently hired Kelly Marcel to co-write the screenplay with Smith.[20] Marcel's drafts removed a subplot involving Travers and her son, and divided the story into a two-part narrative: the creative conflict between Travers and Walt Disney, and her dealings with her childhood issues. Marcel's version, however, featured certain intellectual property rights of music and imagery which would be impossible to use without permission from The Walt Disney Company. "There was always that elephant in the room, which is Disney," Collie recalled. "We knew Walt Disney was a key character in the film and we wanted to use quite a bit of the music. We knew we'd eventually have to show Disney." In early 2010, Robert B. Sherman provided producer Alison Owen with an advance copy of a salient chapter from his then upcoming book release, Moose: Chapters From My Life. The chapter entitled, "'Tween Pavement and Stars" contained characterizations and anecdotes which proved seminal to the Kelly Marcel script rewrite, in particular the anecdote about there not being any color red in London.[21][22] In July 2011, while attending the Ischia Film Festival, Owen met with Corky Hale, who offered to present the screenplay to Richard M. Sherman.[23] Sherman read the screenplay and gave the producers his support.[23] Later that year, Marcel and Smith's screenplay was listed in Franklin Leonard's The Black List, voted by producers as one of the best screenplays that were not in production.[24]

In November 2011, The Walt Disney Studios' president of production, Sean Bailey, was informed of the existence of Marcel's script.[2] Realizing that the screenplay included a depiction of the studio's namesake, Bailey conferred with the company's executives, including CEO Bob Iger[25] and studio chairman Alan Horn, the latter of whom referred to the film as a "brand deposit,"[26] a term adopted from Steve Jobs.[27] Together, the executives discussed the studio's potential choices: purchase the script and shut the production down, put the film in turnaround, or co-produce the film themselves.

Iger approved the film and subsequently contacted Tom Hanks to consider playing the role of Walt Disney, which would become the first-ever depiction of Disney in a mainstream film.[2] Hanks accepted the role, viewing it as "an opportunity to play somebody as world-shifting as Picasso or Chaplin".[28] Hanks made several visits to The Walt Disney Family Museum and interviewed some of Disney's former employees and family relatives, including his daughter Diane Disney Miller.[29][30] The film was subsequently dedicated to Disney Miller, who died just before it was released.[31]

In April 2012, Emma Thompson entered final negotiations to star as P. L. Travers, after the studio was unable to secure Meryl Streep for the part.[32] Thompson said that the role was the most difficult one that she has played, describing Travers as "a woman of quite eye-watering complexity and contradiction."[33] "She wrote a very good essay on sadness, because she was, in fact, a very sad woman. She'd had a very rough childhood, the alcoholism of her father being part of it and the attempted suicide of her mother being another part of it. I think that she spent her whole life in a state of fundamental inconsolability and hence got a lot done."[34]

"I thought the script was a fair portrayal of Walt as a mogul but also as an artist and a human being. But I still had concerns that it could be whittled away. I don't think this script could have been developed within the walls of Disney—it had to be developed outside...I'm not going to say there weren't discussions, but the movie we ended up with is the one that was on the page."

— John Lee Hancock on his initial thoughts of Disney's involvement[23]

With Walt Disney Pictures' backing, the production team was given access to 36 hours of Travers' audio recordings of herself, the Shermans, and co-writer Don DaGradi that were produced during the development of Mary Poppins,[35] in addition to letters written between Disney and Travers from the 1940s through the 1960s.[19][23] Richard Sherman also worked on the film as a technical advisor and shared his side of his experiences working with Travers on Mary Poppins.[35] Initially, director John Lee Hancock had reservations about Disney's involvement with the film, believing that the studio would edit the screenplay in their founder's favor. However, Marcel admitted that the studio "specifically didn't want to come in and sanitize it or change Walt in any way."[19] Although the filmmakers did not receive any creative interference from Disney regarding Walt Disney's depiction, the studio did request that they omit any onscreen inhalation of cigarettes[36] due to the company's policy of not directly depicting smoking in films released under the Walt Disney Pictures banner, and to avoid an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America.[37][38] Instead, Disney is shown extinguishing a lit cigarette in one scene, and his notorious smoker's cough is heard off-screen several times throughout the film.[37]


The former Animation Building on the Walt Disney Studios lot, which served as a primary filming location for the film.

Principal photography began on September 19, 2012.[12][39] Although some filming was originally to be in Queensland, Australia,[14][40] all filming took place in the Southern California area, including the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, Courthouse Square at Universal Studios, and the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.[40][41] The largest set built for the film was the interior of the Walt Disney Studios' Animation Building, which production designer Michael Corenblith referred to as "a character in the story".[42] The exterior of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Disney's personal office also needed to be recreated. In order to ensure authenticity, Corenblith used photographs and a furniture display from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library as references for Disney's office.[23][43] For the Disneyland sequences, scenes were shot during the early morning, with certain areas cordoned off during the park's daily operation, including Sleeping Beauty Castle, Main Street U.S.A., Fantasyland, and the King Arthur Carrousel attractions.[44] Extra roles were filled by Disneyland Park cast members.[45] In order for the park to portray the time period in the story, Corenblith had the Main Street storefronts recreated to reflect their 1961 appearance; post-1961 attractions were kept from showing up on camera.[46][47] To recreate the original film's premiere at the Chinese Theatre, set designers closed Hollywood Boulevard and redressed the street and theater to resemble their 1964 appearances.[43] After scheduled filming in Australia had been scrapped, cinematographer John Schwartzman compared the landscape of Queensland with that of Southern California, and realized that both had similar traits in natural lighting.[42]

Emma Thompson prepared for her role by studying Travers' own recordings conducted during the development of Mary Poppins, and also styled her natural hair after Travers', due to the actress's disdain for wigs.[48] To accurately convey Walt Disney's midwestern dialect, Tom Hanks listened to archival recordings of Disney in his car and practised the voice while reading newspapers.[49][50] Hanks also grew his own mustache for the role, which underwent heavy scrutiny, with the filmmakers going so far as to match the dimensions of Hanks' mustache to that of Disney's.[51][52] Jason Schwartzman and B. J. Novak worked closely with Richard M. Sherman during pre-production and filming. The songwriter described the actors as "perfect talents" for their roles as Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman.[53] Costume designer Daniel Orlandi had Thompson wear authentic jewelry borrowed from The Walt Disney Family Museum,[54] and ensured that Hanks' wardrobe included the Smoke Tree Ranch emblem from the Palm Springs property embroidered on his neckties, which Disney always wore.[55] The design department also had to recreate several of the costumed Disneyland characters as they appeared in the 1960s.[56] Filming was completed on November 22, 2012.[14][57][58] Walt Disney Animation Studios produced a recreation of the Tinker Bell animation featured in the weekly television show Walt Disney Presents.[59]

Historical accuracy[edit]

Saving Mr. Banks depicts several events that differ from recorded accounts.[60] The dramatic premise of the script—that Walt Disney had to convince P.L. Travers to hand over the film rights, including the scene when he finally persuades her—is fictionalized, as Disney had already secured the film rights (subject to Travers' approval of the script) when Travers arrived to consult with the Disney staff.[61][62] Disney in fact left Burbank to vacation in Palm Springs, California a few days into Travers' visit and was not present at the studio when several of the film's scenes depicting him to be present actually took place.[35] Therefore, many of the dialogue scenes between Travers and Disney are adapted from letters, telegrams, and telephone correspondence between the two.[35]

The film also depicts Travers coming to amicable terms with Disney, implying her approval of his changes to the story.[63] In reality, she never approved of softening the harsher aspects of Mary Poppins' character, remained ambivalent about the music, and never came around to the use of animation.[64][65] Disney overruled her objections to portions of the final film, citing contract stipulations that he had final cut privilege. Travers had initially not been invited to the film's premiere, until she "embarrassed" a Disney executive into extending her an invitation;[66] this is depicted in the film as coaxing Disney himself. After the premiere, she reportedly approached Disney and told him that the animated sequences had to be removed. Disney dismissed her request, saying, "Pamela, the ship has sailed".[66]

Although the film portrays Travers as being emotionally moved during the premiere of Mary Poppins[66]—overlayed with images of her childhood, which is implied to be attributed to her feelings about her father—co-screenwriter Kelly Marcel and several critics note that in real life, Travers' show of emotion was actually a result of anger and frustration over the final product.[35][61][66][67] Reportedly, Travers felt that in the end, the film betrayed the artistic integrity of her work and story's characters.[68] Resentful over what she considered poor treatment at the hands of Walt Disney, Travers vowed to never permit Disney to adapt her other novels for any purpose.[69] Travers' last will bans all American adaptation of her works to any form of media.[35] According to the Chicago Tribune, Disney was "indulging in a little revisionist history with an upbeat spin", adding, "the truth was always complicated" and that Travers subsequently viewed the film multiple times.[70]

English writer Brian Sibley found Travers still gun-shy from her experiences with Disney when he was hired in the 1980s to write a possible Mary Poppins sequel. Sibley reported that Travers told him, “I could only agree if I could do it on my own terms. I'd have to work with someone I trust.” Regardless, while watching the original film together—the first time Travers had seen it since the premiere—she became excited at times and thought certain aspects were excellent, while others were unappealing.[71] The sequel never went to production, and when approached to do a stage adaptation in the 1990s, she only acquiesced on the condition that English-born writers and no one from the film production were to be directly involved with the musical's development.[72][73][74]

Although Travers was assigned a limousine driver,[35] the character of Ralph is fictionalized and intended to be an amalgamation of the studio's drivers.[75] In real life, Disney story editor Bill Dover was assigned as Travers' guide and companion during her time in Los Angeles.[35]


Saving Mr. Banks (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Various artists
ReleasedDecember 10, 2013
RecordedCapitol Studios
1:09:18 (deluxe edition)
LabelWalt Disney
Thomas Newman chronology
Side Effects
Saving Mr. Banks
The Good Dinosaur
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars[76]
Filmtracks4/5 stars[77]

The film's original score was composed by Thomas Newman.[78] Newman's process of scoring the film included playing themes to filmed scenes, so that he could "listen to what the music does to an image."[79] Walt Disney Records released two editions of the soundtrack on December 10, 2013: a single-disc and a two-disc digipak deluxe edition (containing original demo recordings by the Sherman Brothers and selected songs from Mary Poppins).[80][81]

1."Chim Chim Cher-ee (East Wind)"  Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. ShermanColin Farrell1:04
2."Travers Goff"   Thomas Newman2:06
3."Walking Bus"   Thomas Newman2:10
4."One Mint Julep"  Rudy ToombsRay Charles1:31
5."Uncle Albert"   Thomas Newman1:34
6."Jollification"   Thomas Newman1:18
7."The Mouse"   Thomas Newman0:57
8."Leisurely Stroll"   Thomas Newman1:34
9."Chim Chim Cher-ee (Responstible)"  Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. ShermanJason Schwartzman, B. J. Novak, and Emma Thompson0:26
10."Mr. Disney"   Thomas Newman0:35
11."Celtic Soul"   Thomas Newman1:20
12."A Foul Fowl"   Thomas Newman2:04
13."Mrs. P. L. Travers"   Thomas Newman1:16
14."Laying Eggs"   Thomas Newman1:08
15."Worn to Tissue"   Thomas Newman0:54
16."Heigh-Ho"  Frank Churchill, Larry MoreyThe Dave Brubeck Quartet2:11
17."Whiskey"   Thomas Newman1:21
18."Impertinent Man"   Thomas Newman0:38
19."To My Mother"   Thomas Newman3:44
20."Westerly Weather"   Thomas Newman1:58
21."Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"  Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. ShermanJason Schwartzman, B. J. Novak, and Emma Thompson0:05
22."Spit Spot!"   Thomas Newman1:49
23."Beverly Hills Hotel"   Thomas Newman0:38
24."Penguins"   Thomas Newman1:18
25."Pears"   Thomas Newman0:55
26."Let's Go Fly a Kite"  Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. ShermanJason Schwartzman, B. J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Melanie Paxson, and Emma Thompson1:55
27."Maypole"   Thomas Newman0:59
28."Forgiveness"   Thomas Newman2:00
29."The Magic Kingdom"   Thomas Newman1:05
30."Ginty My Love"   Thomas Newman3:12
31."Saving Mr. Banks (End Title)"   Thomas Newman2:12
Total length:

All songs written and composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. 


A trailer for the film was released on July 10, 2013.[82]

Saving Mr. Banks held its world premiere at the London Film Festival on October 20, 2013.[83][84][85] On November 7, 2013, Walt Disney Pictures held the film's U.S. premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre during the opening night of the 2013 AFI Film Festival,[86][87] the same location where Mary Poppins premiered.[88] The original film was also screened for its 50th anniversary.[89] Saving Mr. Banks also served as the Gala Presentation at the 2013 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 13,[90] and was screened at the AARP Film Festival in Los Angeles on November 17,[25] as Disney heavily campaigned Saving Mr. Banks for Academy Awards consideration.[25] On December 9, 2013, the film was given an exclusive corporate premiere in the Main Theater of the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank.[91] The film was released in the United States on December 13, 2013.[92] Despite not earning a nomination, the film was widely considered by pundits to be a front-runner for Best Picture at the 86th Academy Awards.[93][94][95][96][97]

Home media[edit]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released Saving Mr. Banks on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and digital download on March 18, 2014.[98] The film debuted at No. 2 in Blu-ray and DVD sales in the United States according to Nielsen's sales chart.[99]


Box office[edit]

Saving Mr. Banks grossed $18.1 million in its opening weekend in the United States.[100] By the end of its theatrical run, Saving Mr. Banks earned $83.3 million in North America, and $29.2 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $112,544,580.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Saving Mr. Banks received positive reviews from film critics, with major praise directed to the acting; particularly Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, and Colin Farrell's performances.[25][101][102] Film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an 80% "Certified Fresh" approval rating from critics, based on 230 reviews with an average score of 7/10. The site's consensus reads: "Aggressively likable and sentimental to a fault, Saving Mr. Banks pays tribute to the Disney legacy with excellent performances and sweet, high-spirited charm."[103] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 65 (out of 100) based on 46 reviews from mainstream critics, considered to be "generally favorable".[104]

The Hollywood Reporter praised the film as an "affecting if somewhat soft-soaped comedy drama, elevated by excellent performances." The Reporter wrote that "Emma Thompson takes charge of the central role of P. L. Travers with an authority that makes you wonder how anybody else could ever have been considered."[105] Scott Foundas of Variety wrote that the film "has all the makings of an irresistible backstage tale, and it’s been brought to the screen with a surplus of old-fashioned Disney showmanship...", and that Tom Hanks's portrayal captured Walt Disney's "folksy charisma and canny powers of persuasion — at once father, confessor and the shrewdest of businessmen." Overall, he praised the film as "very rich in its sense of creative people and their spirit of self-reinvention."[106]

The Washington Post rated the film three out of four stars, writing: "Saving Mr. Banks doesn't always straddle its stories and time periods with the utmost grace. But the film — which John Lee Hancock directed from a script by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith — more than makes up for its occasionally unwieldy structure in telling a fascinating and ultimately deeply affecting story, along the way giving viewers tantalizing glimpses of the beloved 1964 movie musical, in both its creation and final form."[107] The New York Times' A. O. Scott gave a positive review, declaring the film as "an embellished, tidied-up but nonetheless reasonably authentic glimpse of the Disney entertainment machine at work."[108]

Mark Kermode awarded the film four out of five stars, lauding Thompson's performance as "impeccable", elaborating that "Thompson dances her way through Travers' conflicting emotions, giving us a fully rounded portrait of a person who is hard to like but impossible not to love."[109] Michael Phillips felt similarly, writing: "Thompson's the show. Each withering put-down, every jaundiced utterance, lands with a little ping." In regard to the screenplay, he wrote that "screenwriters Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith treat everyone gently and with the utmost respect."[110] Peter Travers also gave the film three out of four stars and equally commended the performances of the cast.[111]

Alonso Duralde described the film as a "whimsical, moving and occasionally insightful tale ... director John Lee Hancock luxuriates in the period detail of early-’60s Disney-ana".[112] Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B+" grade, explaining that "the trick here is how perfectly Thompson and Hanks portray the gradual thaw in their characters' frosty alliance, empathizing with each other's equally miserable upbringings in a beautiful three-hankie scene late in the film."[113] Kenneth Turan of The Los Angeles Times wrote that the film "does not strictly hew to the historical record where the eventual resolution of this conflict is concerned," but admitted that it "is easy to accept this fictionalizing as part of the price to be paid for Thompson's engaging performance."[114]

David Gritten of The Daily Telegraph described the confrontational interaction between Thompson and Hanks as "terrific", singling out Thompson's "bravura performance", and calling the film itself "smart, witty entertainment".[115] Kate Muir of The Times spoke highly of Thompson and Hanks's performances.[116] Joe Morgenstern of The Wall Street Journal, however, considered Colin Farrell to be the film's "standout performance".[117] IndieWire's Ashley Clark wrote that the film "is witty, well-crafted and well-performed mainstream entertainment which, perhaps unavoidably, cleaves to a well-worn Disney template stating that all problems—however psychologically deep-rooted—can be overcome."[118] Another staff writer labeled Thompson's performance as her best since Sense and Sensibility, and stated that "she makes the Australian-born British transplant a curmudgeonly delight."[119] Peter Bradshaw enjoyed Hanks' role as Disney, suggesting that, despite its brevity, the film would have been largely "bland" without it.[120]

The film did receive some criticism. The Independent gave the film a mixed review, writing: "On the one hand, Saving Mr. Banks (which was developed by BBC Films and has a British producer) is a probing, insightful character study with a very dark undertow. On the other, it is a cheery, upbeat marketing exercise in which the Disney organization is re-promoting one of its most popular film characters."[121] David Sexton of the Evening Standard concluded that the film "is nothing but a big corporation boasting about its own marvellousness."[122] Lou Lumenick of The New York Post criticized the accuracy of the film's events, concluding that "Saving Mr. Banks is ultimately much less about magic than making the sale, in more ways than one."[123] American history lecturer John Wills praised the film's attention to detail, such as the inclusion of Travers' original recordings, but doubted that the interpersonal relations between Travers and Disney were as amicable as portrayed in the film.[124] Film School Rejects also described several moments where the film had a "shrewd consumption of [the company's] own criticisms", only to later negate them and Disney-fy Travers as a character.[68]

Saving Mr. Banks was named the sixth best film of 2013 by Access Hollywood.[125]


AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipients and nomineesResult
AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards[126]January 6, 2014Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow UpSaving Mr. BanksWon
Academy AwardsMarch 2, 2014Best Original ScoreThomas NewmanNominated
African-American Film Critics Association[127]December 13, 2013Best Film of the Year8th place
Alliance of Women Film Journalists[128]December 19, 2013Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
American Cinema Editors[129]February 7, 2014Best Edited Feature Film - DramaticMark LivolsiNominated
American Film Institute[130]January 10, 2014Top Ten Films of the YearAlison Owen, Ian Collie, and Philip SteuerWon
Art Directors Guild[131]February 8, 2014Excellence in Production Design - Period FilmMichael CorenblithNominated
Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards[132]January 10, 2014Best Screenplay – InternationalKelly Marcel and Sue SmithNominated
British Academy Film Awards[133]February 16, 2014Outstanding British FilmAlison Owen, Ian Collie, and Philip SteuerNominated
Best Actress in a Leading RoleEmma ThompsonNominated
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or ProducerKelly MarcelNominated
Best Film MusicThomas NewmanNominated
Best Costume DesignDaniel OrlandiNominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association[134]January 16, 2014Best PictureNominated
Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Best ScoreThomas NewmanNominated
Best Costume DesignDaniel OrlandiNominated
Costume Designers Guild[135]February 22, 2014Excellence in Period FilmDaniel OrlandiNominated
Denver Film Critics Society[136]January 13, 2014Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Empire Awards[137][138]March 30, 2014Best ActressEmma ThompsonWon
Golden Globe Awards[139]January 12, 2014Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – DramaEmma ThompsonNominated
Grammy Awards[140]February 8, 2015Best Score Soundtrack for Visual MediaThomas NewmanPending
Houston Film Critics Society[141]December 15, 2013Best PictureNominated
Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Best Original ScoreThomas NewmanNominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society[142]December 18, 2013Top Ten Films7th place
Best ActressEmma ThompsonWon
Best Family FilmWon
Location Managers Guild of America[143]March 29, 2014Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional – Feature FilmAndrew Ullman and Lori BaltonNominated
London Film Critics Circle[144]February 2, 2014Supporting Actor of the YearTom HanksNominated
British Actress of the YearEmma Thompson (also for Beautiful Creatures)Nominated
National Board of Review[145]December 4, 2013Best ActressEmma ThompsonWon
Top Ten FilmsSaving Mr. BanksWon
Palm Springs International Film Festival[146]January 5, 2014Creative Impact in Directing AwardJohn Lee HancockWon
Phoenix Film Critics Society[147]December 17, 2013Best FilmNominated
Best DirectorJohn Lee HancockNominated
Best Actress in a Leading RoleEmma ThompsonNominated
Best Actor in a Supporting RoleTom HanksNominated
Best Ensemble ActingNominated
Best Original ScoreThomas NewmanNominated
Best Production DesignLauren E. Polizzi, Michael CorenblithNominated
Best Costume DesignDaniel OrlandiNominated
Best Performance by a Youth in a Lead or Supporting Role – FemaleAnnie Rose BuckleyNominated
Producers Guild of America Award[148]January 19, 2014Best Theatrical Motion PictureIan Collie, Alison Owen, Philip SteuerNominated
San Diego Film Critics Society[149]December 11, 2013Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Best Production DesignMichael CorenblithNominated
Satellite Awards[150]February 23, 2014Best Motion PictureNominated
Best Actress – Motion PictureEmma ThompsonNominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion PictureTom HanksNominated
Best Original ScreenplayKelly Marcel and Sue SmithNominated
Best Art Direction and Production DesignLauren E. Polizzi and Michael CorenblithNominated
Best Costume DesignDaniel OrlandiNominated
Saturn Awards[151]June 18, 2014Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Society of Camera Operators[152]March 8, 2014Camera Operator of the Year AwardIan FoxNominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards[153]January 18, 2014Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading RoleEmma ThompsonNominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association[154]December 16, 2013Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Best Original ScreenplayKelly Marcel and Sue SmithNominated
Best Musical ScoreThomas NewmanNominated
UK Regional Critics' Film Awards[155][156]January 29, 2014Best On-Screen DuoEmma Thompson and Tom HanksWon
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association[157]December 9, 2013Best ActressEmma ThompsonNominated
Best ScoreThomas NewmanNominated
Women in Film and TV Awards[158]December 5, 2013FremantleMedia U.K. New Talent AwardKelly Marcel (screenwriter of Saving Mr. Banks and Fifty Shades of Grey)Won


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External links[edit]