During my recent trip to the Walt Disney Studios, I was invited on a self guided tour of the Walt Disney Archives and treated to an up-close look at the Saving Mr. Banks exhibit! The film shows the lengths Walt went to in order to bring Pamela Traveler’s story of Mary Poppins to life onscreen. For more on this, read Melissa’s review of Saving Mr. Banks.
During the tour there was so much memorabilia to look at and information to take in, it would be impossible to tell you everything. So I will share some of my favorite things!
This exhibit contained many of the actual artifacts from Walt Disney’s office. In the frame above, from Saving Mr. Banks, you can see the individual figurines and the souvenirs Walt kept on his shelf behind his desk. Seeing this collection in person was amazing! Here is the recreation of Walt’s office-I stood right in front of many of the props used in the making of Saving Mr. Banks. The attention to detail was meticulous!
The exhibit included much memorabilia-original merchandise from when the film first opened in 1964. I really enjoyed looking at the beautiful prints and drawn storyboards. There were many amazing, well preserved historical photos and displays of Disney’s rich past.
We were able to sit down and listen to some of the actual audio recordings of meetings between Pamela Travers, the Sherman Brothers and Don Gadradi, Screenwriter for Mary Poppins. Robert and Richard Sherman were the musical team behind some of the most beloved Mary Poppin’s songs.
I loved listening to the recordings of the interaction between the filmmakers and Ms. Travers. She was quite reserved and stoic. She fought to protect the story that she loved, wanting to remain loyal to the characters and tale that she created. Walt and Travers had many differences of opinions, she wanted full control and Walt fought to turn it into his vision of a Disney movie.
We listened to a song called, “Mary Poppin’s Medley” that was to replace the much loved “A Spoon Full of Sugar.” Unfortunately, recording the song was not allowed. Travers disagreed with many other details of the film, including the use of animation. She did not feel it had a place in the film, yet animated butterflies, woodland creatures and even penguins make an appearance.
On August, 27th, 1964 Mary Poppins was released. The film went on to be nominated for a total of 13 academy awards and won five. P.L. Travers let Walt Disney know that she did not prefer the finished film at the Hollywood premier. However, she did end up attending the premiers in New York and England. Travers later wrote a letter apologizing for her words at the Hollywood premier and also said that upon watching the film a second time she enjoyed it a bit more. One thing I think everyone can agree on is that Walt knew filmmaking, and he succeeded in making P.L. Travers’ story into an entertaining, classic movie that the public will love for years to come.
I would just like to thank the amazing Jeffery Epstein, Marketing Manager for D23 for the tour of the studio lot! Do you know what D23 is? Check out D23.com site! There you can read about D23, The Official Disney Fan Club! If you join, you will receive benefits and opportunities only afforded to lucky Disney fans!
To stay connected with the latest news & newest information about Saving Mr. Banks, follow on:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/SavingMrBanks
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/DisneyPictures
- The Saving Mr. Banks Website: http://movies.disney.com/saving-mr-banks/
All opinion are honest and 100% my own. Disney provided an all-expense paid trip to cover the event.