‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ With Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson – NYTimes.com

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By A. O. Scott

(Who, by the way, always gets me thinking… Great film critic.)

…Walt, in a late, decisive conversation, explains that their job as storytellers is to “restore order” to the chaos of life and infuse bleak realities with bright, happy colors. Imagination, in other words, is a form of repression. Joy is a kind of denial. Mary Poppins may have had a different idea: She is, on the page, committed to solving problems rather than wishing them away. But the Disney version has proved more powerful, more seductive and, it almost goes without saying, more profitable.

via ‘Saving Mr. Banks,’ With Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson – NYTimes.com.

9 Comments »

  1. Dearest V
    Much talk of this film over here at the moment and how hard Travers had Mr Disney fight for the rights, what a determined soul she was.
    Interestingly a stage version of the film was mounted on the West End a few years back, all cheery songs and exceptional choreography. Yet, in a final coup de theatre, Mary floated off above the heads of the audience and apparently out of the auditorium.
    The actress remained blank faced and distant throughout, almost staring at us.
    With one simple act Ms Travers’ complexity and ambiguity was restored and ultimately triumphed.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • I always preferred the books, myself — which is why I am so fascinated by their conflict. Also, Disneyland is very much a part of the Southern California childhood experience, and it really is at odds with the world Travers created. So interesting, and I’ll be seeing the movie this weekend…

  2. Hmm, definitely don’t agree with this: “common biographical fallacy of grounding adult creativity in childhood misery.” Um, while it’s obviously not always true, it’s actually a very common biographical fact. While I regret how the canon of children’s literature (including the wonderful traditional tales commonly called fairy tales) has been so thoroughly Disneyfied, I admit the magic is intoxicating.

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