On March 18th, Saving Mr. Banks arrived on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download in stores and online. While seemingly overshadowed by the overwhelming success of Disney’s animated blockbuster hit Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks is quite frankly one of Disney’s best films – telling the legendary story of Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) attempting to get the film rights to P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson)’s character, ‘Mary Poppins.’
Saving Mr. Banks is an emotional look into P.L. Travers’ early life and her inspiration for her iconic character ‘Mary Poppins,’ who would later impact generations in Walt Disney’s feature film. We have a full review of the film here, including information on its PG-13 rating.
Simply put, watching the Saving Mr. Banks on Blu-ray and all of its (albeit few) special features just made me fall in love with the movie all over again. It’s absolutely a must-have for fans of Walt Disney, Disney history, and Mary Poppins.
Saving Mr. Banks Special Features
Here’s a list of the special features included on the Saving Mr. Banks (Blu-ray + Digital Copy):
- “The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins To The Present” – Join Director John Lee Hancock on a tour of the Disney Studios lot, reflect on studio life during the making of Mary Poppins, and discover how Walt’s creative spirit still flourishes today.
- “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” – Cast and crew break out in a rousing, heartfelt tribute to Composer Richard Sherman on the last day of filming.
- Deleted Scenes
Each and every one of these special features is fantastic and definitely worth the time it takes to watch, especially if you are a hardcore Disney fan. My only wish is that there were more features to watch! I’m a sucker for audio commentaries and even though they seem to be a rarity these days, I would have loved to have seen a commentary with the actors and filmmakers giving a bit more of a behind-the-scenes look.
I also think that given the time period of the film, a lot could have been done to show the process of making the Disney Studios and Disneyland look like it did back in the 1960s. So much hard work went in to creating graphics, prop and set design, and even costuming to create the look of the 60s and an insider look would have been amazing.
Blu-ray Release: 3.5
There are very few bells and whistles that go along with the video release of Saving Mr. Banks – but at the heart of it, the film is more than enough reason to add it to your collection. The Blu-ray version of the film looks amazing and the menus and settings of the disc are well designed and feature bits of the film throughout.
That said, it would have been nice to see some more in-depth special features added to the release. The ones that are included are fantastic, especially “The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins To The Present.” The brief inside look at the Disney Studios and interview with Richard Sherman it offers are surely going to be appreciated by Disney fans.
I am extremely excited that Saving Mr. Banks has been released. The well-developed story, acting, and design all helped make it one of my favorite movies. I think that whether you saw it in theaters or would be seeing it for the first time, it’s worth getting a copy and watching.
Blu-ray Release: 4
I think most people can agree that Saving Mr. Banks is the second best Tom Hanks movie about “Saving” a character in the film. All joking aside though, Saving Mr. Banks was one of my favorite films from 2013, which was an absolute powerhouse year for the industry. In a weaker year, Saving Mr. Banks may have provided Oscar nominations for Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks and maybe even Best Picture, but it was a tight year. Saving Mr. Banks was nominated for Thomas Newman’s incredible score, but even that couldn’t be ousted by the frontrunner Gravity. What I’m trying to get at is Saving Mr. Banks is truly a great film, especially critically, but it just came out in a year that had a lot of great films. Financially speaking, the film was produced for $35 million dollars and managed to take in $83 million dollars, so it was even successful in the world of profits – not blockbuster level, but who would expect that from a film about the making of Mary Poppins.
Disney had two options for this Blu-ray release. They could’ve either taken their time to produce special features and jam it full of behind-the-scenes looks that true Disney fans want to see or they could’ve put out a relatively barebones edition, offer up a coupon in hopes more people on the fence would purchase it and accept the money coming in. Unfortunately, Disney chose the latter route and really missed out on a chance to make this a must-own edition for Disney fans. Don’t get me wrong, Disney fans in general should own this release as the audio and video are up to par and the little amount of special features offered are worthwhile, but there should be more.
I won’t go on and on about what should’ve been added and what they could have produced especially for the release, but Saving Mr. Banks has a special audience that truly cares about the film and Disney chose to ignore that. In the case of Frozen, Disney is waiting to release a 3D Blu-ray with even more special features to get people to double-dip, but this is the best we are most likely to see for Saving Mr. Banks and the only thing to do is accept it and be happy that we have the opportunity to enjoy the movie to begin with.
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