SAVING MR. BANKS, Disney’s fictionalized account of the making of Disney’s award-winning MARY POPPINS, will be released on Blu-ray on Tuesday, March 18th. Click here for my review of the film.
The menu background is an old tape player “playing” clips of recordings of P.L. Travers in talks with the Disney crew with notes about their ideas for the film. It’s a loop that lasts about 50 seconds, so give it a listen before you start choosing. Emma Thompson did an almost spot-on imitation of Ms. Travers.
The set-up begins as soon as the disc is loaded. Viewers are invited to choose between English, English Descriptive Video Service*, French and Spanish. Upon choosing a language the DVD begins in that language, there are two previews (described below) before the disc menu appears, though you can press “Pop Up/Menu” or “Top Menu” to skip the previews. The options available in the set-up menu are “Languages” and “Subtitles,” which are for the same languages on the initial menu.
*Descriptive Video Service is an audio overlay that describes the action on the scene for visually-impaired viewers. When I reviewed the DVD of PLANES, I watched the first few scenes of the movie to get an idea of how it works and it’s an impressive feature. The descriptions were accurate and did not intrude on the dialogue in any way.
There’s also the Scene Selection option, which allows you to return to the spot you last saw or even just to favorite scenes to watch over and over again.
MARY POPPINS – The 50th anniversary edition is the first time MARY POPPINS has been available on Blu-ray in full digital resolution. It was released on December 10th in a combo pack with a digital copy included. The French and Spanish previews were subtitled for this preview. Click here for our review of the MARY POPPINS 50th Anniversary edition Blu-ray/DVD.
MALEFICENT – The long-awaited story of the evil fairy from SLEEPING BEAUTY will be in theaters May 30th. The French and Spanish previews were in those languages, but the words on the screen were subtitled.
There is a touching flashback scene between Travers’ father and mother, the scene where the Nanny song was proposed (the song was meant to be an advertisement for a nanny from the Banks children), and an extended look at the scene where Travers leaves and Disney pleads with her.
The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to the Present
Various Disney workers, including several of the makers of SAVING MR. BANKS, tell stories of their time in the studios over clips and photos of the studios and Disney movies – both of films and of the making of films. They detail the research that went into the backgrounds of the film, particularly how the studios looked during the filming of Saving Mr. Banks. Mouse Deco is the style I want for my future home. There are even clips of Walt Disney and some of his earlier works, like the Alice Comedies. Trivia lovers will really enjoy this feature. Did you know that the first time the audio-animatronic President Lincoln sat down, he went right through the chair? This feature lasts about 15 minutes.
Let’s Go Fly a Kite
On the last day of filming, the REAL Richard Sherman came into the studio and played “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” with the cast and crew singing along. In my living room, there may have been tears and there definitely was singing.
This section of the disc includes commercials for Disney Movie Rewards and the Disney parks. There is a preview for the release of the Diamond Edition of SLEEPING BEAUTY, as well as the original two previews (MARY POPPINS and MALEFICENT).
Mary Poppins fans will love the Nanny song and the clip of Richard Sherman playing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.” These alone make the Blu-ray worth buying, but you’ll also get the movie and the recording of P.L. Travers on the main menu page, though I wish they had included more of these recordings. For more family movie news, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.