They Makes Cages In All Sizes And Shapes, You Know.

In 1934, the first book, in what would become a beloved children’s series, was published by an unknown female author. P.L. Travers wrote stories of magic and love, enough to fuel the imagination of every child who read Mary Poppins. 
 
Shortly after its publication, Walt Disney approached Travers with the intent of making Mary Poppins into a Disney picture. Travers, however, had no interest in what Disney was selling. It took Disney 20 years to convince Travers to allow him to make Mary Poppins into a movie. Saving Mr. Banks tells the story of Disney’s journey to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen.
 
In 1961, P.L. Travers finally agreed to meet with Disney to discuss turning Mary Poppins into a movie. The problem Disney faced wasn’t only Travers reluctance to see Mary Poppins become a typical Disney musical (and she was VERY adamant that not happen), but Disney also faced the problem of history; namely, he didn’t understand that Mary Poppins was, in fact, Travers own history. Disney and his creative team were less than enthusiastic about Travers herself, and entirely baffled by her lack of cooperation. In Saving Mr. Banks, the audience gets glimpses of Travers past, and learns that Disney’s assumptions about Mary Poppins the character are incorrect when Travers quips “you think Mary Poppins came to save the children?” 
 
From the beginning, Walt Disney and P.L. Travers were destined to a hard sell. Disney’s own history and previous films were everything Travers despised and nothing she wanted for Mary Poppins. Disney, on the other hard, was forced to acquiesce to Travers demand for script approval, until he received the rights to Mary Poppins
 
Travers consistently matched whits with screenwriter Don DaGradi and Disney’s composers, the Sherman brothers. In reality, Travers own personality and inability to open up caused a great deal of the distrust and misunderstands faced while negotiating the script of Mary Poppins. Travers was, by nature, a rigid and formal person; while Disney was gregarious and informal. The relationship between Travers and Disney was, at it’s best, merely tolerable. It took Disney a great deal of time to finally understand what was driving Travers distinct dislike of every suggestion. For Travers, Mary Poppins was personal, and for Disney it was the next big thing. Disney wanted to make Mary Poppins magical, a true Disney production. Unfortunately, Travers’ experience making Mary Poppins was not magical. 
 
By the end of Saving Mr. Banks, Disney knows what the audience had known for most of the film: Mary Poppins didn’t come to save the children, she came to save Mr. Banks. In reality, it was Don DaGradi who finally understood the relationship between Mary Poppins and Travers, and amended the script show his understanding. For Travers, however, the ending of Mary Poppins didn’t change her own feelings toward Disney himself. Between her less than amicable relationship with Disney, and her fervent disdain for what Mary Poppins had become (she disagreed with, and disapproved of, the watering down of Mary Poppins personality, was not charmed by the music, and hated the animation sequences). She was so contemptuous of the animated sequence that she reportedly told Disney, during the premier, to take it out. Disney reportedly replied with “Pamela, that ship has sailed.” In the end, she refused to allow Disney the rights to any of the Mary Poppins sequels. 
 
Although, Mary Poppins would go on to win a number of awards during the 1965 awards season, Travers was not moved. She and Disney never worked together again, and she refused the rights to any of the Mary Poppins sequels even after her death. Walt Disney got his magical flying nanny, and the world got a Disney classic. P.L. Travers returned to London and refused every attempt at access to the remaining Mary Poppins books. Her most famous character would live forever in the imagination of Disney, beloved and cherished, whilst she herself would remain forsaken and unloved for all of her days.
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