Last weekend I happened to watch the Walt Disney 2013 film Saving Mr. Banks. It’s a film that should be watched by all avid movie buffs but especially by those who were children in the 1960s. Why? Because Saving Mr. Banks will transport the children of the 60s back into a time of innocence!
Till I sat glued to the TV screen watching Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson enact the real-life tale of Walt Disney and the Mary Poppins author, P. L. Travers, I had no clue that the film Mary Poppins was based on a book character.
That was the first revelation.
The second, and more important, discovery was how a traumatic childhood could end up creating Mary Poppins, a character and film that brought so much joy and song to the lives of countless children and their families.
Before I go on, I would urge my readers from Generation Y to watch this video from YouTube and discover the magic of Mary Poppins.
It’s true! Just like a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, a movie like Saving Mr. Banks helps bring back childlike delight in the possible magic life holds.
I know it did that for me.
If only it was possible to hold onto such magic.
Sadly, it seems most people are unable to. It’s what Simon and Garfunkel lamented about when they wrote:
“Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences.
Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They’re all that’s left you.”
Lovely lyrics, aren’t they? If you haven’t heard the song, Bookends, here’s a YouTube video:
Luckily, there are movies such as Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks, August Rush and The Sound of Music that can, at least, momentarily make you relive a time of innocence. I know that watching films like these always do the trick for me (by the way, last weekend was a real treat because I also watched The Sound of Music, which was playing on Star Movies Select).
Saving Mr. Banks is, on the whole, a movie with a deep message. It shows how someone can come up with a creation of endless joy from the depths of pain. The film is really all about how P. L. Travers’ circumvents the pain of her childhood years by creating Mary Poppins.
We mostly imagine that the creators of magic are happy, lucky souls. Often, that’s not so.
The living legends of P. L. Travers, Enid Blyton and Robin Williams are proof of that.
Perhaps the larger message that the lives of these legends have to offer is that it is possible for endless joy to emerge from the dark depths of pain.
Indeed, it’s what I implied in my post In Defense of Enid Blyton.
Featured Cover Image Credit: smiles of innocence by Pranav Yaddanapudi (Flickr.com CC By 2.0)