It was another evening in Hollywood for DisneyExaminer on Thursday evening. But there were slight winds in the East and they blew us directly to TCL Chinese Theater for what was to be one jolly good evening.
November 7 marked the start of the American Film Institute’s annual film festival where upcoming films from all over the world are debuted and celebrated by film enthusiasts from all over the world! One of those films happened to one film that we were particularly interested in and it just happened to be that it would be the first film to debut and launch this year’s AFI Fest. That film told the story of how an author and a world icon clashed but ultimately made peace by creating one of the most classic films that has continued to stay the test of time.
“Saving Mr. Banks“, a Walt Disney Studios production, had already been world premiered at another film festival in London a few weeks back and critics there have already said that it’s worth of an Oscar. With that type of hype already behind a film, we jumped at the chance to watch the North American premiere at AFI Fest, so I picked up our videographer Nieman and made our trip to Hollywood. We were told to arrive 3-4 hours early since tickets to the screening were limited to the number of extra seats that weren’t reserved by the VIPs and cast and crew of the film who were basically the only one allowed to a gala premiere like this one. Long story short, we made it into the premiere and had the opportunity to watch the film.
After the film and on the way home, Nieman and couldn’t help but reflect on what just occurred in the few hours that just had passed. It was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious to say the least. Why, you ask? Not only did we get to watch a premiere for a movie and watch that movie with the cast and crew and meet them afterwards, we got to watch the movie.
It was nearly 50 years ago that the movie that inspired this movie premiered in the same theater and I couldn’t help but recognize what this all meant – as a Disney fan, as a “Poppins” fan, as a movie goer, as kid (who just happened to be celebrating his 22nd birthday that evening too!), as one who wanted to fly a kite and send it soaring. The magic of storytelling and Disney magic never seemed so real that night and I trust that you’ll experience the same feeling even without the celebrities around you and a beautiful and historic theater. And that, dear friends, is what made that night and the night that you’ll walk into your nearest theater and watch this film a night that was “practically perfect in every way.”
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Our Walt Disney Studios writer and resident movie reviewer Lance Cruzado will of course be reviewing the film soon, so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, I encourage you to get to know the background to “Saving Mr. Banks” better by familiarizing yourself with the following –
1) Watch “Mary Poppins” – a given.
2) Read the newest edition of Disney “Twenty-Three” magazine that dedicates itself to the making of the new film, as well as closer looks at the classic “Poppins” film.
3) Watch this featurette giving you an overview of what this film is all about (NO SPOILERS).
4) Listen to (and pre-order) the official “Saving Mr. Banks” soundtrack and relive those “Mary” moments as you hear the new ones.
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Are you excited to see “Saving Mr. Banks”? Why? – Do you want to know the reason behind the story of “Mary Poppins”? Are you excited to see Walt Disney being portrayed for the first time in a movie? Let us know in the comments!