Storytelling Lessons from Disney

“Saving Mr. Banks” tells how Walt Disney convinced the “Mary Poppins” creator P.L. Travers to let him make the movie based on her books. It’s very high-gloss, very Hollywood and wholesome and predictable and I liked it just fine.

Saving Mr. Banks, Disney, Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins, author, storytelling, inspiration, movies with flashbackBut I really appreciated the (almost meta) focus on the power of storytelling to help creators and audience members make sense of the chaos of life.

That theme is woven in throughout and summed up clearly toward the end.  Disney (Tom Hanks) again tries to reassure Mrs. Travers (Emma Thompson) that he will adapt her tale respectfully and treat her characters (based on her family) with more kindness than life did —  and that his movie will spread hope to countless viewers around the world. He sums it up nicely. “It’s what we storytellers do,” he says. “We restore order with imagination.”

And, sometimes, a spoonful of sugar.

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