Saving Mr. Banks- A Movie Review

Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

I grew up with unlimited access to books, and limited access to movies. There was the allowed Winnie the Pooh, and some Disney princess films, and old timey Haley Mills films (of which The Parent Trap wasn’t high on my favorite list). Of course, Mary Poppins was on the approved list, though I remember only really loving the laughter scene, and the children’s acting in the movie that came after (The Gnomemobile…because what little girl doesn’t want to be a gnome princess?). So, when Boof suggested that our anniversary afternoon date should be spent watching a movie, one about the making of Mary Poppins, I was less than thrilled. But the options were so limited, and I figured that I could at least stand a two hour film, and HOLY COW I WAS SO WRONG TO ASSUME IT WAS GOING TO BE LAME!

This movie was awesome. It was about the author of the Mary Poppins book, and how the book became adapted to the big screen. But what I was fascinated by, was that it wasn’t some boring account of how she finally curmudgeonly agreed to make the film adaptation, as well as how she ended coming up with the concept in the first place. Overall it was a beautifully produced film, where I felt transported to different times and felt lots of strong emotions. I loved it. I loved it more than the film it was based off.

My only complaint was that Tom Hanks will always be Tom Hanks. While Walt Disney is super iconic, and Tom Hanks did a good job of coming close, I think that using a no name actor might have been more believable. It’s not so much how Tom Hanks looked, as more of how he sounded like Tom Hanks…so iconic. But the magic of the whole story line wasn’t interrupted too  much by my thinking of Apollo 13 or Forrest Gump.

So, if you’re looking for a good, nostalgic, movie to watch over the holiday season, I definitely recommend Saving Mr. Banks!

Of Pirates and Mermaids

I have begun the dabble in children’s television shows. To be honest, the criteria isn’t that much: the show must not annoy me (no spongebob, GAWD). I get annoyed pretty easily, so the only shows that have made it through my filter are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (though, after a few months of that, I am getting annoyed), Sofia the First, and Jake & the Neverland Pirates. The last one is actually my favorite show ever, and I would have LOVED it as a kid. Here are a few reasons that I love this show so much, and am happy that my son enjoys it, too:

There are pirates. And mermaids. Two of my favorite things! In fact, if it had been around as a kid I would have been obsessedActually, the 7 year old girl inside me IS obsessed. Because, hello, mermaids. And mermaids who don’t just make a feature appearance ala the original Peter Pan (I waited the WHOLE DARN MOVIE for that little mermaid snippet). They show up in at least every other episode. And they are female and strong and I like that, too.


The show also features a girl cast member who is strong and smart without sacrificing being a girl. While sometimes her power of “pixie dust” from fairies makes me cringe, because it’s not as strong or realistic of a power as, say, Cubby’s map or Jake’s sword, it does give her the pretty awesome ability to help people FLY when there are no other options. Which makes me think how awesome women are, coming up with some pretty sweet maneuvers at the last dang minute. Think pulling a full course meal together from top ramen and peanut butter for last minute guests. Or something like that.

The show features Captain Hook in a more revised and, in my opinion, more believable role. While Boof is annoyed with Hook’s somewhat blundering antics, I like that his representation is as Jake & Crew’s ‘enemy,’ who also-sometimes-is-a-friend. Hook seems to be both good and bad at the same time, which, describes all of us at some point…neither truly good, nor truly evil, either. I like that. While I have no idea if it’s intentional, I like it very much. I think, someday, it might spark a conversation about the light/dark parts of all of ourselves, and how we work against and for people in various capacities.

I also love that music is involved, because Potamus is OBSESSED with dancing and he loves the different songs that they sing. He gets so excited that he looks like he’s almost going to jump out of his skin. It’s adorable, I promise. I like that there is singing, but not too much singing…you know what I mean. Those shows where it’s just too…gleeful? Yeah, not into that.

So, if you have little ones at home, I suggest checking out this show. Or if you like pirates…or mermaids…or nostalgia for Peter Pan from our own youth… This is one show that I think will stick around in our house. Unlike the other shows, it’s one that I can watch an episode repeatedly and not want to chop my ears off.

Anyone agree with me? Disagree? Thoughts on this or any other Disney Junior show or TV habits of children in general?