Walt Disney Pictures, via the Parks blog, has released the first poster for John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks. The shadow is a particular delight.

The film is based on the life of Walt Disney’s and focuses on his twenty-year pursuit of the film rights to author P.L. Travers’ novel Mary Poppins.

Tom Hanks plays Uncle Walt, with Emma Thompson as Travers. The film also stars Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, and Kathy Baker.

Saving Mr. Banks is out in the US on December 13th, with Ireland following on January 17th.

When Travers travels from London to Hollywood in 1961 to finally discuss Disney’s desire to bring her beloved character to the motion picture screen (a quest he began in the 1940s as a promise to his two daughters), Disney meets a prim, uncompromising sexagenarian not only suspect of the impresario’s concept for the film, but a woman struggling with her own past.  During her stay in California, Travers’ reflects back on her childhood in 1906 Australia, a trying time for her family which not only molded her aspirations to write, but one that also inspired the characters in her 1934 book.

None more so than the one person whom she loved and admired more than any other—her caring father, Travers

Goff, a tormented banker who, before his untimely death that same year, instills the youngster with both affection and enlightenment (and would be the muse for the story’s patriarch, Mr. Banks, the sole character that the famous nanny comes to aide).  While reluctant to grant Disney the film rights, Travers comes to realize that the acclaimed Hollywood storyteller has his own motives for wanting to make the film—which, like the author, hints at the relationship he shared with his own father in the early 20th Century Midwest.

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