‘Mary Poppins’ Behind-the-Scenes Photos, Concept Art and More Released for ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

Richard Sherman, Julie Andrews, Irwin Kostal, @iammrvandy and Robert Sherman (1964) © DisneyIn honor of Saving Mr. Banks which shares the previously untold story of what it took for Walt Disney to bring Mary Poppins to the movies, Walt Disney Studios has released several behind-the-scenes photos, concept art, sketches by screenwriter Don DaGradi (as seen below) and more. Pictured left is a rarely seen photo of Richard and Robert Sherman singing along with Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and Irwin Kostal, while pictured below is a sketch by DaGradi featuring P.L. Travers during ‘the trial — I mean conference.’

These images and many more are now readily available for viewing on the Walt Disney Studios Awards site (‘For Your Consideration’) in support of Saving Mr. Banks. Clicking on the ‘The Making Of’ link at the bottom will direct visitors to an uberflip book promoting the new film, featuring previously unreleased stills, snippets of the script and more.

Sketches by Don DaGradi © DisneyIn addition to the new promotional material, Simon and Schuster today re-issued the 1999 biography of P.L. Travers, Mary Poppins, She Wrote by Valerie Lawson, in Kindle and Paperback formats. Decidedly one of the few authoritative references on Travers, the book inspired the documentary The Shadow of Mary Poppins, which — in turn — inspired Saving Mr. Banks.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise — one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Saving Mr. Banks stars Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths and Kathy Baker. It will received a limited theatrical release on December 13 and be expanded to a wide release on December 20, 2013.

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