We went into Saving Mr. Banks thinking it would be an Oscar contender, which made it one of the must-see films of the very crowded December. While those Oscars never shaped up, what I saw I absolutely loved and Saving Mr. Banks is one of my favorite films of 2013. On Blu-ray, Saving Mr. Banks delivers an excellent presentation but is unfortunately lacking with the bonus material.
Saving Mr. Banks is still the fantastic movie we saw in theaters. With excellent performances, an engaging screenplay, and fantastic direction by John Lee Hancock, Saving Mr. Banks remains one of 2013’s finest. The movie does take a few liberties that make Walt Disney come off as more of a good guy (when in reality he pulled some strings to get his way, screwing over P.L. Travers in the process), but the pros outweigh the cons to the point that you just don’t care. “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story”, and Saving Mr. Banks is a great example of that.
On Blu-ray, this movie is truly stunning. The images are sharp and crisp with every image having great detail. In shots with a lot of background action, the sharp images make the blurriness of the background stand out even more, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay. This is a truly gorgeous image. Sound wise the movie is a very straightforward “talky” movie so the sound is very consistent. The singing/music scenes never got too loud either which made for an overall pleasurable movie experience.
The Bonus Features on the Saving Mr. Banks Blu-ray are:
The “Deleted Scenes” (three scenes totaling 7:24) could have easily made it into the final film and are all definitely worth a watch for fans. It’s more Saving Mr. Banks, which is awesome.
“The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to the Present” (14:35) is a mini-documentary about Walt Disney Studios in the 60’s. There’s lots of spectacular old footage and very interesting information here for Disney fans. The interviews feel very rehearsed and fake though, which is a bummer, but it’s still a decent feature.
“Let’s Go Fly A Kite” (1:47) has some of the cast and crew of the film singing the song “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” on the last day of shooting. It’s a fun little feature and stupid stuff like this is always fun to have on Blu-rays.
Unfortunately, that’s it. No behind-the-scenes look at the film and no audio commentary. The Walt Disney Studios feature was decent but wasn’t anything to write home about. The Deleted Scenes and the song were great, but the lack of real behind-the-scenes material is very disappointing. A commentary with the great cast and crew? A look at how they created the costumes, how the screenplay came to be, how they filmed in Disneyland, how about mentioning Mary Poppins? That would’ve been great, which makes the bonus material on this Blu-ray feel like a missed opportunity.
Saving Mr. Banks is one of 2013’s finest features, but its Blu-ray leaves you wanting more. The visuals and sound are top-notch, but the lack of behind-the-scenes footage and an audio commentary are disappointing. The Deleted Scenes are good and “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” was enjoyable, but even the one “big” feature we get was a little disappointing. If you enjoyed the movie, buy the Blu-ray but get ready to be disappointed when clicking on the bonus features menu.