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Film / Saving Mr. Banks

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"You think Mary Poppins is saving the children, Mr. Disney? Oh, dear."

"Mary Poppins and the Bankses, they’re family to me."
P.L. Travers

Saving Mr. Banks is a period drama movie directed by John Lee Hancock and based on the true story of the production of the 1964 Disney classic Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers, author of the original Mary Poppins novels, who after much resistance, finally travels to Hollywood to serve as a consultant on the adaptation of the movie. There she meets Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and his staff of writers and musicians who are hard at work adapting her story to the screen. However, having been given unprecedented creative control in return for the film rights, Travers shows herself to be a tough person to work with considering her demands range from reasonable, to the ridiculously obstructive.

Intercut with this is the story of Travers' childhood in Australia, particularly focused on her relationship with her father (Colin Farrell), a banker who is filled with energy and happiness, but whose health and career are at constant risk due to his alcoholism. As the two stories play out, it is eventually revealed why Travers is so protective of her story, and Disney realizes what he has to do to make the movie work.

The movie was released on December 13, 2013 in the US, but opened on November 29, 2013 in the UK. The trailer can be seen here.

"Troping Mr. Banks":

  • Abusive Parents: Elias Disney would be most likely considered to fit this trope by modern audiences. Elias ran a newspaper delivery business in Kansas City, Missouri, and being a cheapskate, insisted that eight-year-old Walt and his older brother Roy act as his delivery boys rather than paying actual employees. Walt describes plunging into snowdrifts over his head as a child, twice a day, to deliver the morning and the evening papers, while wearing worn clothes and leaky shoes because his father didn't want to have to pay for anything, and then sitting through school, unable to concentrate due to being soaking wet and exhausted. And if he or his brother objected to the work, his father would whip them with the buckle end of his belt. While Walt defends that he loved his father and that he was a good man, early in the film Walt insists to not be called 'Mr. Disney' because 'Mr. Disney was his father', which may indicate some lingering resentment.
  • Adaptation Decay: Travers considers it her duty to prevent this from happening. She doesn't succeed, but doesn't seem to mind too much (except for those penguins).
  • Alcoholic Parent: Travers Goff.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Travers' first visit to her hotel room shows a bunch of Disney character plushes, one of which is a Winnie the Pooh doll. Disney's version of Pooh didn't hit the screen until 1966. They did, however, have the rights to the Pooh property by the time of this film. Even then, Disney's Pooh merchandise (e.g. books, board games, etc) would not be made until 1964. And oddly enough, they could have easily used Peter Pan for the joke of Travers having sympathy for an author whose work was turned into a Disney film, given the video with Tinker Bell she sees directly afterward.
    • Zig-zagged in regards to Disneyland. Several changes were made to the real one to make it look similar to how it did during Walt's time (i.e. the area in front of the train station is lined with the attraction posters they had back then). However, Fantasyland remains unchanged from its complete renovation in 1983 which occurred less than 20 years after the release of Mary Poppins. Since the renovation involved intensive rebuilding of ride exteriors and moving the location of some of the actual rides (such as the carousel), changing it back for the film would have been impossible. In addition, while the logo of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway (which sponsored the Disneyland Railroad from 1955 to 1974) is on the Main Street train station, Disneyland Railroad #2 E.P. Ripley and the Excursion III trainset do not say "Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad", instead carrying their modern liveries that simply say "Disneyland Railroad".
    • The modern Walt Disney Animation Studios logo also prominently appears several times within the context of the movie. Which is especially curious considering that the actual opening Vanity Plate has some retro touches such as bringing back the 2D shooting star castle and using an older-styled font.
    • The hand-held signs for Warner Bros. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer are of their modern incarnations instead of their 1960s logos. As a bonus, the Warner Bros. Television logo is used instead of the regular Warner Bros. Pictures logo.
  • Animation Age Ghetto: Downplayed In-Universe. Mrs. Travers objects very strongly to making the movie of Mary Poppins a cartoon, even so far as to become infuriated when she discovers it will contain animated characters. She elsewhere describes her book as a quite serious work, which is very likely tied to her animosity for Disney's signature whimsy.
  • Arc Words: The familiar 'Wind's in the east' stanza from the prologue version of 'Chim Chim Cher-ee' that serves as Arc Words in Disney's Mary Poppins signaling her eventual arrival takes this duty again, perhaps even more fittingly as the origins of Mary Poppins unfolds throughout the movie plot.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Travers is not impressed by the huge amount of Disney merchandise she finds waiting in her hotel room, and ends up stuffing nearly all of it in a closet, before removing a bunch of pears from the room's fruit bowl. The latter one seems like another minor eccentricity of hers, but later turns out to be much more significant.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The film implies at the end that P.L. Travers liked the final version of Mary Poppins, which anyone who knows anything about the actual history would realize is pretty false. Granted, this was pretty necessary for the story and themes about letting go of the past to work, and otherwise would've made for a pretty big Downer Ending, and the film at least frames her reaction as ambiguous — she definitely looks mortified when she sees the animated penguins she objected to, and though we see her crying later, it could be either crying because she hates it or crying because of the memories it invokes of her father. For what it's worth, while her liking the film at the premiere is made up, there is truth that Travers eventually came around to it. Travers said in a 1977 interview that "I've seen it once or twice, and I've learned to live with it. It's glamorous and it's a good film on its own level, but I don't think it is very like my books." English writer Brian Sibley also noted rewatching Mary Poppins with Travers, with which she then displayed a similarly more positive (if still very divisive) opinion as in the film, making it something of a case of Adaptation Distillation.
    • Another example in real life: Travers signed over the rights before any consulting was done and before she even traveled to Los Angeles.
    • According to Richard Sherman, Travers and Disney didn't have many interactions face-to-face as the movie depicts. Most of their communication was over the phone.
    • Disney was apparently a lot less jovial and more frosty to Travers in real life. One notable incident was that, after the premiere, Travers was talking about changes she wanted made to the movie and Disney’s response was to coolly reply “Pam, the ship has sailed”. Needless to say they did not part as good friends.
    • The Disney team win Travers over (temporarily at least) when they sing "Let's Go Fly A Kite" and she loves it. In real life, that song was one of the things she hated most of all about the movie.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mr. Belhatchett, the bank president of the company Travers Goff worked for in the past, turns out to be one of these. Despite Goff's public drunkenness and generally bad work ethic, Belhatchett keeps him employed until he shows up to the bank while wasted—and even then, he realizes that little Ginty is watching and offers Goff another chance. It's implied that P.L. Travers took her inspiration for the bank president in her book from Belhatchett.
  • Berserk Button: Not really berserk, but Disney looks very annoyed when Travers calls his work "silly cartoons," and has to take a moment to collect himself.
  • Blunt "Yes": When Travers indignantly asks if they're implying Mrs. Banks is a neglectful mother, Don and Richard hem and haw uncomfortably, but Bob...
    Bob: Yup.
  • Book Ends: The film starts and ends with flashbacks of Travers' childhood while Colin Farrell recites the lyrics to "Chim Chim Cher-ee", as sung at the beginning of the Mary Poppins film and stage show. (Bonus points for explicitly mentioning that "all happened before.")
    Farrell: Wind's in the east. Mist coming in.
    Like something is brewing, about to begin.
    Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
    But I feel what's to happen all happened before.
  • Butt-Monkey: A mild example with Walt's secretary, whom Mrs. Travers treats as the butt of her barbs.
  • Casting Gag: Nanny McPhee cast as the creator of Mary Poppins.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Travers inquires about the penguins, specifically asking if they're going to be trained, dancing penguins, one of the Sherman Brothers brightly informs her they will be animated. She immediately storms out and he gets dirty looks from all around... which leads him to wonder if they are going to be live, trained penguins.
  • Companion Cube: Surprisingly, a giant stuffed Mickey Mouse doll that was one of many gifts that Disney put in Travers' hotel room ends up becoming this as the film progresses. Initially she hides it away in the corner of the room — which is still better treatment than she gave to the rest of the gifts, which just got stuffed in the closet — but later on she starts taking it to bed with her, and it's eventually revealed that she even took it back to London.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Somehow, the song "Fidelity Fiduciary Bank" contains the exact same words, in the exact same sequence, that a drunken Travers Goff used in a speech at a town fair while Ginty was a child. It's possible that the financial talk just reminds P.L. Travers of the speech, but the film deliberately jumps from the Sherman Brothers to Goff and back in the middle of individual sentences, suggesting that they were identical.
  • Deadpan Snarker: PL Travers can be very snarky in the film:
    • (To a bellhop) "Young man, if it is your ambition to handle lady's garments, may I suggest you take employment in the launderette?"
    • (After her driver Ralph asks if she wants to take her away) "All the way to England, yes!"
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Travers.
  • Development Hell: In-universe. It took over twenty years and apparently an ulcer for Disney to get the film rights to Travers' books.
  • Dies Wide Open: Travers Goff.
  • Disabled Means Helpless: Shot down when Travers gives Ralph, whose wheelchair-using daughter is said to not get out much, a laundry list of famous people with physical or mental disabilities, including his own employer.
  • Disneyfication:
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Both examples are downplayed, as the characters performing this don't actually react in anger.
    • Walt Disney says this after talking about how his father Elias would send him out in the morning and evening to deliver newspapers in deep snowdrifts. He says his life is a miracle, and his father was a good parent, and to move on from the past to make a brighter future in fiction.
    • Travers also seems to carry this attitude about her, and encourages her driver Ralph to not feel sorry for his wheelchair-bound daughter, to know that she can do anything.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: In-story, when Travers complains that they are making her story too whimsical, and that Mary Poppins (the character) has no sense of whimsy about her, Disney tries to call her out on it. It doesn't work, but does lead him to make the dramatic realization as to why she's so guarded with the story:
    P.L. Travers: (beat) You think Mary Poppins is saving the children, Mr. Disney? (looks at the other filmmakers, then back to Disney) Oh, dear.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: When Disney finds out P.L. Travers's real name, Helen Goff. He's able to figure out that she took her father's first name Travers as her surname, and is loyal to him. This allows him to perform armchair psychology on her.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When Goff yet again shows up to work drunk and becomes belligerent, his boss Mr. Belhatchett has enough and fires him... only for the two men to turn and see little Ginty standing there, trembling and reminding her father that it's "ice cream day." When she asks Goff if he's been fired again, Belhatchett cuts in and tells her no. Goff may cause the president major problems, and has embarrassed the bank's good name in front of the entire town during his drunken acceptance speech, but even he can't bring himself to fire the man directly in front of his daughter.
  • Executive Meddling: Zig-Zagged In-Universe. For the most part, it's Travers who meddles with the production, but Walt Disney makes demands of his own, such as his insistence, against Travers' wishes, that Mr. Banks be given a mustache. In fact, Travers Goff (the inspiration for Mr. Banks) did have one in real life, though not in the film.
  • First-Name Basis: Everybody in Disney's inner circle. Averted by Travers, who insists on being called "Mrs. Travers", except by Ralph the chauffeur. When she calls Disney by his first name Walter, late in the film, it marks her change of heart.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The movie gets made. They also keep the dancing animated penguins, whether Mrs. Travers likes it or not.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Walt has a particularly nasty cough in the film which foreshadows his real-life death from lung cancer in 1966.
    • In an early scene, Travers throws all the pears out of the fruit basket Walt sent her. It's revealed later that she was out buying pears when her father died.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In a later scene in Walt's office there is a map of Florida; in the late '60s Walt and his team were in the process buying up land there for Walt Disney World. And right behind that map is Rolly Crump's iconic concept art for the canceled Museum of the Weird for The Haunted Mansion. On the other side of the office is a poster for It's a Small World's premiere at the 1964 New York World's Fair.
  • Freudian Excuse: The flashbacks suggest that Mrs. Travers' crabby, fastidious personality is a result of being traumatized by her father's alcoholism and early death, plus her having taken as a role model the no-nonsense aunt, who created order and stability.
  • Fun Personified: Tom Hanks' performance as Walt Disney is largely played as this, though there is a sense of his more ruthless businessman side as well, especially at the end when, following a moving heart-to-heart with Mrs. Travers that causes her to finally sign over the rights, he doesn't invite her to the film's premiere because he thinks it would be "bad publicity."
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: After the bank president Mr. Belhatchett gives Travers Goff another chance to keep his job despite his drunken, belligerent behavior, he pulls him aside and fiercely tells him to get his act together for his children's sake, if not his own.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: While both Mrs. Travers and Walt Disney are depicted in a sympathetic light, both of them have many, many flaws, ranging from the former's discourteous behavior to the latter's explicit duplicity.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: The real P.L. Travers was well-known to have in a relationship with another woman — the two lived together, in fact — at the time of Mary Poppins's production, but said relationship is never shown and when Travers' home is shown there is no sign in that anyone else lives there. There is a very brief moment in the corridor leading towards the hotel bar when she looks at an attractive woman who walks past her and then almost-reflexively looks in the opposite direction, but blink and you'll miss it.
  • Hope Spot: Disney's team seems to have finally won Travers over with their pitch of "Let's Go Fly a Kite", having changed the film's ending to better fit her view of Mr. Banks. Then she learns about the animated penguins during "Jolly Holiday" and catches the next flight back to England.
  • I'm Going to Disney World!: In an amusing subversion, Mrs. Travers's reaction to being invited to tour the Magic Kingdom with Disney himself amounts to "This Is Gonna Suck."
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After Walt Disney shows up on Mrs. Travers's London doorstep, she adds whiskey to her tea instead of sugar. (This is particularly dramatic, as she has never before been shown drinking anything other than tea and her father was an alcoholic.) Walt happily does the same, though he may be mirroring her to gain her trust.
  • Incurable Cough of Death:
    • Travers coughs frequently, usually with blood.
    • Walt coughs off-screen a lot, often just before the camera pans onto him. This is less of a foreshadowing tool, however, as his real-life death from lung cancer is not shown in the movie.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • It's "Mrs. Travers", not Pamela or Pam.
    • Or "Missus", for Ralph. He eventually gets it.
    • And in Mary Poppins' case, it's never just Mary.
    • The Disney Studios also insist that everyone be referred to on a first name basis, which obviously conflicts with the previous two.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mrs. Travers. Walt has his moments, too.
  • Kick the Dog: Mrs. Travers mocking Robert Sherman's injured leg, especially when you realize he got it in World War II while helping to liberate the Dachau concentration camp.
  • Logo Joke: The classic blue-and-white Disney Vanity Plate that was first introduced in 1985 is used at the beginning of the film, with "Walt Disney Presents" written in a retro font.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Discussed and Invoked by the Sherman Brothers, as they realize that, due to Mary Poppins doing the unexpected, the pitch of "Spoonful of Sugar" should go up on the word "down".
  • Manchild:
    • After painting Walt as one throughout the entire movie and disdaining the toys and merchandise his employees have presented her and that he has in his office, Travers goes onto the lawn after a breakdown in the rehearsal room and starts to build a house of twigs and leaves like she did as a child. She even pulls Ralph into it.
    • Travers Goff is a much darker example to the point of deconstruction. His boyish demeanor endears him to his children but turns out to be coupled with serious alcoholism, which wrecks his career, makes for an unstable home life, and ultimately leads to his early death.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The non-Flashback storyline is essentially a Gender Flipped version of this, with Travers as the stuffed-shirt and the Disney team (most notably the Sherman brothers, whose talents convince her to let the movie be a musical, and Ralph, "the only American she's ever liked," but even Walt himself by the end) as the fun-loving people who defrost her.
  • Mood Whiplash/Screw This, I'm Outta Here: This is caused by Travers' reaction to the penguins being cartoons, which is what causes her to want nothing more to do with the production and to move back to London.
  • Ms. Fanservice: In a mild example, Walt's secretary Dolly gives the audience a nice view of her ample cleavage while setting down the platter of donuts.
  • No Smoking: While Disney was very lenient on showing Walt in a non-biased light, they were insistent that Walt would not be shown smoking on screen. The movie itself plays slightly with and lampshades this in a scene where Travers storms into Walt's office and he's just putting out a cigarette, saying, "Don't want anyone to see me smoke, wouldn't want to encourage bad behavior". In real life, Walt Disney did try to avoid smoking in public for that very reason.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When the baby starts crying and her mother does not tend to her, it's a signal to young Pamela that something is wrong with her mother.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • A minor one from the Sherman Brothers. When Travers complains about the word "responstable" and wishes them to unmake it, they covertly push the sheet music of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" under their current work.
    • Another much bigger one when it was accidentally revealed to Mrs. Travers by one of the brothers that the dancing penguins would be animated — after they promised there would not be any animation of any sort in the film. In response, Travers walks off the project and moves back to London.
    • Walt gets one when he sees that Mrs. Travers has shown up for the Los Angeles premiere, and he has to put on a teeth-clenched grin after seeing her in his office unannounced.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Hanks does well with Disney's Missouri accent, but now and then he slips into Hanks.
  • Old Maid: While Pamela used the Title "Mrs. Travers" as her status she never married.
  • Only in It for the Money: Why Mrs. Travers finally agrees to meet Walt to work on the film. Her book had stopped selling and she was broke. Her agent uses this to convince her to go. She still goes with no intention of signing the rights over.
  • The Ophelia: Travers' mother turns into this, getting mentally confused, walking dreamily out into the night in her long white nightgown and trying to drown herself.
  • Oscar Bait: Accused of being one, possibly with some truth. Ultimately, the movie only earned one Oscar nomination - Best Score, which it lost to Gravity.
  • Parents as People: Even though Walt's father was abusive by modern standards, Walt clearly states Elias Disney was a good man. Likewise, Pamela Travers' father was an alcoholic, but loved her dearly, a feeling she reciprocated.
  • Precision F-Strike: As Travers walks out of their first meeting together, Disney utters a flabbergasted 'Damn!" to himself. Not especially vulgar, but it's still shocking to hear from Walt Disney!
  • Real Footage Re-creation: The film features a recreation of one of Walt Disney's lead-ins for his weekly television show (specifically, the intro for "An Adventure in the Magic Kingdom"). The final scene also recreates the 1964 world premiere of Mary Poppins at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
  • Real-Person Epilogue: The end credits feature photographs of Walt Disney and P. L. Travers taken during the production and premiere of Mary Poppins, followed by recorded audio of Travers attending a story meeting (as set up earlier in the film itself).
  • RevengeSVP: Walt purposely didn't invite Travers to the premiere in order to 'protect the picture' and Travers initially had no intention of going until her agent talked her into it. She then invited herself, showing up out of the blue in Walt's office, much to his shock.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Colin Farrell, despite playing a large role, although the trailer begins with his voiceover. Very little of Mrs. Travers' childhood is seen in the trailers as well.
  • Shout-Out: Tons, to Mary Poppins as well as the entire library.
    • The key relatives in Ginty's life obviously inspire the characters in her books and the film (her aunt is Mary Poppins, her parents are the Bankses, Mr. Travers' employer is a kinder version of Mr. Dawes, etc.)
    • Ginty's horse is named Uncle Albert.
    • One of the maids that the Goffs leave behind is called Katie Nana.
    • The Goffs march to the train station like how Mary Poppins, Bert, and the children do through the London rooftops.
    • The film hides but acknowledges that Walt was a chain smoker, and he can be heard coughing prior to his entrance. He also clears his throat, indicating he is approaching, something which the real Walt Disney did.
    • Robert Sherman walks with a limp and Richard explains to Travers that he was shot. This refers to Robert's military service in World War II where he was shot in the leg.
    • When Travers first meets Don DaGradi and the Shermans, they do so outside of a sound stage where Babes In Toyland is being filmed.
    • When Travers dictates how Walt must prepare tea - "And a spoonful of sugar."
    • The names suggested for Mrs. Banks are the ones mentioned by Bert and the penguins in "Jolly Holiday".
    • Ginty imagining herself as a hen laying eggs parallels the beginning of the "Bad Wednesday" chapter of Mary Poppins Comes Back, complete with an unpleasant interruption.
    • Ralph's daughter is called Jane.
    • In several scenes, Walt wears a tie that has the initials "STR" - a nod to Smoky Tree Ranch, a resort area in Palm Springs where he owned a house.
    • Walt and Richard's discussion regarding Mickey Mouse being family refers to Pat Powers, a film businessman who distributed the early Mickey shorts. They parted ways in 1930 over money issues, and Powers responded by hiring away Ub Iwerks from Disney.
    • Walt and Ralph both separately ask Travers about her family and she dances around the subject. This hints at the real Travers' bumpy relationship with her adopted son and his twin brother.
    • Walt asks Tommie to rearrange a meeting with "G.E." - a nod to General Electric, who Disney would create a joint exhibition with for the 1964 World's Fair - The Carousel of Progress.
    • A map of Florida stands in Walt's office following the time skip, foreshadowing Walt Disney World's construction.
    • Concept art and adverts are seen of the 1964 World's Fair attractions in Walt's office.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • In the film, Travers insists that all of their conversations are to be recorded, so that Disney's staff cannot go back on what they have agreed upon. During the credits, one of the actual reel-to-reel tapes is heard.
    • Some of Disney's former staff have commended Hanks for nailing many of their late employer's idiosyncrasies. The real-life Walt Disney really did clear his throat to let people know he was about to enter the room. It also makes note of how the employees would use "Man is in the forest" as code for when Walt was coming by to check on their work.
    • The scene where Travers surprises Disney in his office and the first thing he does is crush out his cigarette is definitely an example of this. Disney was a lifelong smoker, but he went to great lengths to avoid being seen smoking in public.
    • Tom Hanks' first appearance on screen is in a recreation of a classic spot featuring Walt and Tinker Bell.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: In-Universe. Disney pursued the rights to the Mary Poppins story for twenty years because he promised his daughters he would make it into a movie.
  • Suicide by Sea: A flashback to P.L. Travers's childhood involves her stopping her mother from walking into a lake.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Discussed. This is what the title refers to, as Travers makes it clear that Poppins is not there to save the children. Walt later puts two and two together that Mr. Banks is the one who is being saved. Thus the story is altered to have some of the most moving moments of the film involving Mr. Banks.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: When watching the film, one has to consider that Robert Sherman in Real Life provided some of the context for the film to the screenwriter Kelly Marcel, and he didn't get along well with Mrs. Travers while writing the music for Mary Poppins. His brother Richard later lent support to the producers after reading the script in 2010. P.L. Travers and Walt Disney had already passed on by the time the script was written, so they could not contribute their perspectives.
  • Those Two Guys: Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak as Richard and Robert Sherman, the composers of the film's score. The actors actually trained alongside Richard Sherman so they could mimic their piano and singing perfectly.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: How Mrs. Travers sees Walt Disney: that he wants Mary Poppins as "another brick in [his] kingdom". Also, she's generally no fan of him.
  • Warts and All: The movie pulled no punches towards Disney's flaws, such as him not inviting Travers to the premiere of the movie mentioned below. There was also a moment of him putting out a cigarette, as he was a heavy smoker in real life.
    • Astonishingly, slightly averted in Travers' case. As this interview with Richard Sherman, the last survivor of the film's central story, states, she was even more difficult to work with in real life.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The lives of Travers's mother and sisters are not accounted for at any point during the contemporary storyline (a little strange considering the emphasis on them in the flashbacks). Further irony abounds in the fact that it was her mother and not her father to whom P.L. Travers dedicated Mary Poppins.
    • At the film premiere scene where Bert tries to convince Jane and Michael that their father really loves them, there's a brief flashback to Helen and her mother riding on the farm horse, showing that they continued the tradition she did with her late father.
    • The film depicts Robert Sherman's limp and mentions it was because he was shot, but offers no further elaboration. Robert Sherman was actually wounded in combat during World War II while liberating the Dachau concentration camp. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Probably the most Jerkass thing Disney does in the entire movie is intentionally not invite Travers to the premiere of the adaptation of her own damn book, fearing she would give the film bad publicity and telling his secretary, "We have to protect the picture." His secretary is clearly slackjawed at what a dick move this is. Travers' agent outright tells her that Mary Poppins wouldn't stand for such an affront, convincing Travers to crash the premiere.
    • Travers gets one when, after ejecting Bob Sherman from the reading, she notes he limps and asks why. On told it's because he was shot, she says "I'm not surprised." Given he was shot in the war after leading one of the first units liberating Dachau, and that she's saying this to Bob's brother, it's even more of a jerkass thing to say than it sounds. (There is no indication she knew this, not that it helps much - living in England after WWII, she would not be unfamiliar with men of Sherman's age being war veterans and living with disabilities as a result.)