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Film 'Saving Mr. Banks' on the Power of Hope

Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks, is the story of Pamela Travers, author of Mary Poppins. Due to the success of her children's books, Walt Disney and his team try to convince Travers to turn her book and her characters into a film. Travers is reluctant throughout the entire creative process, and eventually shuts down emotionally and returns to London, unable to let the film continue.

Travers' characters are not simply characters to her; they are family. In fact, we learn through flashbacks that Mr. Banks is modeled somewhat after her own very flawed father, and Mary is modeled after her aunt. In a powerful scene at the end of the movie, Walt Disney (played by Tom Hanks) comes to Travers' house in England to talk with her about the film. After sharing about his own painful childhood, Disney delivers this profound monologue to Travers:

Give [Mary Poppins] to me, Ms. Travers. Trust me with your precious Mary Poppins. I won't disappoint you. I swear that every time a person goes into a movie house … they will see George Banks being saved. They will love him and his kids, they will weep for his cares, and wring their hands when he loses his job. And when he flies that kite, oh! They will rejoice, they will sing.

Walt Disney continues,

In every movie house, all over the world, in the eyes and the hearts of my kids … George Banks will be honored ... Maybe not in life, but in imagination. Because that's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again. Trust me, Ms. Travers. Let me prove it to you. I give you my word.

Scene Times: 1:44:20-1:47:00

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Jesus Christ; Gospel; Hope; God, power of; Redemption—In a way, this is also what Christ does for us—when we give him the broken pieces of our lives, he restores order in our hearts through his creative power. Like Walt Disney, Christ says, "I can instill hope again and again and again. Trust me. Let me prove it to you. I give you my word." (2) Preaching; Teaching—This is what good preachers and teacher do—they instill hope and restore order with imagination through the power of the spoken word.

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