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First Look at Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks” Trailer

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Until now, no actor (or animatronic, for that matter) has ever attempted to impersonate Walt Disney in a feature film. That’s all changed, as Disneyland fans can now glimpse the company’s faux founder (in the form of Oscar-winner Tom Hanks) as featured in the newly-released trailer for Saving Mr. Banks.

The Disney-produced film tells the lightly-fictionalization of Mary Poppins author P. L. Travers (played by Emma Thompson) and her early-60s visit to Los Angeles, when Walt convinced her to grant the movie rights to her “practically perfect” nanny. In the film (as in reality) Travers is demanding enough about the use of her creations to give J.K. Rowling a run for her money, which proves stressful for Walt and his creative crew (including the songwriting Sherman Brothers, played by Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak).

The movie will be released this Christmas, but you can get some tantalizing glimpses of the Walt Disney Studios (including Walt’s office) and the Disneyland park itself, lovingly restored (through set decoration, carefully costumed extras, and a bit of CGI pixie dust) to its early-60s appearance.

What is your take on this upcoming release? Will you be running to the theater, or sitting this one out? Watch the trailer, then leave your thoughts in the comments below.




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Seth Kubersky

Author of The Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando. Co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland and Beyond Disney. Contributor to Unofficial Guides to WDW and Las Vegas. Live Active Cultures columnist for the Orlando Weekly. Travel and arts journalist. Theatrical director and producer.

16 thoughts on “First Look at Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks” Trailer

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  • I’m having a hard time getting past Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, but this movie looks to be fantastic nonetheless.

  • I’m not particularly bothered by the fact that Tom Hanks doesn’t look or sound like Walt Disney, and I’m old enough to have seen Uncle Walt on TV when he was still alive. Hanks is arguably the best actor of his (my) generation and I’m sure he’ll do a fine job in the role.

  • I will be running…as will my Disney BFF. We have plans to see it opening day and Tom Hanks (IMO) is the only one who could have pulled this off knowing how Disney anal we all are – the only one! I cannot wait. The trailer (which I have watched 5 times now) brought tears to my eyes also and it was wonderful to see my hero come back to life, if only for a few minutes~! Can’t wait to have that happen for a couple hours.

  • Hanks may not look or sound an awful lot like Walt, but I totally want to see this movie!

  • I can’t wait! It looks really good… and I’m a huge fan of Disney’s Mary Poppins!

  • I cannot wait to go see this!! Two of my favorite people in one movie- “practically perfect” in every way!

  • Totally going to run.

    I remain fascinated with Uncle Walt.

    I’m unsure who could do a better job in the role than Tom Hanks.

  • After having experienced the Disney magic very up close and personal this past January, I’ve already asked my wife out on a date for later this year. I think my older kids (20 & 15) will enjoy this too. Oh yeah, my wife’s a HUGE Mary Poppins’ fan so this will be just perfect. 🙂

    Bravo to Disney for taking on something so big and exciting.

  • Yeah I have to admit that made me tear up a bit as well, and not many movies do that to me nowadays, let alone a trailer!

    Needless to say I’ll be seeing this when it comes out.

  • I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying into Tom Hanks as Walt Disney. He looks and sounds nothing like him! Hanks a good actor, but I don’t feel he is the right actor. An unknown might have been a better way to go on this anyway.

  • It looks absolutely wonderful. I’m very curious, however, about how much of the end of the story they’ll show, and if so, how much of it they’ll try to lighten up. They do appear show the premiere of “Mary Poppins”, and anyone who is familiar with the story knows what happened there.

  • this trailer made me cry, in a good way. can’t wait to see the movie!


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