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Michelle: I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to see a pre-screening of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. And let me just say, it was amazing. No lie, I was tearing up at the end. Aside from being enjoyable and heartfelt, the movie, which revolves around the making of Disney’s Mary Poppins, was especially interesting to me, as I finish a Thematic Option class that included an analysis of and a visit to Disneyland. Hearing two of the actors, B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman (definitely had a small fan girl moment), and the Production Director of the movie answer questions after the screening only added to the awesomeness of the experience.

Nick: Because USC is in the entertainment capital of the world, we often get to see screenings of movies before they come out. Last night the new Disney film Saving Mr. Banks rolled through Norris Theater. While it was cool to see the movie weeks before its release, the really fun part was having stars B.J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman stop by for a Q&A session afterwards. They were hilarious and extremely laid back. I truly believe that USC is the only university in the country with awesome opportunities like this available EVERY WEEK!

Divya: This week I got to join a film symposium class for a very exciting screening of the movie Saving Mr. Banks! The movie focused on the story behind Mary Poppins, and how Walt Disney actually made the book series (Mary Poppins was a book series!) into a movie. I have found that other live-action Disney movies are entertaining but not lasting in the same way that Disney’s animated films like The Lion King have been. However, this movie was truly remarkable. Tom Hanks was perfect as Walt Disney, and Emma Thompson is just always perfect. I teared up, and I remembered why I love Mary Poppins and Disney so much. Oh, and the after-movie chat with B. J. Novak and Jason Schwartzman was pretty cool too.

Vijeta: Another Thursday night, another new movie! I’d been looking forward to Saving Mr. Banks ever since I saw the trailer, and I feel so lucky to have seen it before its release. Some parts of the movie were really funny, and the actors did a great job. Definitely made me want to watch Mary Poppins again!

Shannon: Just two weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to attend a free screening of the Disney film Frozen thanks to the generosity of another ambassador who is interning with Disney. This week, thanks to the same friend and the amazing connections USC has to the film industry, I got to see yet another free pre-screening, this time of the Disney film Saving Mr. Banks. It was a heartwarming, humorous, masterful portrayal of the challenging ordeal Walt Disney underwent when he tried to get the author of the novel “Mary Poppins”, P.L. Travers, to sign over the rights to her precious story. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson were a joy to watch, and the story was gripping and fun. Attending the screening was the perfect way to celebrate finishing classes (which I had done earlier in the day). In fact, by complete coincidence, in my last class, which was for my History of Film Music course (for my Popular Music minor), we talked about music in animation, focusing specifically on Disney films. Thus, as part of the class, I got to learn about the Sherman Brothers’ music for Mary Poppins, which deepened my appreciation for Saving Mr. Banks. Watching old Disney and Warner Bros. clips in my History of Film Music course and watching how one of my favorite movies as a kid, Mary Poppins, became the sensation it is today, brought back a lot of great memories. Spending the last day of my second to last semester of college reliving my childhood was a wonderful way to end an unforgettable semester.

Sam: Saving Mr.Banks was amazing! I found myself laughing and crying with the characters and loved the movie. The Q&A after was very insightful as well, and it was great to hear from the actors’ and production designer’s point of view of making the movie.

Caroline: I loved getting to see Saving Mr. Banks on campus! Going in I knew I was going to enjoy it….I mean Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, and Mary Poppins all in one movie? But it’s so much more than just a film with those big names attached – I learned a lot about the inspired true story. After the free pre-screening, in true USC fashion, the production designer Michael Corenblith, and actors BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman came for a Q&A. I enjoyed hearing some behind-the-scenes tidbits on bringing their characters and 1960s Los Angeles to life. The movie is really fun with a great balance of comedy and drama. I definitely recommend it!

Jared: Without giving too much away, I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening of Saving Mr. Banks this past Thursday. The film provides an interesting and moving look behind the history of one of the most well-known Disney films, and Hanks and Thompson are fantastic as Walt Disney and P. L. Travers. It’s the perfect holiday film — both charming and enjoyable — that I look forward to seeing with my family soon.


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