2 Quick Disney+ Reviews – ‘Hidalgo’ & ‘Saving Mr. Banks’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I’ve seen two films on Disney+ lately, including ‘Hidalgo’ with Viggo Mortensen and ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. I thought to share a couple of quick reviews on them. They’re both fascinating films to check out in terms of historical value and with very distinct styles. 🙂

With ‘Hidalgo’, this is a biographical western film based on the legend of the American distance rider Frank Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo. One of the things that interested me about this film is that it has Viggo Mortensen in it. He’s well-known for playing Aragorn in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ film trilogy.

I did see a trailer for this film at my local Blockbuster Video at one time back in 2004. The film itself was released in 2004. It’s taken me 18 years to check out this film properly on Disney+ and it was so surreal to see Viggo Mortensen in a different film role compared to seeing him as Aragorn in ‘LOTR’.

The film is quite compelling, especially with Joe Johnston as the director, as he’s directed films like ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’, ‘The Rocketeer’ and ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. ‘Hidalgo’ has Frank Hopkins race his horse in Arabia in 1891 against Bedouins riding pure-blooded Arabian horses.

I expected this film to be a full-on race with my obstacles for Frank Hopkins to overcome. There are elements of that in the film, though I did think that the film ended up being diverted at times, especially when Frank Hopkins rescues a wealthy Sheikh’s daughter and he also stops at night at times.

The film also features Omar Sharif as Sheikh Riyadh and Saïd Taghmaoui as Prince Bin Al Reeh. There’s also Zuleikha Robinson as Jazira, the daughter of the Sheikh, and Louise Lombard as Lady Anne Davenport. It was nice to see J. K. Simmons in the film and Silas Carson appears in the film too.

With ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, this is a fascinating dramatisation of the making of the 1964 film ‘Mary Poppins’ from the point of view of Emma Thompson as author P. L. Travers and Tom Hanks as film producer Walt Disney. I greatly enjoyed watching this biographical drama film about a Disney classic.

It was intriguing to discover the making of ‘Mary Poppins’ wasn’t as straightforward as it could’ve been. The interaction between P. L. Travers and Walt Disney is interesting. The working relationship wasn’t plain sailing, as Travers disapproved of the filmmaking efforts of adapting her book to screen.

I also found it intriguing how the story cuts from 1961 Los Angeles to scenes in 1906 where Travers was a little girl growing up in rural Queensland with her father who had a drinking problem and tragically died. The film’s title is on saving the father in the ‘Mary Poppins’ story, which is inspiring. 🙂

I enjoyed the references to 1964 ‘Mary Poppins’ film, especially when the songs are being sung with Travers partaking in the two weeks of writing the script with the other writers and songwriters. I also liked it when Travers got to see the film at its premiere in L.A., as she seemed emotional watching it.

There’s Colin Farrell as Travers Goff, P. L. Travers’ father. It’s interesting that P. L. Travers’ real name was Helen Goff. There’s Paul Giamatti as Ralph, Travers’ chauffeur; Bradley Whitford as Don DaGradi; and Jason Schwartzman and B. J. Novak as songwriters Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.

It was nice to check out these two films on Disney+. ‘Hidalgo’ was quite worthwhile to see Viggo Mortenson in another film role compared to seeing him in ‘LOTR’. ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ was also worthwhile in checking out what went on in a little bit of the making of 1964’s ‘Mary Poppins’ film. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim 🙂


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