For the second time this year, Walt Disney himself has finally been depicted in the arts. At an early sneak peak screening of the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" Tom Hanks is seen to perform an admirable impersonation of the great man! With the cough, manerisisms, flat accent and a few famous phrases handled brilliantly. The film is overall terriffic, especially Emma Thompson as 'Mary Poppins' author P.L. Travers. In younger years her father is charmingly played by Colin Farrell. The Sherman brothers and their special music are delightfully portrayed by Jason Schwartzman and B.J.Novak. Paul Giamatti and Bradly Whitford round out the engaging cast. Much of the fabled Walt Disney Studio is seen as such in the film, including Walt's familiar office, in it's original setting. Disneyland fans will also appreciate the saturated color glory of 1960's Disneyland as seen in an extended sequence set within the park. What is likely Walt's actual car pulls up through the front gates and into beautiful view of Disneyland as Walt would have known it (although we do not visit with him in the firehouse apartment). The movie opens Dec. 20. Fans will not be disappointed.
In another vane, Walt Disney is also the staring character in "The Perfect American", a new opera by modernist composer Phillip Glass. This unlikely production debuted in Madrid, Spain on Jan 22 and is available to watch online. The highly stylized opera all about Walt Disney's life, features an Andy Warhol character and a fascinating encounter with an anamatronic Abe Lincoln. Incredible stuff. ENJOY.