The Role of a Storyteller through the Words of Walt Disney

walt quote

A few nights ago, I climbed into bed, snuggled in and decided to watch a movie.  I picked up my iPad and took a look at was available.  I finally decided on a movie called, “Saving Mr. Banks.”  I knew it had something to do with Mary Poppins (love her and remember seeing the movie as a kid), but didn’t know much more.  Since the movies you know virtually nothing about tend to be some of the best, I decided to give it a try.

I am so glad I did.  As a writer, this movie struck a chord with me that I never expected.  It also gave me a rare look into the lives and personalities of two incredibly creative people – P.L. Travers and Walt Disney.  As an author, Travers was very protective of her characters and was determined not to let the likes of Walt Disney turn them into an animated cartoon.  Disney, on the other hand, wanted nothing more than to make this movie and pledged to have Travers involved every step of the way.  It took 20 years of convincing, but Travers finally agreed to learn more.

Long story short, after a very entertaining exchange between Travers and the production staff, Disney finally realized that she was a very different person than the one she appeared to be – and for good reason.  I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil the movie for those of you who haven’t seen it, but when Travers decides to give up on the project, Disney makes an unexpected visit to see her at her home in England.  Knowing the truth about what had inspired Travers to create Mary Poppins, he was able to gain her trust and secure her permission to make the movie.

One of things he said to Travers to help her understand the difference her story could make in the lives of others was:

 “That’s what
storytellers do.
We restore order with
imagination. We instill
hope again and again.”

mary popinsThe rest is history.  Together, they would go on to tell the story of the Banks Family and how Mary Poppins saved it in a way that would bring joy and hope to generations of children and families.

“Saving Mr. Banks” is one of those movies that make you laugh and cry – sometimes both at once.  For me, though, it was hearing Walt Disney’s view of a storyteller’s role that inspired me the most.  He was so right.  After all, whatever we write, whether it’s a book, news release, company brochure, or blog post, we use our imagination to tell a story with the hope of inspiring others.

So with that, I am going to keep writing, let my imagination run wild and work hard every day to provide hope and inspiration for the businesses I serve and for the people I know and love.

By the way, this movie definitely deserves a five-star rating.  If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check it out.  I’d love to hear what you think.


About Mary Jane Kinkade

I am the Director of Marketing and Development at Our Lady of Mercy Academy, South Jersey's premier Catholic high school for young women. I am mom to three amazing kids, married to my best friend, and happiest when at the beach (writing, of course!).
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