What Storytellers Do

walt quote

Have you ever seen the movie, Saving Mr. Banks? If you are a writer and want to be inspired by the art of storytelling, it’s a must see.  I recently decided to give it a try.  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 the least about tend to be some of the best, I clicked play.

I am so glad I did.  As a writer, this movie struck a chord with me in a way 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 what she thought would be an animated cartoon.  Disney, on the other hand, knew a good story when he saw one and wanted nothing more than to make this movie.  It took 20 years of convincing, but Travers finally agreed to consider Disney’s proposal.

During the course of an extremely colorful and entertaining exchange between the various cast of characters, Disney realizes that Travers 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 her home in England.  Knowing the real story behind the creation of Mary Poppins, Disney 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 makes you laugh and cry – sometimes both at once.  It was hearing Walt Disney’s view of a storyteller’s role, though, that inspired me the most.  He was so right.

As a freelance writer and content marketer, storytelling is at the heart of what I do.  After all, whatever I write, whether it’s a blog post, video script, news release, or company brochure, I use my imagination to tell a story that will inspire people in a way that drives growth and success for the businesses and organizations I serve.

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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