Blu-ray Review Peter Pan
Directed by: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske Cast: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried Running Time: 1 hr 16 mins Rating: G Due Out: February 5, 2013
PLOT: Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.
WHO'S IT FOR? Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, but perhaps you haven't seen it for a while. This review will clue you in if your child is ready.
Since we all know the basic concept of the film, but are perhaps years (or decades) removed from seeing it, I've decided to do a running diary review of Peter Pan. I hope you enjoy.
"All of this happened before, and it will happen again." That's where we start, which I guess is referring to history repeating itself, but with other children, as opposed to Wendy and her brothers caught in a time warp. Probably.
Why is Wendy the supreme authority about Peter Pan? Didn't she learn from her mother? Shouldn't Mary be the supreme authority?
The suspense of Peter Pan gets extremely escalated when her father declares it's time for Wendy to have her own room. Supposedly she would have no way to tell her brothers about Neverland if she's next door. This feels like shady logic from Dad.
The theme is growing up, but really it's, "Don't grow up too fast, but still grow up."
Tinker Bell is immediately vain. She cares about her hips, and if they are too big. She's also insanely sexy. Um, right? This is accepted knowledge, correct?
Peter's logic is something like this ... "Wendy, come to Neverland where you will never grow up. But when you get to Neverland, be our mother." Wouldn't that require growing up?
Is there anything sadder than Nana (the dog) flying and being tied up? I'm sure Peta is still fuming about this one. I love the song "You Can Fly."
The other pirates are mocking Captain Hook. So why are they following him? If you're a pirate, you have to respect or fear your captain. It's Pirating 101.
Red Flag #1: Cannibal. Do you want to explain to your child what a cannibal is?
Red Flag #2. Red skin. Do you want to explain what a red skin is? Perhaps go with, "A football team in our nation's capital," and just move on.
Mr. Smee is the comic relief, and immediately starts knocking scenes out of the park. He's almost as good as the tic toc croc. By the way, how did they never call him, "Tic Toc Croc"? What a waste.
I love clouds you can stand on.
Wow. Tinker Bell is evil. So, she's vain and evil. Nice role model.
"Following the Leader" is a more enjoyable song than I remember. It's also going to be stuck in my head for the next week. How does John get the lead? I mean, wouldn't one of the Lost Boys want to be in control if Peter is gone? Are they just desperate to be led? Oh, they're off to fight "injuns," just so you know.
Do you feel the sudden sexual tension in the room? That's because we're at Mermaid Lagoon. They are scantily clad and falling all over Peter. More importantly, they are trying to drown Wendy. Sure, they laugh it off, but they'd be thrilled if she "accidentally" went swimming with the fishes. Also, add them to the evil woman list with Tinker Bell.
Skull Rock should have a sign on it that says, "Where all evil pirates hide Indian princesses."
Peter can sound exactly like Hook. Exactly. This should be appreciated more.
The use of shadows in Peter Pan is amazing. I'm not just talking about how better loses his shadow, but even within the Skull Rock sequence, half the suspense comes from shadows.
Hook cries, "I'll get you for this, if it's the last thing I do." He actually cries, tears fall down his face. This guy is messed up. Yet, let's not forget, Hook should be applauded for his survival skills against the crocodile. Agile to the extreme.
The Tinker Bell plot is finally revealed. Since Peter kicked her out, clearly Hook can convince her to do terrible things.
The boys have been captured by the Indians.
Red Flag #3: Peace pipe. Luckily it doesn't appear to have any mind-altering affects.
During the "What Makes the Red Man Red?" song Wendy gets jealous of Tiger Lily. Sigh. Wendy, I expected more out of you.
Red Flag #4: The song "What Makes the Red Man Red?" Not exactly what you want your kid singing in the grocery store.
Mr. Smee catches Tinker Bell. It's the easiest capture ever. Shouldn't that have been an elaborate hunt and chase that went on for 20 minutes? Sigh. Tinker Bell, I expected more out of you.
Peter can sound exactly like Indian Chief, with the word, "Hau" (how). Again, this is like a super power. Sure flight is better, but that's only because of Tinker Bell. His voice powers are all his own.
Wendy's plan: Adopt all of the Lost Boys. She's sure her mother won't mind. She forgets to mention what her dad would think of that.
Here's another odd plot hole. In Neverland, you won't grow up, but you won't have a mother. Go home, and you get your mother back. Isn't growing up partially related to feeling like you don't need your mother anymore?
Red Flag #5: Mr. Smee says, "Slit his throat."
There's a bomb, which Peter is holding. Tinker Bell catches wind of this plan and immediately escapes. Shouldn't she have tried that earlier? What does this say about Tinker Bell's personality?
The bomb goes off. It's a huge explosion. From the ship's perspective, it appears half the island blows up. Yet somehow, even though Peter and Tinker Bell were feet away, they're OK.
After Hook tried to blow Peter up, you'd think Peter would take this final fight more seriously. He's clowning around way too much.
I do love the knife vs. sword. We need a new hero who just does knives. Hollywood, make it happen.
Channeling his inner-Marty McFly, nobody calls Peter a coward. Now he won't fly.
Peter wins. Hook loses. How does Peter disgrace him? He calls him a codfish, and even makes Hook say it.
Tinker Bell makes the whole ship gold and they fly away to London. Once home, Wendy explains that the Lost Boys decided to stay in Neverland. We don't get a Wendy/Peter good-bye. Her dad sees the cloud ship and says, "When I was young, I saw it too."
The extra worth checking out is the Alternative Ending, called "Journey Home." It fills in the good-byes, the reasons the lost boys don't join, and perhaps Peter being solely responsible for creating Neverland. Plus, another extra worth noting is pausing the film, which will give your child a few minutes of entertainment with mini-games and scenes. It's a great idea, that isn't quite perfected here.
MOVIE SCORE: 8/10
Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy Storybook App -- Plays On iPad, iPhone And iPod Touch Growing Up With Nine Old Men Introduction By Diane Disney Miller Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scene Never-Before-Seen Alternate Ending Deleted Songs Disney Intermission -- Press Pause And See What Happens!