Friday, April 22, 2016

Just Think Of The Happiest Things (Disney's Peter Pan, 1953)

Based upon Sir James M. Barrie's 1904 play about the boy who refuses to grow up, the film begins in the London nursery of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling, where three children are visited by Peter Pan. With the help of his tiny friend, the fairy Tinkerbell, Peter takes the three children on a magical flight to Never Land. This enchanted island is home to Peter, Tink, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and her Native American nation, and the scheming Captain Hook who is as intent on defeating Peter Pan as he is from escaping the tick-tocking crocodile that once ate a hand of his that Peter Pan cut off--and loved the taste of so much. - IMDb


     The story of Peter Pan is an eternal classic.   Since its first production in 1904, it has maintained immense popularity with both children and adults. The tale reflects real children in such a realistic, funny way that no other story I have read (or watched) has ever done. Children are often arrogant, proud, silly, mature, brave, foolish, loving, kind, and playful all in the same minute.   This is what the story holds true to.   The nature of children is a difficult thing to capture, but this story does it so well.   The movie, while changing a few things from the book, still kept all of the charm, wonder, and delight from both the book and the stage play.   Peter Pan had never truly flown until Disney brought his story to life.


     From action to scenery, Peter Pan helped animation soar to new heights.   There were so many difficult things to animate in Peter Pan, such as flight, water, animals, fights, dances, and pixie dust.   The film exceeded all expectations in these regards.   The beautiful visuals made one feel completely immersed in the movie.   I felt that I was flying over London with the characters.


     So many classic, wonderful songs came from this movie!   The most popular is "You Can Fly!" but a lot of other songs are very well known.   "A Pirate's Life," "Following The Leader," and "Your Mother and Mine" are some.   "What Makes The Red Man Red," a song sung by the Indian tribe, is super controversial (and decidedly racist).   It's often cut from the film whenever it's played on television.   (However, the song is so much fun to sing and perform that in other productions of Disney's Peter Pan, such as Broadway Junior's, a song to the same tune called "Hana Mana Ganda" replaces it.   In this edition, the Indians aren't real Indians and don't actually know any Indian words, so they sing Hana Mana Ganda instead.)

Final Rating

     Overlooking the scene with the Indians (which isn't included in most showings), this film is a solid 5-star Disney classic.   It managed to bring something fresh and original to the classic story and popularized Peter Pan in a way nothing else could.   The changes made still fit in with the story without ruining the plot.   Everyone should watch or read Peter Pan at least once in their lifetime.   It will connect you to your inner child in a way nothing else has.

Bonus Gif:

1 comment:

  1. I love this! And I agree that everybody should watch or read it (aka experience it). Peter Pan is one of my favorite fantasy stories. I love the book, the play, and this movie (as well as several others...)

    You express fully why this classic movie is worth 5 stars! :) I love the pixie dust animation!