In 1904, playwright J.M Barrie released a play called, “Peter Pan.” It’s about three children are invited by a boy with the ability to fly who literally can’t grow up, to a trip to “Neverland.” An island filled with residents including pirates led by Peter’s archenemy Captain Hook, mermaids, Indians, fairies, animal wildlife and a group of kids known as “Lost Boys” associated with Peter. The play has been adapted into many forms of media including movies, (2003 version is my personal favorite) television, broadway musicals, video games and books.
Peter Pan was released in 1953. (same year the first ever McDonald’s restaurant was established in Downey, California) It earned critical acclaim from critics and movie goers alike. Besides positive reception, it made a lot of money at the box office. Disney’s interpretation of Peter Pan later appeared in a sequel titled, “Return To Neverland,” video games like the “Kingdom Hearts series and a spin-off series known as “Fairies” focusing on Tinkerbell.
Disney Plus is currently available for anyone subscribing content by Disney who owns Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Muppets and previous animated/live action films from past to present. As a lifelong fan of Star Wars, Pixar & Marvel, I’d like to spread positive word of mouth for anybody interested in subscribing Disney Plus. One more thing, Disney is currently working on a live action remake based on the 1953 animated classic.
It doesn’t matter if this is a full SPOILER article. Let’s face it, we’re already aware of the story being adapted many times, parodied, remade and a bizarre live musical with Christopher Walken as Captain Hook.
Believable & Unbelievable Aspects
Believable: Walt Disney did a decent job producing the film. He made sure everything single frame was in perfection condition.
Animation still holds up bringing character models, designs, environmental detail, world etc. Keep in mind, this was crafted in hand drawn 2D animated format before highly advanced technology existed.
Humor is filled with plenty of laughs. Hook’s frequent encounters with The Crocodile who ate his hand deserves an Extra Point.
Bill Thompson who voiced Smee, also voiced The White Rabbit from “Alice In Wonderland” and “Droopy.”
Chemistry between Peter & Wendy didn’t go to far to establish an early romance. They acted like actual kids.
Fun Fact: J.R.R. Tolkein was a fan of Peter Pan. His works are influenced by Peter Pan especially “The Hobbit” & “The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy” set in “Middle-Earth.”
As you may know, Disney’s Peter Pan was Michael Jackson’s favorite movie. He named his ranch/amusement park “Neverland Ranch” after the main setting. We all know what happened I refuse to talk about it.
Captain Hook is arguably the best part of the film. I kinda felt bad for him suffering from Peter’s shenanigans. Hook deserves Bonus Points as a scene stealer and one of my favorite Disney villains besides Hades from “Hercules.”
Hook & Smee’s chemistry kept me entertained. Their scenes together cracked me up. I couldn’t resist.
Songs are very memorable, except for one song I strongly dislike about “leadership.”
Unbelievable: “Following The Leader” has got to be the most irritating song I’ve ever heard in my life, it’s annoying as fudge. When I was young, my friends would often play this song from a compilation CD of Disney songs if he or she is in charge of taking full responsibility to complete a task. Frozen’s “Let It Go” is pretty tame compared to Following The Leader. I’d rather listen to Let It Go than Following The Leader. The latter song deserves to be Doubled Down due to my displeasure.
There’s a scene with kids smoking. I do not condone underage smoking.
If you’re a Native American, Indian are presented in a stereotypical depiction. As a quarter Indian of Choctaw decent, (not kidding) I didn’t get offended at all by their scenes or the song, What Made Red Man Red.” As a kid, I never noticed their depiction onscreen, I thought they were quirky like most cartoon characters behave. I’m gonna give this con a pass, because I never had a problem with it.
The Final Verdict: B-
Disney’s Peter Pan is shockingly average. I’m gonna come clean, I prefer the 2003 live action version rather than the 1953 version. If you want to introduce your kids to Peter Pan, start with the old school classic or the 2003 film, your call. Don’t forget to subscribe Disney Plus if you want to relive your childhood.
One thought on “Classics Review: Peter Pan (1953)”
I think Lady and the Tramp is the worst of the 50s animated Disney movies. To me it felt kind of mean spirited and there were some scenes that were hell on dog-lovers.