Peter Pan (1953) Movie Review

Peter Pan may be a boy who refuses to grow up, but his movie is really one of Disney's most adult "kids'" films.

Like Pinocchio, there are a lot of mature themes in Peter Pan. The elfin Peter is full of duplicity -- he'll lie to no end to get his way. Peter and the children he has brought with him to Never Land (they don't want to grow up either) visit a local Indian tribe, and with appropriate 1950s un-PC-ness, the smoke'm peace pipe and blow smoke triangles (cue song: "What Made the Red Man Red?"). Wendy and the kids are kidnapped by an extremely effeminate sailor (the immortal Captain Hook, Pan's nemesis). Even innocent Tinkerbell looks with frustration at how wide her hips are -- before she sells out her buddies in a play for her freedom from Hook.

Of course, this is all innocent, and there's no harm intended from a movie that is now 50 years old. But the movie's modern-day difficulties make one question its current-day appropriateness, particularly for the G-rated crowd. Peter Pan, the character, has of course become a timeless entity, and in the end, the messages that there's a time for fantasy and a time reality and that all good things must come to an end, are fair value statements for the kids. It's up to you (assuming you're a parent) to decide if the end justifies the means of getting there.

Deconstruct Peter Pan for yourself now that it's finally been issued to DVD, a typical Disney special edition that includes a commentary from Roy Disney and archival comments from Walt Disney and his animation team, extra footage, a few making-of featurettes, and plenty of pixie dust for the kids.

Early sketch for Peter Pan, as included on the new DVD release.


Comments

Peter Pan (1953) Rating

" OK "

Rating: G, 1953

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