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4.4 out of 5 stars144
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Showing 11-13 of 13 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on May 21, 2002
I've been making a point of re-watching all the Disney classics from my youth and commenting on them with adult eyes. It's been a very interesting experience, and PETER PAN is no exception.
What stands out are all the elements Disney wouldn't dare put in an animated film today...like the carefree knife play and the pirate who Captian Hook picks off with his hand gun. But by and large, the whole fire engine red faced "injun" scene is pretty amazing. Prune-faced and hook-nosed, the red man hits every stereotype in the book...and it just goes on and on.
While we're all familiar with the story of PETER PAN, I had no recollection the whole thing was essentially motivated by jealous females. Tinkerbell is jealous of Wendy. The mermaids are jealous of Wendy. Wendy is jealous of Tigerlily. Jealous Tinkerbell sells Peter out (at least Tigerlily was smart enough to keep her mouth shut). All are vying for Peter's attention, and he's near oblivious to the lot of it.
And Peter, in my opinion, is kind of an unlikable jerk (along with the retarded lost boys). A wise-guy, who pouts and listens to no one, he turns on his best friend, Tinkerbell, and banishes her forever, making the effort to reconcile only when he thinks she's about to die. At one point, I was kind of hoping Captian Hook would at least get one good shot in.
It's an all right piece of animation, better than SNOW WHITE and far better than ALICE IN WONDERLAND...but not nearly as good as JUNGLE BOOK, which is by far my Disney favorite. PETER PAN lands somewhere between SNOW WHITE and ROBIN HOOD on my scale. With the most enjoyable parts involving the hungry crocodile or Wendy's littlest brother (who's really cute).
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on November 22, 2015
you can never go wrong with peter pan. my only issue is, thought the movie is new, my case came with a crack and some wear on the cover
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on July 4, 2004
"The Disney version" of "Peter Pan" clearly demonstrates what is so wrong with "The Disney version" of too many classic stories. It turns Barrie's play into a simple adventure tale, in which the dramatic and (dare I say it?) psycho-sexual elements at the center of Barrie's fantasy are discarded wholesale.
There are defensible reasons for this, I suppose. Drama requires talking, but characters who stand around gabbing bring an animated film to a dead stop. I also suspect that Disney simply didn't understand the story in the first place. It wasn't until the Ashman/Menken era that Disney films finally developed any dramatic focus.
It's unfortunate, because "Peter Pan" starts off well enough. The late Sammy Fain's "Second Star from the Right," played over the title cards, has one of the most-ravishing melodies in the history of American popular music. (Look for the albums "Bibbidi Bobbidi Bach" and "Heigh-Ho! Mozart" for superb "classical" arrangements of Disney tunes.) The "You Can Fly" sequence is inspired (and can you name any other pop song with an accelerando passage?). But everything quickly bogs down thereafter, with Captain Hook's machinations providing the only fun.
There just aren't enough good things in the Disney "Peter Pan" to make up for its failure to treat the source material in an honest and serious fashion.
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