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4.4 out of 5 stars
Peter Pan (Two-Disc Platinum Edition)
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"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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