on April 13, 2016
Peter Pan is my favorite of the classic Disney films. It has wonderful voice-acting, lovely animation, and an eternal theme. I have to say, though, that the cries of racism against this film are unfair. Social hindsight is always 20/20 and obviously at the time this film came out (or the time the original novel was written, or the play was made, for that matter), being offensive was the last thing Disney wanted to be.
It's easy for people to stand on their high ground and look down at history, smug at knowing how far society has come, but it really hasn't come that far at all. Racism, real racism, still exists and Hollywood is churning out films today that are just as culturally insensitive as anything put out in the Golden Age of film. The only reason most people don't see it for what it is, is because THEY ARE LIVING IN THIS TIME. In 1953, general audiences didn't see anything wrong with Disney's Peter Pan, so don't fool yourself--2016 is not the pinnacle of human achievement. Sixty years from now a lot of current popular movies will be condemned for having socially unacceptable content, too. That's just the way it is.
Condoning the "selective editing" of film, the banishment of others (i.e. Song of the South) or the "correction" of works of literature (i.e Mark Twain's works) on any basis is not only tantamount to vandalism, but it's a pretty naïve way of handling a problem. Pretending history never happened doesn't make societal problems go away. Consider George Santayana's famous statement (often misquoted), "Those who cannot REMEMBER the past are condemned to repeat it." Tell me: how can one remember something you never saw for yourself because it was deleted, altered, or banned?
In twenty years smoking could become a thing of the past. Do you really want film historians to go in and CGI-out every cigarette from Bogie's or Gable's mouth, delete every bit of evidence that such a habit even existed all in the name of "protecting our children?" If that happened, and without any cultural context to say otherwise, then who's to say at some point in the future one of those protected children invents cigarettes all over again? Isn't it better to see a problem, TALK about it with your children, and take control of your own lives.
The past is in the past. Better than making a "PC friendly" update of Peter Pan, which addresses nothing and only opens the uncontrolled floodgates of censorship, why doesn't society prove its "superior humanity" by pressuring Hollywood to allow more Native American filmmakers to enter the mainstream TODAY. And it seems First Nations actors are only hired for Westerns (if at all); why can't a part just happen to played by a native, Asian, or someone of some other ethnic background? And why do audiences support "comedies" that make jokes about racial or cultural intolerance? Hollywood wouldn't keep making them if they weren't profitable. People should stop complaining about the past, trying to bury it, and start contributing to make a less hypocritical present. Then the future will take care of itself. Thanks for listening.
Peter Pan flies into blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.33:1 encode. In this case, Disney has decided to do a spectacular clean revitalization, rather than a classic restoration. The result is the absence of grain. But I feel that the transfer is still a revelation. Colours are sumptuous, strong, stunning and vibrant, especially obvious with Captain Hook's bright red cape. The blue of London's night sky is sumptuous. The greenery of Neverland has never looked so rich. Contrast is excellent throughout, as are black levels, which are deeper and richer than ever before. Detail is quite impressive too, with clean line art, stable colour fills, and nicely preserved brushstroke textures in the hand-painted backgrounds. Scratches, scuffs, and noise have all been cleaned up. (5/5)
As per the usual Disney high standards, Peter Pan comes with DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio. Culled from a mono source Disney creates a realistic surround sound environment like it has with other movies like Snow White. What is most noticeable about the expanded soundscape is the exactness of the directionality. Dialogue and sound effects move seamlessly through the channels depending on where people are located on screen. Cannons provide deep booming explosions. The tick-tock of Hook's crocodile echoes menacingly. Rear speakers are surprisingly alive with ambient noise, as are the side channels. This is especially noticeable during action sequences. My favourite sound of the movie, when Hook skips across the top of the water like a skipping stone after shooting out of the crocodile's mouth, is wonderfully presented here. The 7.1 track may be a little much considering its mono roots, but Disney pulls it off really well. It is just too bad that they didn't include a lossless mono option as well. (4.5/5)
One night in London, Peter Pan (voiced by Bobby Driscoll) visits a young girl hoping to get his shadow back. Wendy Darling (Kathryn Beaumont) believes in the stories she's heard about Peter and has stowed away his lost shadow for safe keeping. And so begins one of the most adored stories in all of children's literature.
Wendy, along with her two brothers Michael (voiced by Tommy Luske) and John (voiced by Paul Collins) fly off to Neverland with Peter. A wealth of adventure awaits the travelers. Danger lies ahead also. Captain Hook (voiced by Hans Conried) has been stewing over how to finally rid himself of his arch nemesis Peter Pan. When the boy arrives with new friends in tow he eyes a chance to get rid of him once and for all. Of course, we must not forget Tinker Bell and the very clumpsy Mr. Smee (voiced by Bill Thompson). (movie: 5/5)
Peter Pan is my favourite Disney film. This was my first full length "cartoon" that I viewed in a theatre when I was 6. This began my love for movies. At home, I was heavily criticized by my better half for my many versions of Peter Pan: starting with a bootleg tape version, followed by a few VHS tapes, then a laser disc, and finally three different DVDs: first, called Limited Issue, followed by Special Edition, and finally the Platinum Edition in 2007. Hopefully and thankfully, this Diamond Edition should be the last one. This edition is the definitive version, and is very highly recommended.
PETER PAN  [Diamond Edition] [Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook] [Blu-ray + DVD] [US Release] It Will Live in Your Heart Forever!
Think of the happiest things as Peter Pan soars to spectacular new heights! Now more sensational than ever with digitally restored picture and brilliant high-definition sound! Bid your cares goodbye as Wendy and her brothers embark on fantastic adventures with the hero of their bedtime stories – Peter Pan! With faith, trust and Tinker Bell's pixie dust, Peter teaches them how to fly and leads them to the 'second star to the right' and beyond – to Never Land! Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Walt Disney's animated version of the Sir James M. Barrie [J.M. Barrie] classic stories. Narrated by Tom Conway.
FILM FACT: ‘PETER PAN’ film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival. Michael Jackson cited ‘PETER PAN’ as his favourite animation film of all time, from which he derived the name for his estate Neverland Ranch in Santa Barbara, where he had a private amusement park.
Voice Cast: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson, Heather Angel, Paul Collins, Tommy Luske, Candy Candido, Tom Conway (Narrator voice), Lucille Bliss (uncredited), Tony Butala (uncredited), Carol Coombs (uncredited), Robert Ellis (uncredited), June Foray (uncredited), Connie Hilton (uncredited), Margaret Kerry (uncredited), Karen Kester (uncredited), Johnny McGovern (uncredited), Norma Jean Nilsson (uncredited), Thurl Ravenscroft (singing voice) (uncredited), Jeffrey Silver (uncredited), Stuffy Singer (uncredited) and Anne Whitfield (uncredited)
Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Jack Kinney (uncredited) and Wilfred Jackson
Producer: Walt Disney
Screenplay: Bill Peet, Ed Penner (words-songs), Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, Ralph Wright, Ted Sears, William Cottrell, Winston Hibler and J. M. Barrie (Story/Play)
Composers: Frank Churchill (music-songs), Oliver Wallace (score), Sammy Cahn (words-songs) Sammy Fain (music-songs) Ted Sears (words-songs) and Winston Hibler (words-songs)
Video Resolution: 1080p [Technicolor]
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish
Region: Blu-ray: All Regions and DVD: NTSC
Running Time: 77 minutes
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment / RKO Radio Pictures
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: ‘PETER PAN’ is a long-awaited addition to Disney's Blu-ray canon that somehow makes my collection feels more whole, more complete. It isn't just a personal favourite either. It's one of Walt Disney's most beloved animated classics, one of the studio's greatest treasures and arguably the best Disney animated feature released in the 1950s. It has survived controversy, especially Tiger Lily and the Indians are still considered racially offensive in various circles and weathered criticism about the liberties Uncle Walt and his screenwriters took with J.M. Barrie's 1904 play and 1911 children's novel. And yet no censorship has been perpetrated and very little criticism has prevailed. It's a high-flying, swashbuckling adventure in the true spirit of the original and, in many ways, was the first production, on stage or off, to lend a thrillingly palpable sense of magic, grandeur and storybook fantasy to Barrie's text. Even today, some sixty years after its theatrical release, Peter Pan remains a magnificent animated film, as truly timeless as any Disney classic that came before it or come since.
‘PETER PAN’ harks back to a wondrous age in animation, before the advent of CGI and the misguided belief that traditional, hand drawn animation was outmoded. Pardon the nostalgic digression, but Walt Disney's fourteenth animated feature, now celebrating its 60th anniversary, has the look and whimsy of a much younger production. With no computers to rely on, Pan's legendary team of animators, especially the Nine Old Men who crafted something extraordinary for its time and something that continues to withstand the test of time. The beautifully expressive characters do nothing less than spring to life, while each acrobatic bout of flying, singing, dancing and swordplay is framed by gorgeous hand-painted backgrounds. Even now, with Disney aggressively resurrecting the hand-drawn feature, classics like Peter Pan stand tall, created entirely with pencils, ink, brushes and paint, and all the passion and spirit that goes into such hands-on artistry. Many of the CGI animators of the modern age are master animators in their own right, don't misunderstand. But there's something utterly magical about Walt Disney's early animated classics, and it's a magic that continues to grab hold of viewers, young and old, nostalgic and newcomer alike. Simply put: ‘PETER PAN’ is one of the Disney greats, and that isn't about to change anytime soon. "All this has happened before, and all this will happen again..."
Blu-ray Video Quality – The debate rages on, although fuelled by less disappointment than ‘Cinderella’ generated. ‘PETER PAN’ flies onto Blu-ray with a vibrant; striking 1080p encoded video transfer, restored with all the renewed digital advances available to the Disney restoration team. The results will delight most and mildly irritate a few; the few being those who feel the complete absence of grain and the slight (stress on slight) alterations made to the film's original colour and contrast are contrary to Walt Disney and his animators' intentions and the film's original presentation. The debate asks should a classic film be subjected to such changes. Should Disney attempt to create a transfer that's truer to the original cell art or to the 1953 theatrical image? Ideally, a release like Peter Pan would present both a classic restoration and a spectacularly clean revitalisation, but the choice has been made. The latter over the former it is. Still, purists would do well to embrace everything Disney has accomplished, if only in part. Marvellous leaps and strides have been made here, and not all of them controversial. In fact, only the grain removal, which appears to have taken little to no toll on the image other than its intended use, gave me pause, as it alters the texture of the original film, but despite this, I think the final result is absolutely stunning and looks better than when I viewed it in the cinema.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – Absolutely outstanding 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track crows at the top of its lungs and unleashes its sonic attack with notable precision. At the same time, the 7.1 presentation rarely, if ever, flies in the face of the film's original sound design. Though the rear speakers wrap the sounds of Never Land around the listener, it doesn't feel like a betrayal and is always executed with the utmost respect for the audio elements. Directional effects are light but playful, ambience is subtle but effective and a few acoustic flourishes make caves and other locales more immersive. Output is restrained as well but no less welcome, lending weight and presence to every low-end assault and exchange. Voices and sound effects, meanwhile, are completely unhindered and perfectly prioritised. A few lines of dialogue show their age, as anyone should expect from a sixty-year old feature, but remain clear and intelligible regardless. Add to that the full, enveloping presence of the film's score and songs and you have a first-rate 7.1 remix for this classic animation film.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Introduction by Diane Disney-Miller [1080p] Diane Disney-Miller provides a quick introduction to the film, touching on her father's attraction to adapting J.M. Barrie's tale and the artwork created during the film's development.
Special Feature: DisneyView [With Side Bars] [1080p] [1.77:1]You have black bars either side of the image to fill the Widescreen Image area of your Television. The Walt Disney background artwork is by painter Cristy Maltese who did ‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Aladdin.’
Special Feature: Peter Pan Sing-Along [1080p] Here you have an optional Sing-Along track, which is so easily engaged or can be skipped when selecting the "Play" option in the main menu. It's a simple subtitle feature. Sadly there is no karaoke-style guide marker or highlighting.
Special Feature: Growing Up with Nine Old Men [1080p] [45:00] This nice bonus feature short, features Ted Thomas speaking with the other grown-up sons and daughters of Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men. We found this bonus feature very charming, and it was interesting to glimpse into the world of the Nine Old Men from a different point of view. Ted Thomas is an amiable and folksy interviewer, and clearly has a kinship with those who went through a similar childhood as he did. The name started as a joke and a term of playful endearment by Walt Disney he gave to his 9 leading animators. But it soon became a badge of honour for the most legendary and influential animators in Disney history. Hear about the Nine Old Men from those who were closest to them and their children, now upwards in years themselves and learn about the artists' contributions and work, both personal and professional.
Deleted Songs and Scenes [1080p] [15:00] Unearthed from the Disney Vault, two deleted scenes and two deleted songs, presented via original storyboards, concept art, rough cell elements and key frames: "The Journey Home," "Alternate Arrival," "Never Smile at a Crocodile" and "The Boatswain Song."
Classic DVD Bonus Features and Extras:
Special Feature: Backstage Disney [480i] [65:00] Five behind-the-scenes feature and documentaries include "You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan," "In Walt's Words: Why I Made Peter Pan," "Tinker Bell: A Fairy's Tale," "The Peter Pan that Almost Was" and "The Peter Pan Story."
Special Feature: Music & More [1080p and 480i] [17:00] Disney Song Selection and presented in 1080p with 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Deleted Song: The Pirate Song. Never Land: The Lost Song. Music Video: Never Land, performed by Paige O'Hara and Music Video: The Second Star to the Right, performed by T-Squad.
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Roy Disney: Roy Disney hosts this extensive audio commentary, taken from the film's previous DVD release. Disney dryly reads from pre-prepared notes, but the interview excerpts and commentary bits featured over the course of the commentary allow the film's animators, voice actors and filmmakers to offer their insight as well. Smartly compiled and edited, the track touches on every aspect of Peter Pan, without wasting a single second.
Special Feature: Disney Intermission [1080p] Pausing at any point during the film allows younger viewers to tackle "Pirate Training," a series of tips, mini-activities and video clips helmed by the first mate of the Jolly Roger.
Finally, ‘PETER PAN’ is a classic today as it was twenty, forty or sixty years ago. It remains the wondrous adventure and magnificently animated spectacle it's always been. With Disney's Blu-ray release, it's even more wondrous and magnificent. Backed by a stunning video presentation, and a really strong 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track, and well over four hours of special features, this New Diamond Edition Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook release of ‘PETER PAN’ is a must-have for any Disney fan or animation aficionado. Don't hesitate: make the leap. Of course what makes my review extra special is the fact that people who have reviewed the other Blu-ray versions are missing something really special with this extra special Deluxe Limited Edition DigiBook, as it has 18 stunning glossy colour pages of awesome illustration images from the animation, plus the printed words telling you the story of Peter Pan, which could be read to small children at bedtime and make them keen to see this stunning Blu-ray. Ever since I first viewed the animation film ‘PETER PAN’ at the cinema, it has always been a very personal favourite of mine and I can also say it's one of Walt Disney's most beloved animated classics that I never get tired of viewing. Very Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
on October 3, 2013
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Peter Pan is one of my all time favorite animated films, this is just such a great classic that doesn't get enough notice. This is one of those movies that is so memorable and I'm surprised that honestly this movie isn't in the top 250. Captain Hook is one of my favorite Disney villains if not my number one, he's just plain hilarious and great entertainment. It's odd that I voted more for him and his pirates, just that they seemed like they were the group that you would invite to a party. Watching this movie for so many years, since I was a child, the story still hasn't lost it's touch. It's such a wonderful movie that not only the family could get into, but even I'll just watch it on my own if I want a cute movie. This is one of the best Disney movies of all time and the story of Peter Pan is told so wonderful you can't help but fall in love with it as well.
In London, George and Mary Darling's preparations to attend a party are disrupted by the antics of the boys John and Michael, acting out a story about Peter Pan and the pirates, told to them by their older sister Wendy. The father angrily declares that Wendy has gotten too old to continue staying in the nursery with them, and it's time for her to grow up. That night they are visited in the nursery by a pixie named Tinker Bell and cocky Peter Pan, who teaches them to fly and takes them with him to the island of Never Land. A ship of pirates is anchored off Never Land, commanded by Captain Hook with his sidekick Mr Smee. Hook boldly plots to take revenge upon Peter Pan for cutting off his hand, but he trembles when the crocodile that ate it arrives. The crew's restlessness is interrupted by the arrival of Peter and the Darlings. The children easily evade them, and despite a trick by jealous Tinker Bell to have Wendy killed, they meet up with the Lost Boys, six lads in animal-costume pajamas who look to Peter as their leader. John and Michael set off with the Lost Boys to find the island's Indians, who instead capture them, believing them responsible for taking the chief's daughter Tiger Lily. Meanwhile, Peter takes Wendy to see the mermaids, where they see that Hook and Smee have captured Tiger Lily, to coerce her into revealing Peter's hideout. Peter and Wendy free her, and Peter is honored by the tribe. Hook then plots to take advantage of Tink's jealousy of Wendy, tricking her into revealing the location of Peter's lair. The pirates lie in wait and capture the Lost Boys and the Darlings as they exit, leaving behind a time bomb to kill Peter.
I'm always going to love Peter Pan, my sister and I still have so much fun with this movie, we constantly rehearse the scene of George, the father, screaming about how the family loves the dog more than him, it's a great scene. But still one scene that always gets me rolling on the floor laughing is when Peter Pan tells Captain Hook to scream in front of his crew and Peter's lost boys that he's a codfish, and you see everyone just cheer and make fun of Captain Hook as well as that blasted crocodile that won't leave him alone. This is such a great movie, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, it's a fun film to watch and will always hold a great place in my heart.