Peter Pan (1953 film)

Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated musical fantasy adventure-drama produced by Walt Disney Productions and was based on the 1904 play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske and Wilfred Jackson, it is the 14th Disney animated feature film and was originally released on February 5, 1953 by RKO Radio Pictures. Peter Pan was the final Disney animated feature released through RKO before Walt Disney founded his own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution, later in 1953 after the film was released (RKO was acquired by the General Tire and Rubber Company in 1959, becoming a part of the company's RKO General division). Peter Pan is also the final Disney film in which all nine members of Disney's Nine Old Men worked together as directing animators. It is also the second Disney animated film starring Kathryn Beaumont, Heather Angel, and Bill Thompson, who co-starred together in the 1951 animated feature Alice in Wonderland.

Peter Pan
PeterpanRKO.jpg
Original theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced byWalt Disney
Story by
Based onPeter and Wendy
by J. M. Barrie
Starring
Narrated byTom Conway
Music byOliver Wallace
Production
company
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • February 5, 1953 (1953-02-05) (United States)[1]
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$4 million[2]
Box office$87.4 million[2]

The film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.[3] A sequel titled Return to Never Land was released in 2002, and a series of direct-to-DVD prequels produced by Disneytoon Studios focusing on Tinker Bell began in 2008.

Plot

In London, England, circa 1900, George and Mary Darling's preparations to attend a party are disrupted by the antics of their boys, John and Michael, acting out a story about Peter Pan and the pirates that was told to them by their older sister, Wendy. George, who is fed up with the stories, declares that Wendy has gotten too old to continue staying in the nursery with the boys. That night, Wendy and the boys are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself, who teaches them to fly with the help of his pixie friend, Tinker Bell, and takes them with him to the island of Never Land.

A ship of pirates is anchored off Never Land, captained by Captain Hook with his first mate, Mr. Smee. Hook plots to take revenge upon Peter Pan for cutting off his hand and fears the crocodile who had consumed the hand and is eager to eat the rest of him. The crew's restlessness is interrupted by the arrival of Peter and the Darlings. Tinker Bell, who is very jealous of Pan's attention to Wendy, persuades the Lost Boys that Pan has ordered them to shoot down Wendy. Tinker Bell's treachery is soon found out, and Peter banishes her. John and Michael set off with the Lost Boys to find the island's Indians, who instead capture them, believing they to be those responsible for taking the chief's daughter, Tiger Lily.

Meanwhile, Peter takes Wendy to see the mermaids, who flee in terror at the sight of Hook. Peter and Wendy see that Hook and Smee have captured Tiger Lily so that they might persuade her to disclose Peter's hideout. Peter and Wendy free her and return her to the Chief, and the tribe honors Peter. Hook then plots to take advantage of Tinker Bell's jealousy of Wendy, tricking her into revealing Peter's lair's location. Wendy and her brothers eventually grow homesick and plan to return home. They invite Peter and the Lost Boys to return to London and be adopted by the Darling parents. The Lost Boys agree, but Peter doesn’t want to grow up and refuses. The pirates lie in wait and capture the Lost Boys and the Darlings as they exit the lair, leaving behind a time bomb to kill Peter. Tinker Bell learns of the plot just in time to snatch the bomb from Peter as it explodes.

Peter rescues Tinker Bell from the rubble, and together, they confront the pirates, releasing the children before they can walk the plank. Peter engages Hook in combat as the children fight off the crew. Hook and his crew flee. Peter commandeers the deserted ship and, assisted by Tinker Bell's pixie dust, flies it to London with the children aboard. However, the Lost Boys decide to return to Never Land with Peter rather than be adopted in London. George and Mary Darling return home from the party to find Wendy sleeping at the nursery's open window. Wendy awakens and excitedly tells about their adventures. The parents look out the window and see what appears to be a pirate ship in the clouds. George, who has softened his position about Wendy staying in the nursery, recognizes the ship from his own childhood.

Cast and characters

  • Bobby Driscoll as Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up. Like Tinker Bell, Peter can be very hot-headed. He is also commanding, but very brave. Peter can be quite mean at times (for instance, laughing at Wendy as the mermaids nastily tease her). Despite this, he is caring, especially when it comes to Tinker Bell's safety. He finds enjoyment in fighting Captain Hook and was responsible for the loss of Hook's left hand. He was modeled by Roland Dupree.
  • Tinker Bell: a hot-headed pixie/fairy and Peter Pan's closest friend. She is very envious of the relationship formed between Wendy and Peter, having Wendy nearly stoned to death and eventually to even tell Captain Hook of Pan's hideout after being tricked into thinking Hook's intention is to capture Wendy and not Peter. When she realizes what she has done, she tries to warn Peter of a bomb that Hook has left for him that is addressed as if from Wendy and in the form of a present. But Peter will not hear of it, and she manages to push the bomb away from him at the very moment it explodes, thus saving Peter's life while almost costing her own. When Peter searches for her desperately in the ashes, she reflects a change of attitude toward Wendy and the boys, telling Peter he must rescue them first from Captain Hook's ship. However, Peter says that he cannot leave her and tells her how much he loves her. Toward the end, Tinker Bell helps the Darling children return home by sprinkling pixie dust all across the pirate ship that Peter Pan has just inherited, which is renamed Captain Pan. Although Tinker Bell never speaks, the animators used Margaret Kerry as a model to help them draw her movements.
  • Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy Darling, at 12 years old the eldest of the Darling children, who adores Peter Pan. Her moody father forces her to move her out of the nursery so that she may mature. She is a very feminine character, with somewhat motherly care for others. She reminds the Lost Boys of their own mothers. She is the first of the Darling children to ask to return home. She has a soft spot for Peter and envies the attention he pays Tiger Lily, and she has reason to dislike Tinker Bell (who calls her a "big ugly girl" out of explicit jealousy) but considers her lovely. She has a very tame personality, wanting the best for everyone and grudging no one; even when the mermaids tease her nastily, she worries about the danger of their teasing more than their nastiness itself. She is naive, wise, and mature, and very trusting and faithful to her standards of conscience.
  • Paul Collins as John Darling, the older of the two Darling boys. He acts very sophisticated and mature for a boy eight years old. He is an analytical thinker and skilled strategist, particularly when he takes the lead over the Lost Boys while capturing Indians and fighting the pirates. He wears large, black glasses and is tall and slim. All the Darling children wear their nightgowns to Never Land, but he also takes a black top hat and an umbrella with him, showing exaggerated maturity.
  • Tommy Luske as Michael Darling, the youngest of the three Darling children, who is about four years old. He carries a teddy bear and is very sensitive. He is clumsy, yet very playful.
  • Heather Angel as Mary Darling, the Darling children's mother. She is much calmer and more understanding of her daughter's stories than her husband is, even though she takes them with a pinch of salt, saying Peter Pan is "the spirit of youth." When her husband is overwhelmed by frustration at the children, she tries to soothe him, and later on assures the children that their father does not really mean what he says when he is angry, and that he truly loves them very much, which is true. She is a wise, lovely woman, and kind at heart.
  • Nana: the Darlings' nursemaid, a St. Bernard dog (originally a Newfoundland dog). She is an unnatural dog, taking care of the Darling children and cleaning up after their continuous messes. She is very efficient at her work, and possesses much tolerance for the messes. She is the family's favorite pet, so much so that separating her from the children for one night was considered a great punishment. She only barks and is musically represented by the bassoon.
  • Hans Conried as:
    • Captain Hook, a pirate captain who seeks revenge on Pan for having his left hand chopped off and fed to the Crocodile in a battle. He is a dangerous villain, though completely dependent on his personal assistant, Mr. Smee, and also very childish in his fear of the crocodile.
    • George Darling, the Darling children's father. He is a very moody and dramatic figure. In the beginning of the film, he is called "a practical man". He is frustrated by Wendy telling the boys imaginary tales about Peter Pan (himself already easily irritated and easy to enrage with the mere mention of Peter), and in a moment of frustration he demands that Wendy move out of the boys' room, saying she "has to grow up." However, in a calmer moment at the end of the film, he changes his mind about Wendy's stories. He later remarks having seen a pirate ship such as Peter Pan's when he was very young himself. In contrast to his moody outbursts, he is gentle at heart; when he punishes the children by taking Nana the dog outside, he feels sorry for her and comforts her. Conried doing both characters' voices is a nod to the stage play tradition.
  • Bill Thompson as Mr. Smee, Hook's first mate and personal assistant. As the comic relief in the story, Mr. Smee is bossed around by Hook. The frustrated and bored crewmen (also voiced by Thompson, and several of whom are seen only in one scene in the movie) tease him into trying to convince Hook to give up the search for Peter Pan.
  • The Crocodile: A crocodile who swallowed an alarm clock and is after the remains of Hook. Pan had cut off Hook's hand and thrown it to the Crocodile, causing it to acquire a taste for Hook and thus follow him ever since. Its character was later known as Tick-Tock the Croc.
  • The Lost Boys: Pan's right-hand boys, dressed as various animals. Their names are Slightly (fox costume; voiced by Stuffy Singer), Cubby (bear costume; voiced by Robert Ellis), Nibs (rabbit costume; voiced by Jeffrey Silver), Tootles (skunk costume; never speaks) and the Twins (raccoon costumes; voiced by Johnny McGovern). Their origin remains a mystery in the movie, especially since they claim to have once had mothers of their own. They are very savage boys who get into fights easily with each other, but when they have a common goal to attain, they act as one. Tony Butala provides their singing voices.
  • June Foray, Connie Hilton, Karen Kester, and Margaret Kerry as the mermaids, who are Peter's friends and are very interested in his heroic stories of himself. They are resentful of Wendy and try to drown her, although Peter insists they "are only having fun." They are frightened away when Captain Hook is rowing nearby. The mermaids appear to be in their mid-teens, with very womanly exposed bodies, resembling women in two-part bathing suits.
  • Candy Candido as the chief of the Indians. Despite his fierce look, he is a kind and well-meaning leader. Apparently, he has fought the Lost Boys before, having noted that both his people and the Lost Boys have won and lost several times in combat.
  • June Foray as the wife of the Indian chief and Tiger Lily's mother. She only appears twice in one scene, each time ordering Wendy to get firewood while everyone else celebrates Peter Pan's honor from the tribe, calling her "Squaw".
  • Tom Conway as the narrator, whose voice is heard only at the beginning of the film.
  • The Mellomen (Thurl Ravenscroft, Bill Lee, Bob Stevens and Max Smith) as the pirate chorus and the Indians.

Production

In 1935, Walt Disney expressed interest in doing an adaptation of Peter Pan as his second film following Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.[4] However, the live-action film rights were held by Paramount Pictures. The copyright owner, the Hospital for Sick Children in London, unsuccessfully offered to have Disney make an agreement with Paramount. However, in January 1939, Disney obtained the animation rights to the play by outbidding Fleischer Studios, which was also developing animated feature films.[5][6] By early 1939, a story reel had been completed,[7] and by the following May, Disney had several animators in mind for the characters. Vladimir Tytla was considered for the pirates, Norman Ferguson for the dog, Nana (who also animated Pluto) and Fred Moore for Tinker Bell.[8]

During this time, Disney explored many possible interpretations of the story. In the earliest version, the film would start by telling Peter Pan's backstory. But during a story meeting on May 20, 1940, Disney said, "We ought to get right into the story itself, where Peter Pan comes to the house to get his shadow. That's where the story picks up. How Peter came to be is really another story."[4] Disney also explored the idea of opening the film in Never Land with Peter Pan coming to Wendy's house to kidnap her as a mother for the Lost Boys. Eventually, Disney decided that the kidnapping plot was too dark, and he went back to Barrie's original play in which Peter comes to get his shadow and Wendy is eager to see Never Land.[4]

Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States military took control of the studio and commissioned Walt Disney Productions to produce training and war propaganda films, so pre-production work on Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland was shelved.[9] However, the Bank of America allowed production to continue during the war.[7] After the war, work on the film resumed with Jack Kinney as director. At the time, Kinney had considered leaving Walt Disney Productions for the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio, but wartime restrictions prevented it. Because he did not want Kinney to get out of his contract, Disney appointed Kinney to direct Peter Pan.[10]

During this same time, Disney talked to Mary Martin, who was appearing in a stage production of the play, about voicing Peter Pan, although Roy O. Disney complained that her voice was "too heavy, matured, and sophisticated." Jean Arthur contacted Walt about being considered for the role. Disney had also talked to Cary Grant about voicing Captain Hook, a possibility to which Grant replied that the "idea intrigued him."[7] Impatient with the delays, Disney asked Kinney to work on sequences consecutively rather than finishing the entire script before it was storyboarded, so that a scene would be approved at a morning story meeting and then immediately put into development. Six months later, during a storyboard meeting, Kinney presented a two-and-a-half-hour presentation, during which Disney sat silently and then stated, "You know, I've been thinking about Cinderella."[11]

By 1947, Walt Disney Productions' financial health started to improve again.[12] Around this time, Walt Disney acknowledged the need for sound economic policies, but emphasized to his financial backers that slashing production would be suicidal. In order to restore the studio to full financial health, Disney expressed his desire to return to producing full-length animated films. By then, three animated projects—Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan—were in development. Disney felt the characters in Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan were too cold, but as Cinderella contained elements similar to those in Snow White, he decided to green-light Cinderella.[13] In May 1949, Variety reported that Peter Pan had been placed back into production.[14]

The scene in the nursery went through many alterations. In one version, it is Mrs. Darling who finds Peter Pan's shadow and shows it to Mr. Darling, as in the original play. In another version of the film, Nana goes to Never Land with Pan and the Darling children, the story being told through her eyes. In another interpretation of the story, John Darling is left behind for being too serious, practical and boring, but story artist Ralph Wright convinced Disney to have John go with the others to Never Land. This adaptation also included Wendy bringing her Peter Pan picture book and Peter and the children eating an "imaginary dinner".[4] At one point, a party in Peter's hideout was conceived at which Tinker Bell becomes humiliated and, in her rage, tells Captain Hook the location of Peter Pan's hideout of her own free will. However, Disney felt that this story was contrary to Tinker Bell's character; instead, he had Captain Hook kidnapping Tinker Bell and persuading her to tell him. In Barrie's play, Captain Hook puts poison in Peter's dose of medicine and Tinker Bell saves Peter by drinking the poison herself, only to be revived by the applause of the theater audience. After much debate, Disney discarded this story development, fearing it would be difficult to achieve in a film.[4]

In earlier scripts, there were more scenes involving the pirates and mermaids that were similar to those with the dwarfs in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Ultimately, these scenes were cut for pacing reasons.[15] The film concept was also a bit darker at one point than that of the finished product; for example, there were scenes involving Captain Hook being killed by the crocodile, the Darling family mourning over their lost children and Pan and the children discovering the pirates' treasure loaded with booby traps.[4]

Animation

Live-action reference

As with previous Disney animated features, a live-action version was filmed to serve as an aid to animators with the actors performing to a prerecorded dialogue track. Margaret Kerry received a call to audition to serve as the live-action reference for Tinker Bell.[16] For the live-action reference, Kerry said she had to hold out her arms and pretend to fly for all the scenes requiring it.[6] Additionally, Kerry served as reference for one of the mermaids along with Connie Hilton and June Foray.[17][self-published source] At the same time, the studio was looking for an actor to portray Peter Pan, for which Kerry suggested her dancing teacher Roland Dupree. He was interviewed and eventually won the role,[18] providing a reference for the flying and action sequences. Bobby Driscoll also served as the live-action reference model for Peter Pan, although he was mainly used for the close-up scenes. Hans Conried completed the voice work over the course of a few days, and served as the live-action reference for two and a half years.[19] He later did the same kind of thing as the live action reference for Princess Aurora’s father, King Stefan, in Sleeping Beauty, although he did not get the chance in voicing Stefan as Taylor Holmes was given the task instead. In addition to being the voice role and model for Alice in Alice in Wonderland, Kathryn Beaumont, who was also the voice of Wendy, also performed for the live-action reference footage for Wendy.[6]

Character animation

Milt Kahl wanted to animate Captain Hook but was instead assigned to animate Peter Pan and the Darling children; he claimed he was "outmaneuvered".[20] During production, while animating Peter Pan, Kahl claimed that the hardest thing to animate was a character floating in mid-air.[6] While observing the animation of Peter Pan, Walt Disney complained that the animators had let too many of Bobby Driscoll's facial features find their way into the character design, telling Kahl that "[t]hey are too masculine, too old. There is something wrong there." Kahl replied, "You want to know what's wrong!?...What's wrong is that they don't have any talent in the place."[11]

The job of animating Captain Hook was assigned to Frank Thomas, who faced conflicting visions of the character. Story artist Ed Penner viewed Hook as "a very foppish, not strong, dandy-type, who loved all the finery. Kind of a con man. [Co-director Gerry] Geronimi saw him as an Ernest Torrence: a mean, heavy sort of character who used his hook menacingly." When Walt Disney saw Thomas' first test scenes, he said, "Well, that last scene has something I like I think you're beginning to get him. I think we better wait and let Frank go on a little further."[21][22] Because Thomas could not animate every scene of Hook, certain sequences were given to Wolfgang Reitherman, such as that showing Hook trying to escape Tick-Tock the crocodile.[23]

Ollie Johnston animated Mr. Smee. To best capture his comedic yet fear-ridden, sycophantic personality, Johnston used a variation of the Dwarf design from Snow White, and had Mr. Smee blink repeatedly. Johnston's former mentor, Fred Moore, worked in his unit as a character animator for Smee's minor scenes. Moore also animated the mermaids and the Lost Boys. On November 22, 1952, Moore and his wife were involved in an auto accident on Mount Gleason Drive in Los Angeles. Moore died of a cerebral concussion the following day at St. Joseph's Hospital, across from the Disney studios.[24]

Music

Frank Churchill wrote several songs for the film during the early 1940s, and Charles Walcott wrote additional songs in 1941. When work on Peter Pan resumed in 1944, Eliot Daniel composed songs for the film. However, this version of Peter Pan was shelved so the studio could complete Cinderella.[25] In April 1950, it was reported that Sammy Cahn and Sammy Fain were composing songs for Peter Pan.[26] The incidental music score for the movie is composed by Oliver Wallace.

Songs

  • "The Second Star to the Right" – Words by Sammy Cahn. Music by Sammy Fain. Background vocals by the Jud Conlon Chorus and the Mellomen.
    • The melody for "The Second Star to the Right" was originally written for Alice in Wonderland as part of a song to be entitled "Beyond the Laughing Sky".[27] Some Disneyland-issued compilations give the title as "Second Star to the Right" (no "The"); see, for example, 50 Happy Years of Disney Favorites (Disneyland Records, STER-3513, Side II).
  • "You Can Fly!" – Words by Sammy Cahn. Music by Sammy Fain. Talking voices by Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Paul Collins and Tommy Luske. Background vocals by the Jud Conlon Chorus and the Mellomen.
  • "A Pirate's Life" – Words by Erdman Penner. Music by Oliver Wallace. Background vocals by the Mellomen.
  • "Following the Leader" – Words by Winston Hibler and Ted Sears. Music by Oliver Wallace. All vocals by Bobby Driscoll, Paul Collins, Tommy Luske and the Lost Boys Cast.
  • "What Made the Red Man Red?" – Words by Sammy Cahn. Music by Sammy Fain. Lead vocals by Candy Candido. Background vocals by the Mellomen.
    • This song became controversial because of its racist stereotypes of Native Americans.[28]
  • "Your Mother and Mine" – Words by Sammy Cahn. Music by Sammy Fain. Lead vocals by Kathryn Beaumont.
  • "The Elegant Captain Hook" – Words by Sammy Cahn. Music by Sammy Fain. Lead vocals by Hans Conried and Bill Thompson. Background vocals by the Mellomen.
  • "You Can Fly!" (reprise) – Words by Sammy Cahn. Music by Sammy Fain. Background vocals by the Jud Conlon Chorus and the Mellomen.
  • "Never Smile at a Crocodile" – Words by Jack Lawrence. Music by Frank Churchill.
    • The lyrics were cut from the movie soundtrack, but were included for the 1997 Walt Disney Records CD release.[29] The song, with lyrics, also appears in the Sing-Along Songs video series and the corresponding Canta Con Nosotros title, where it is titled "Al reptil no hay que sonreír."

Music releases

  • The 1997 soundtrack release contains the bonus tracks "Never Smile at a Crocodile" (with lyrics) and an early demo recording of "The Boatswain's Song."

Release

Original theatrical run and re-releases

Peter Pan was first released in theaters on February 5, 1953. During the film's initial theatrical run, Peter Pan was released as a double feature with the True-Life Adventures documentary short, Bear Country.[30] It was then re-released theatrically in 1958, 1969, 1976, 1982 and 1989.[31] The film also had a special limited re-release at the Philadelphia Film Festival in 2003. It also played a limited engagement in select Cinemark Theatres from February 16–18, 2013.[32]

Home media

Peter Pan was first released on North American VHS, LaserDisc and Betamax in 1990 and UK VHS in 1993. A THX 45th anniversary limited edition of the film was released on March 3, 1998, as part of the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection. Peter Pan was released on DVD on November 23, 1999 as a part of the Walt Disney Limited Issues series for a limited 60-day time period before going into moratorium.[33] Peter Pan was re-released as a special-edition VHS and DVD release in 2002 to promote the sequel Return to Never Land. The DVD was accompanied with special features including a making-of documentary, a sing-along, a storybook and a still-frame gallery of production artwork.[34]

Disney released a two-disc "Platinum Edition" DVD of the film on March 6, 2007. A Blu-ray "Diamond Edition" was released on February 5, 2013 to celebrate the movie's 60th anniversary.[35][36] A DVD and digital copy of the "Diamond Edition" was also released on August 20, 2013.[37] Peter Pan was re-released in digital HD format on May 29, 2018 and on Blu-ray on June 5, 2018, as part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection line, to celebrate the film's 65th anniversary.[38]

Reception

Box office

During its initial box office run, the film grossed $7 million in North American distributor rentals.[39] The movie has earned a lifetime domestic gross of $87.4 million.[2] Adjusted for inflation, and incorporating subsequent releases, the film has had a lifetime gross of $405,593,100.[40]

Critical reaction

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times criticized the film's lack of faithfulness to the original play, claiming it "has the story but not the spirit of Peter Pan as it was plainly conceived by its author and is usually played on the stage." Nevertheless, he praised the colors are "more exciting and the technical features of the job, such as the synchronization of voices with the animation of lips, are very good."[41] However, Time gave the film a highly favorable review, making no reference to the changes from the original play.[42] Mae Tinee of The Chicago Tribune wrote "The backgrounds are delightfully picturesque, the music only so-so. The film is designed for broad effect, with the accent of comedy. I'm sure the youngsters who grow up with cartoons will be right at home with all the characters.[43] Variety described the film as a "feature cartoon of enchanting quality. The music score is fine, highlighting the constant buzz of action and comedy, but the songs are less impressive than usually encountered in such a Disney presentation."[44] Harrison's Reports felt the film was "another Walt Disney masterpiece. It should prove a delight, not only to children, but also to every adult. The animation is so good that the characters appear almost natural."[45]

Contemporary reviews remain positive. Giving the film 3½ stars out of 4, Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune noted the "drawing of Tinkerbelle [sic] and the flamboyance of Captain Hook" as well as the "quality music mixed with appropriate animation" were the film's major highlights.[46] Michael Jackson cited Peter Pan as his favorite film, and from it he derived the name of his estate, Neverland Ranch, in Santa Barbara, California, where he had a private amusement park. Ronald D. Moore, one of the executive producers of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, has cited this film as the inspiration for the series' theme of the cyclical nature of time, using the film's opening line, "All of this has happened before and it will all happen again," as a key tenet of the culture's scripture. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported the film received an approval rating of 81% based on 36 reviews, with an average score of 7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though it doesn't delve deeply into the darkness of J.M. Barrie's tale, Peter Pan is a heartwarming, exuberant film with some great tunes.".[47]

Controversy

Peter Pan has been criticized in recent decades for its broadly stereotypical treatment of the Indians. In the song "What Made the Red Man Red?", the Native Americans were called "Indians" and are depicted as a race mainly defined by sexuality; the lyrics attribute the Indians' red skin to their constant pursuit of women.[28] Marc Davis, one of the supervising animators of the film, said in an interview years after the production that "I'm not sure we would have done the Indians if we were making this movie now. And if we had we wouldn't do them the way we did back then."[15] The Native Americans were not included in the 2002 sequel Return to Never Land, but they were included in a tie-in video game.

Legacy

Disney Fairies

Disney Fairies is a series of children's books published by Random House, which features Tinker Bell and her friends. It also has a film series starting in 2008 with the self-titled film about Tinker Bell.

Theme parks

 
Cast Member as Peter Pan in Disneyland Paris.

Peter Pan’s Flight is a popular ride found at Disneyland,[48] Walt Disney World,[49] Tokyo Disneyland,[50] Disneyland Paris,[51] and Shanghai Disneyland.[52] Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee make appearances in the parades, as well as greetings throughout the theme parks.

  • Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, and the Pirates were featured in a scene during Disneyland's original version of Fantasmic! from 1992–2016.

Ice shows

  • Disney on Ice began its touring production of Peter Pan in Fall 1989. The production went on to tour nationally & internationally, from 1989 – 1993. The production featured a pre-recorded soundtrack with all the film's songs and character voices.
  • A shortened version of the story is presented in the current Disney on Ice production Mickey & Minnie's Amazing Journey. The show began in Fall 2003 & is currently on tour nationally. It features the songs "You Can Fly!", "Following the Leader", "Your Mother and Mine", "A Pirate's Life", "The Elegant Captain Hook" & "The Second Star to the Right".

Video games

Peter Pan: Adventures in Never Land

Neverland is a playable world in both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, with Tinker Bell appearing as a summon. Peter Pan appears as a summon in the sequel, Kingdom Hearts II.[53] Neverland also appears as a playable world in Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and returns as a playable world in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.

Board game

Walt Disney's Peter Pan: A Game of Adventure (1953) is a Transogram Company Inc. track board game based upon the film. The game was one of many toys that exploited the popularity of Walt Disney's post-World War II movies.[54] The object of the game is to be the first player to travel from the Darlings' house to Neverland and back to the Darlings' house.

Play begins at the Darlings' house in the upper left hand corner of the game board. Each player moves, in turn, the number of spaces along the track indicated by his spin of the dial. When a player reaches the Never Isle, he selects a character from the film (Peter, Wendy, Michael, or John) and receives the instruction card for that character. The player follows his chosen character's track on the board, obeying instructions upon the character's card. The player is also obligated to follow any instructions on those spaces he lands upon after spinning the dial during the course of his turn at play. The first player who travels from Never Land to Skull Rock and along the Stardust Trail to Captain Hook's ship, and returns to the Darlings' house is declared the winner.

The board game makes an appearance in the 1968 version of Yours, Mine and Ours as a Christmas present.

Musical

Disney's Peter Pan Jr is a one-hour children's musical based on the Disney Peter Pan movie with some updated material. It became available for school and children's theatre productions in 2013 after several pilot productions.[55]

Sequels

This was Disney's first Peter Pan film. In the early 2000s, a Peter Pan franchise was spawned, involving a number of other animated releases. The franchise also included:

  • Peter Pan: Return to Never Land: Released theatrically in 2002, and a direct-sequel to Peter Pan.
  • The Tinker Bell film series: A spin-off and prequel to the Peter Pan films. Disneytoon Studios produced a number of Tinker Bell films, including six feature-length straight-to-home video films, and two shorts.
  • The television series Jake and the Never Land Pirates includes Hook and Smee as main characters, and is set in Never Land, years after the events of the feature films.

Live-action adaptation

In April 2016, following the individual financial and critical successes of Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book, a number of live-action adaptations of Walt Disney Pictures' classic animated films were announced to be in development. The Walt Disney Company announced that a live action Peter Pan film was in development, with David Lowery serving as director, with a script he co-wrote with Toby Halbrooks.[56] In July 2018, it was reported that the feature length film would be released exclusively on the company's streaming service, Disney+.[57] It has since been said that the film may instead get a theatrical release.[58][59]

In January 2020, casting was underway while the film was retitled Peter Pan and Wendy. Joe Roth and Jim Whitaker will serve as producers. Principal photography was scheduled to commence on April 17, 2020, in Canada and in London, United Kingdom.[58][60] By March, Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson were cast as Peter Pan and Wendy, respectively.[59] Later that month however, filming on all Disney projects were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and industry restrictions worldwide.[61] In July 2020, Jude Law entered early negotiations to portray Captain Hook, and was officially cast two months later.[62][63] Joaquin Phoenix, Adam Driver, and Will Smith were all previously on the short-list of actors being considered for the role, though each of them ultimately passed on the opportunity.[64][65] In September 2020, Yara Shahidi was cast as Tinker Bell.[66]

By November 2020, Disney's new CEO Bob Chapek announced that filming on all movies that had been postponed by the coronavirus had resumed filming, and in some cases completed principal photography.[67]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Peter Pan: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Peter Pan". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
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