Starring: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson
Running Time: 77 minutes
Extras: 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, The Peter Pan Story, Deleted Song, Music Videos, Audio Commentary © 2012 Disney, hosted by Roy Disney, Sing Along With The Movie
In a week during which Uncle Walt donned a flannel shirt, wrote a cheque for $4 billion, and purchased Lucasfilm and ILM, it seems only fitting a 59-year-old film made for one thousandth of that amount is released on Blu-ray for the first time.
Based on J.M. Barrie’s play, Disney’s interpretation of PETER PAN is a colourful, visual spectacular that whilst good, never threatens other classics such as ALADDIN, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, or BEAUTY AND THE BEAST as the pinnacle of Disney. The main misstep of PETER PAN is Peter (Driscoll) himself: arrogant, obnoxious, and too full of himself to warrant your liking, you’ll be wishing for Robin Williams before you know it. The songs do little to help either: tedious, pointless numbers that fail to entertain save a few confused animal cameos – but what situation isn’t made better by a confused animal? In addition to the bewildered mammals Captain Hook is a highlight; brilliantly animated, and menacingly voiced by Hans Conried. However, he is sadly bereft of screen time and the film is weaker for it. With a story so timeless PETER PAN does manage to entertain but given the directorial trio also brought us ALICE IN WONDERLAND, CINDERELLA, and LADY AND THE TRAMP, it is mystifying to watch a film so short on heart, apart from a bloody awful song about the kid’s mum.
As always with Disney the animation is spectacular, the sound work is extraordinary, and it has smatterings of humour, but given the high level at which Disney usually operates, aesthetics and smatterings just aren’t enough. PETER PAN may not work for adults, but the kids will lap it up – like Peter himself, it’s perhaps never grown up.
Extras: ‘You Can Fly: The Making Of Peter Pan’ is a nostalgic look at how Disney came to make the film. ‘In Walt’s Words’ is an interesting insight into Walt Disney and his motivation for making Peter Pan. ‘Tinker Bell: A Fairy Tale’ is a look back at the Tinker Bell character and her metamorphosis into a screen icon and is ghod (sorry a tongue stuck in cheek moment). ‘The Peter Pan That Almost Was’ is a tiresome look at how the story was developed hosted by two exceptionally dull men (sorry fellas). ‘The Peter Pan Story’ goes over things already explored in the previous extras. Rounding off the package are a few songs and the chance to sing-a-long with the movie. A package based on quantity rather than quality there is still some good stuff to be found for the patient amongst you.