Some background info (compiled from Wikipedia and imdb and my own knowledge of the movie).
Official Title: Peter Pan
Release: February 5, 1953
Running Time: 76 minutes
Estimated Cost: $4 million (1953) ($32,140,374.53 (2009))
Estimated Revenue: $87,404,651 (1953) ($702,304,554.74 (2009))
Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Wendy, John and Michael Darling are playing "Peter Pan" on an evening when their parents are going out. Mr. Darling decides that Wendy is now too old to live in the nursery and must grow up! This doesn't sit well with the boys (and Wendy herself), so when Peter comes back to get his shadow back, the Darlings are more than excited to fly to Neverland! So Tinkerbell (who resents the relationship Wendy and Peter have) reluctantly agrees to help the Darlings fly.
Once arriving in Neverland, Captain Hook begins his attack on Pan - seeking revenge for Pan cutting off his hand and feeding it to the Tick-Tock Croc. Tink begins taking her revenge on Wendy as she is supposed to lead the Darlings to safety, but instead, convinces the "Lost Boys" (young boys who migrated to Neverland so they would never have to grow up) that Wendy is an attack bird and they try to shoot her down.
After Pan banishes Tink (forever, but then changes it to for a week); John, Michael and the lost boys go on an "Indian" hunt, while Peter and Wendy go to Mermaid Lagoon. The Natives (sorry I just can't call them "Indians") don't play the game, and actually intend to hurt the boys because Princess Tiger Lily has been captured. The mermaids, also jealous of Wendy, intend to drown her as Peter laughs.
Pan saves Tiger Lily from Hook, the boys are freed, and Tink betrays Peter by revealing the secrete location of his hideout to Hook. The boys and Wendy get captured, Peter is gifted a bomb and finally Tink forgives Pan and saves him and the captives by warning Peter in time of the bomb.
After a great action sword fight, Pan defeats Hook and sends him running off being pursued by the Tick-Tock-Croc. Pan commandeers the ship and finally brings Wendy, John and Michael back home (the same night that they left). Mr. Darling sees the ship flying through the air (as a cloud) and vaguely remembers it from his childhood.
- The Second Star to the Right
- You Can Fly!
- A Pirate's Life
- Following the Leader
- What Made the Red Man Red?
- Your Mother and Mine
- The Elegant Captain Hook
More on "What Made the Red Man Red?" in the new section entitled Through the Modern Lens
Plot Rating: 4 stars out of 5
I've got to say, this movie is probably the first one since Snow White (I haven't seen Dumbo yet, so I can't comment on that) that felt like one movie with one story! Despite there being the several smaller story arcs, this one really had the continuity that made it seem like each bit was leading us to the final destination of a sword fight.
Also, A HERO movie! Despite my love of princesses, this movie had a bit more happening, other than a helpless princess that needs rescuing. Grant it, Wendy did need a lot of rescuing, but I blame a lot of that on Pan having the flight ability, and Wendy a visitor in Neverland (much like Alice in Wonderland). The adrenaline in Pan and Hook's action scene has not been seen since Pinocchio had to escape the whale (though will quickly be trumped by Phillip's battle with Maleficent).
Animation Rating: 4 out of 5
The Test of Time:
This was one of my favorite movies as a child. Although I didn't overly watch it, like my favorite princesses, but it was a fabulous movie none the less.
Pan has rides in four of the Magic Kingdoms, and down in Walt Disney World (WDW), his ride consistently has a long (really long) line.
I remember watching this once as an adult, and noticing how much the mermaids look like The Little Mermaid characters. One mermaid, in fact, looks so much like Ariel, that when I rode the Pan ride in WDW I couldn't understand what Ariel was doing there. Could these mermaids have been some of the influences for the character designs for Little Mermaid?
Much like Alice, Disney's Pan is what many consider to be the definitive version.
Through the Modern Lens
Welcome to the new subsection of "Test of Time." I thought that this would be a great new section because of the song "What Made the Red Man Red?" and some of the other themes in Pan.
What made the red man red? is such a bad song by today's standard. It "blames" the Native's coloring on his ever passion for ladies. How racially offensive today! But looking back at 1953, as WDAS was still only hiring male animators, had yet to have a non-white lead (unless you count the birds of the Three Caballeros); just finishing a War and hostilities towards the "other" were still rampant.
A more modern song might be "What makes the brave man brave?" and talk about many of the non-war aspects of how Natives were pioneers. Lyrics could be traded for ones about Native Americans using the land and all parts of the buffalo.
I'd also would like this "Black Foot" tribe to be more authentic and be more culturally correct. As opposed to an amalgamation of all Native tribes.
During this song (and throughout the movie) there are many anti-woman comments that Wendy takes offense to. Such as, she's not allowed to dance because it's the Squaw's job to get the fire wood. Wendy takes a stand against this, but it continues to show the mind frame of the time.
I do have to applaud WDAS for coloring the Natives many different shades of brown and burnt sienna (other than the Chief who was just about fire engine red), as opposed to the singular shade of "white" we see from all of the Caucasian characters.
I'd also like to look at Pan's attitude about never growing up. This is the ultimate dream of many an adult. And today, there are many adults who don't grow up. Not to be a self-loathing geek, but many a time we are presented as living in the basements of our parents' homes, still playing video games, not working (maybe part time at the comic shop). These modern day Pans have a "failure to launch" as they continue to feed upon their parent's income. As opposed to Pan, who refuses to grow up, but lives on his own. I'm happy to say that this geek has successfully launched and although I still play video games and enjoy many of Pan's philosophies about living life, I have a grown-up life too.
Lady and the Tramp (the first of several domestic animal movies)