BIG HONKING NOTE: The middle portion of Peter Pan is really, really, SUPER DUPER racist. I will not be talking about “What Makes The Red Man Red” in this review, because it is ICK. Also, it could be completely excised from the film and you’d lose almost nothing. Just putting it upfront here. So racist. Is bad. Do not like.
OK, so with that unpleasantness disposed of, I’m going to talk about how much I really love Peter Pan. It’s at least a little bit because of some nostalgia with my own lost boys. My cousins Jake, Tom, and Bobby, the little brothers of my heart, loved Peter Pan when they were little. Being a whole 6, 8 and 12 years older than them, I’ve always considered myself their Wendy. (This is perhaps a bit presumptuous of me, but I think that’s a very Wendy like trait.) So I can’t help but look at the heightened imagination of Neverland with the affection of watching my boys play pirates.
I also love this music, especially the first half, “The Second Star To The Right” and “You Can Fly” are both Disney Standards worthy of the name, and “The Life Of A Pirate,” also fits in beautifully. I love this animation, which fits in well with Cinderella and Alice In Wonderland. Captain Hook fits in with The Queen Of Hearts as menacing but not scary, making him the perfect play pretend bad guy. With the exception of that scene (and it is really, really bad) Peter Pan is nearly perfectly pitched for fun and adventure.
I like Wendy a lot too. She’s a bit stuck up, but she’s earned it. She just wants to stay a child for another night, have one last adventure before she has to grow up. Not to mention she stole Peter Pan’s shadow, which is no small feat. Tinkerbell is fun too, with her flittering and angry looks. In general I was excited to get to this one, if only because of how homey it feels.
Next week we’ll talk about Lady And The Tramp, which, given my reaction to watching Bambi again, I think I’m going to like a lot.