The movie Peter Pan, (1953), begins in a home in London, England. Mr. Darling and Mrs. Darling are getting ready for an office party. As they scurry to get ready, their children, John and Michael are play fighting as Peter Pan and Captain Hook. Their house believes in the spirit of Peter Pan, while Mr. Darling is skeptical. Wendy, the eldest, is a believer too and oftentimes gives the boys pointers while they play fight. As the parent’s are leaving, Wendy tells her mother she saw the shadow of Peter Pan, while the mother believes, Mr. Darling tells her to grow up and they carry on to the party. Peter Pan then enters with Tinkerbell, his fairy confidant, to try and find his shadow. As the search progresses he encounters the children, they are amazed by his presence. When Peter finds out that it is the last night that Wendy will be allowed in the nursery, he insists they go to Neverland, where she will never grow up. After, Peter tries to teach them all how to fly. Once they realize they need faith, trust and pixie dust, they all escape into the night. As they pass the Big Ben clock they fly to the second star to the right, straight on till morning to Neverland.
Once they reach Neverland, the story introduces Peter Pan’s rival, Captain Hook. Captain Hook’s ship is filled with pirates and his sidekick Mr. Smee. Captain Hook really wants to capture and kill Peter Pan. The audience also learns that Captain Hook has a deathly fear of Crocodiles. Then, the story goes back to Wendy, Peter, and the boys. Wendy, and her brothers end up meeting the lost boys and they all become friends. As the story progresses, Wendy encounters mischievous mermaids and gets jealous when she sees the Indian Princess Tiger lily with Peter Pan. The story ends in a fight to save Wendy, Tinkerbell and the lost boys from Captain Hook’s ship. Peter wins the fight and they are all freed from Hook’s capture. The story ends with Wendy and the boys in tears because they must return home where they all will ultimately grow up, but their adventures with Peter Pan will stay with them forever.
Peter Pan is a Disney classic and the story serves well to the spirit of Disney’s brand. The mantra to Never Grow Up, is at the heart of every story Disney tells and the heart in everyone who loves Disney. The story that Peter Pan tells in the film is well done for the time it is set in, but there a lot of underlying conspiracies behind Peter Pan. A storybook hero who takes children to a land where they never grow old seems fun to the young, but to the adults the story is a tale of kidnapping. Peter Pan is also seen as a metaphor for children who die young and he is taking them to a heaven. Although, Peter Pan on the surface seems like a fun film, the darkness that underlies the film is heavy. The representation of the Native Americans in the film is stereotypical as well, but given the time frame the film came out, the racist implications are often times looked over. Peter Pan offers a new perspective on life, teaching grown ups to live like they are young every once in a while and to never take life too seriously. For the young, the film gives them hope that a world where fairies fly, mermaids swim and pirates sail through the sea, exists. The world is much too mundane and Peter Pan serves as the reminder for us all to embrace the kid at heart. The film may be problematic in some areas and the dark conspiracies that have surfaced make the film that much more fun to unpack. Overall, I love this film and it sure is a Disney classic that I will keep close to my heart.
Release Date: February 5, 1953
Starring: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson, Heather Angel, Paul Collins
Director: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Audience: General Audience, All ages
Runtime: 77 min.
Official Social Media Pages:
- Facebook: @PeterPan
Autumn Skye Destarac-Saldana | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Communications | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Autumn is a fun loving girl who is currently working on a Communications BA and Women Studies minor at CSU – San Marcos. She loves singing, traveling and watching movies. She loves all things Disney and Marvel. She aspires to be an advocate for undocumented immigrants and hopes to create a more positive narrative for the Latinx community in her years to come. Autumn loves writing and hopes to share her thoughts with the world someday. Instagram @OhDearAutumn| View My Articles
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