on December 31, 1999
I can't add anything to the praise for this film. If you love Disney films, this is considered one of the classics. I just wish to briefly comment on the criticism of the lack of a widescreen version. The first widescreen film, The King and I, was released in 1956. Previous to this all films were full screen. Peter Pan, released in 1953, and a good many of the Disney classics are only available in full screen aspect. This is not the Pan and Scan alteration of an original Widescreen format. The way this film is presented on the DVD is the original aspect ratio; Nothing has been altered. I have seen this so called criticism leveled against many Hollywood classics such as Casablanca, Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. Please, get off your high horse and stop whinning about how Disney or whatever movie company is ripping you off. None of these films ever had a widescreen version to begin with. Do a little research and you could be content to enjoy these classics in the aspect ratio they were orginally presented in. Thats all I wish to say.
The children in the Darling family love story about Peter Pan. So naturally when he shows up one night looking for his missing shadow, they're thrilled to go back with him to Never Land. There, they face Indians and "the world's most famous crook," Captain Hook. Will they survive their adventures with the boy who never wants to grow up?
I have always had a fascination with this story. As a kid I remember checking the Disney picture book version out of the library week after week. When I finally got to see it, I was enthralled. There is just something magical about the story. It's partially the coming together of all the boyhood adventures in one place. Mermaids, Indians, and Pirates? What more could any boy want? And, of course, the ability to fly. The "You can fly" sequence over London is one of my all time favorites. The whole movie really is animated very well with a story that movies quickly from place to place with lots of humor to keep everyone entertained and gorgeous animation of the fanciful Never Land.
This special edition is worth tracking down. The picture (original full frame) is sharp and the surround sound is very nice. Extras include a documentary on the making of the movie and a promotional theatrical featurette from the original release. The "audio commentary" is unique. Hosted by Roy Disney, it consists of selections from interviews of the voice talent, live action models, animators, and animation historians. While not your usual commentary, it's fascinating stuff and well worth a listen. Finally, there's a treasure hunt game and DVD storybook for kids.
This movie still brings a smile to my face and probably always will. Maybe my friends are right when they say I love this movie so much because I always wanted to be Peter Pan.
on October 3, 2005
Disney's Peter Pan requires no introduction. However, the "Special Edition" includes several Asian languages in addition to English, but each time you put the DVD in, you have to go to the settings menu and turn off the subtitles if you don't want them to come on automatically. If you are an English speaker and want the regular North American edition, buy the "Limited Issue".
on March 9, 2007
My young niece Sarah and nephew Caleb are terrified of Walt Disney's 1953 animated feature, PETER PAN---the crocodile, a band of pirates, Captain Hook with a hook hand, a rock slide that seems to momentarily kill Tinker Bell. The movie scared them so much in their younger days that they don't want to see it again, and neither does their mother. I, however, as a 56 year old film scholar find the film delightful--a boy who can fly and refuses to grow up leads the Darling kids over nighttime London and to Never-Land, where they all get to fight with indians and pirates. There is a Skull Rock, and a pirate cove, and a beautiful pirate ship. It is all just marvelous for adults. As for the crocodile, he is so stupid, boredly watching Hook fight with Peter until Hook falls into the water. And Hook is an irresistible pirate for kids of all ages. I love when Peter is on a mountain top pretending to be Hook and giving orders to dopey Smee in a boat below.
The glories of this animated film are that it is animated so the wires don't show in spectacular flying sequences, again highlighted by "You Can Fly" as the gang flies over 1904 nighttime London, plus the prologue bedroom and all over Never-Land. Hook has a real metal hook he deliciously screws on. Tinker Bell is a real, jealous fairy and not a spotlight on stage. And this is the one time Peter is played, satisfyingly and curiously, by a boy and not a grown woman, like Mary Martin on TV or Betty Bronson in a wonderful 1924 silent film version. Also unlike, say, the Martin version, you can have spectacular fight sequences and the Lost Boys and Darling kids tied up by the indians, not a lot of wires and painted backdrops. And the animation is magnificent, with deep colors and rich details, especially in this brand-new double disk Platinum Edition DVD, which also boasts an awesome 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theatre Mix soundtrack.
Disk one has the restored movie, but also a very informative audio commentary with Roy Disney, Leonard Maltin, John Canemaker, Kathryn "Wendy" Beaumont, the woman who modeled for Tinker Bell, and surviving animators. The late Hans Conreid did Captain Hook's voice to perfection, and Bobby Driscoll did Peter's.
Disk two has a good two hours of bonus material, including behind-the-scenes filmmaking documentaries, "Why I Wanted to Make PETER PAN" by Walt Disney from the archives, the history of making PETER PAN including storyboards for deleted scenes that go back to the late 1930's, an original never-before-seen opening to the movie, and a lovely deleted song that songwriter Richard Sherman and singer Paige O'Hara (Belle in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) have completed. If Disney had made the movie in the late 1930's, it would have been very dark and frightening. There are also games and activities galore for children and families, and a fun virtual flight with Peter Pan over London and Never-Land.
This PETER PAN has been painstakingly remastered and restored. The 1953 classic has never looked nor sounded this colorful and tuneful. It belongs in every family's video library, even if it has moments too scary for small children. They will grow into it, at which time it will be back in the Disney vaults on seven years moratorium; buy it now while you can.
on January 3, 2002
Disney's "Peter Pan" is one of their most enchantingly delightful animated features, telling the story of how Peter Pan whisked Wendy, John, and Michael off to his home in Never Land for a magical adventure none of them would ever forget fighting Captin Hook and his ruthless band of pirates.
Although the original 1999 "Limited Issue" DVD lacked bonus features (with the only one being the option to watch the movie in French), fans of the film have been rewarded for waiting with this Special Edition. The movie looks better then it did on any previous release, and that's reason enough to buy this masterpiece. But the extra features -- oh! True, this disc pales in comparison to the Platinum Edition release of "Snow White" (unfortunately "Peter Pan" is NOT one of the nine other Platinum Editions to be issued over the next decade) but for one disc I'd say they did a pretty nice job. "You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan" was also provided on the 1998 45th Anniversary Limited Edition VHS, but it's worthy of another watch. After seeing the movie again, start with that, and then see the wonderful 13-minute 1952 promotional featurette "The Peter Pan Story." They're even more exellent when viewed together.
Next, head back to the movie, but turn on the audio commentary this time. Hosted by Roy E. Disney, it provides some really amazing information on the film I never knew before. Other commentators include Walt Disney himself (pieced together from old interviews, etc.), some of his Nine Old Men, other vetran animators, Kathryn Beaumont (who provided Wendy's voice in the feature), and of course noted film critic Lenoard Multin, among others. Next, take a few minutes to examine the vast visiual gallery. Wonderful stuff in there for fans and casuial viewers alike.
The bonuses aimed at kids are worth a look too. The best by far was the "Following the Leader" sing-along, although it looked a bit dull (not being taken from the newly restored version of the film, but an older one), and the Pirate Treasure Hunt game was fun, if too easy. The DVD storybook was AWFUL, though, attempting to create a new story out of the animation that was already created for the original movie. If that sounds confusing, don't worry, don't bother with the feature. Another note: Why couldn't they have put a "You Can Fly" sing along on the disc as well? There was a Sing Along videotape devoted to that one as the title tune, so a version does exsist. I'dve much prefered it over "Following the Leader," but really would've liked both. Oh well.
Lastly, there's a new trailer for "Return to Never Land" (NOT either of the theatrical ones; this one has some really great new footage) that's worth a look before you go see the movie. And if you buy this before March 31, your child will get in free -- as an extra bonus, there's one free child's admission movie ticket for "Return" inside every Special Edition DVD and video.
In addition to all this, new trailers show that among others "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" will make it to DVD this year (finally) in October for the former and May for the latter. Great news, I think. Plus there's a really cute Disney TV spot called "Magic Happens" on the second menu of trailers.
All in all, this is a wonderful DVD -- much better then the Limited Issue edition -- and I'm glad to own it. Something you shouldn't miss! ***** (5/5)
on January 31, 2013
Disney's "Peter Pan" is finally up for the high-definition treatment. One by one each of their classic movies are either being re-released in 3D before hitting Blu-ray or just going straight there. The beloved 1953 animated adaptation of J.M. Barrie's book was the last of Disney's films to be distributed through RKO Pictures. This fact gives it even more historical significance for cinema buffs. It's easily one of my favorite movies from the Mouse House because of its quick pace and borderline dark humor.
Peter Pan returns to the nursery of Wendy, Michael, and John Darling after losing his shadow. He visits them frequently in secret to listen to Wendy's tales about himself and his adventures in Neverland. Peter accidentally wakes the children up and agrees to take them to Neverland with him. They soon get tangled up in a battle between with Captain Hook and his pirates. Joining them in their fight are the Lost Boys and the fairy Tinkerbell.
"Peter Pan" has something for everyone. There's a girl yearning for adventure, an Indian princess, a beautiful sparkling fairy, and mermaids for the younger female audiences out there. Boys can get excited over pirates, Indians, and mischievous little troublemakers who like to fight with each other. Adults will enjoy it because of its humor and ability to take them back to a more innocent time when they weren't bogged down with so many grown-up responsibilities.
It's funny to watch "Peter Pan" now in the politically correct environment we live in. It's a children's cartoon in which we witness Captain Hook shoot a pirate for singing too loud, Peter make rude comments about girls, a little boy smoke a peace pipe, and listen to Indians sing about "What Makes the Red Man Red." Isn't it strange how what's acceptable changes over the years?
The high-definition transfer for "Peter Pan" looks and sounds excellent. There will be those who take issue with the restoration process which removed much of the grainy look and smoothed everything out. However, a clean and vibrant picture outweighs all that in my opinion. The 7.1 surround mix breathes new life into a celebrated collection of songs, a beautiful musical score, and lively sound effects.
The Diamond Edition boasts an impressive amount of bonus material. There's a new introduction to the film by Diane Disney-Miller. Audio commentary is provided by Roy Disney. Several featurettes focusing on the making of the film and the music are included. We also get two deleted songs and two deleted scenes pulled out of the Disney Vaults for our enjoyment. Top them off with "'Peter Pan' Sing-Along," Disney game intermissions, and DisneyView Side Bars and you've got special features packed to the limit.
The 3-Disc Diamond Edition of "Peter Pan" will enchant fans of this celebrated classic. A great high-definition audio and video restoration packaged with an abundance of delightful extras make it an essential addition to every Disney home entertainment collection.
From the first time I saw this feature back in the '50s, I have loved it most of all...there is so much here that is reminiscent of the Golden Times of childhood, what a special time it is and how fleeting...the idea that one can choose not to grow up at all, but live as a perennial child in a place of beauty, some danger, although not real danger, just enough to keep things interesting, and adventures and wonderful spots throughout the island to visit, is a universally appealing one. The music is perfectly suited to this vision of Halcyon days gone by, from the favorite "I Can Fly" to "The Pirate Song" to "What Makes the Red Man Red" to the Lullaby that Wendy sings to the Lost Boys, it's just wonderfully evocative and captures the mood of each moment perfectly.
The opening shot that slowly zooms in to the Darling house is fabulous, as is the extraordinary detail of the house itself; I notice something different every time I see it. The animators built an exact miniature of the house down to the smallest detail and fixtures, etc, to aid them in their drawing, and this attention to detail and quality are very apparent throughout.
The voices, from Bobby Driscoll as Peter to Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy are wonderfully voiced, very believable without being cloying or self conscious, real kids having real adventures.
The colors are so various and rich it stuns the eye, as does the shot of the Island of Never Never Land, the first time we see it, from high above, the Pirate Ship anchored in the harbor, Mermaid Lagoon, the Indian Camp, etc, it is SO beautiful and amazing that they (the animators) were so astute in their picture of a child's fantasy, their own island of adventures. The interaction between Captain Hook and the Crocodile is very funny, as is the byplay with Hook and Smee, the bumbling, endearing servant to the Captain. Tinker Bell is great as the jealous, somewhat snippy fairy who accompanies Pan wherever he goes and displays loyalty of the first order, being willing to sacrifice her life for his.
I also love the animal outfits worn with great joy by the Lost Boys, who are a fascinating group in their own right. Despite all the fun and adventure, the Darling children opt to return to their own home and Pan obliges them in yet another visually stunning scene when Tinkerbell transforms the Pirate Ship into a thing of beauty by showering it completely with golden fairy dust.
When they have been safely deposited back into their room, the Darlings return from their party just in time to see Peter sailing across the night sky in the wonderful Pirate Ship, which travels across the Moon on a sea of clouds...Wendy, Mr. and Mrs. Darling watch from the Nursery window, and we leave them there, a family, happy and united in their wonderment, the adults and the child, together in their memories of a wonderful chapter of Youth Eternal, as all remember their own experiences with Peter Pan, the boy of Youth and Joy forever.
First let me say that I'm embarrassed to say that I probably haven't seen Disney's Peter Pan since I saw it as a child in the movie theater (and I'm in my 60s!). But watching this new Bluray version brought back many memories for me. But that's not why you are here to read this review so I'll try to provide more useful info.
First, be aware that Amazon often groups ALL reviews of ALL releases of a video together. Hence there are reviews - 389 before this one - going back to 1999 (!) when it came out on VHS! So I'll suggest that if you are using the reviews for Peter Pan that you sort by "Newest First". You can also sort by "Most helpful" but look at the date and which version the reviewer is covering.
This review is of the new BLURAY Disc. Set. This is the first time that the Disney classic is on Bluray in HD and with a new "digital restoration" and - honestly - it looks great on my Standard Def TV and should be "gorgeous" on an HD. That is enough to recommend that those who have earlier version upgrade their copies. But there are other features that MAY convince you too. In fact the extras - old and new - run nearly twice the time of the 77 minute film. The menus are set up to first offer the NEW Bonuses (more in a minute) and then what are termed the "Classic Extras" - the ones mentioned in earlier reviews like the Making of.., deleted scenes and songs, and Roy Disney audio commentary.
NEW this time is a somewhat interesting documentary "Growing Up With Nine Old Men" produced by Ted Thomas, the son of Disney animator Fred Thomas - one of the 9 artists who worked for Disney from the 1930s on. For this 41-minute film, Ted travelled to visit the families of the seven artists who had children. You learn what it was like to have your dad work for Disney. I found it interesting to watch once but it's really no something that children will get too excited about. There is also a NEW Intro to the film by Diana Disney Miller (1:09). Other NEW "features" - not quite bonuses - are the "Disney View" option. Because the firm was made in standard format - the screen image is basically square. There are black bars on either side when played on wide screen TVs. The "Disney View" option puts painted "wall paper" on either side. Not sure we needed that but it's there. As you will see reading some of the "most helpful" reviews there is discussion - and explanation that I won't repeat - as to why it is not wide-screen. The last new feature is "Disney Intermission", this means that when you hit the "pause" button you get to hear facts about the film. Nice idea but when I hit "pause" it's usually to answer the phone or go to the bathroom and so I really just want the film to pause. Anyway, that's what "Disney Intermission is.
Like many of the Blurays I've covered from Disney lately I do find a few annoyances that may or may not bother you. Every time you insert the BD in your player it asks you to choose your language and them proceeds to play the "previews". There is a mini-menu at bottom that you can use to "Play" or "go to Menu" . If you stopped the film without finishing it, it will ask you if you want to stop where you left off or at beginning. But all of this happens after the language question and the previews. Again, not a "deal breaker" but time waster, IMHO.
So there you have it. If you don't own the film at all and have a BD player, go for the BD version. If you have earlier versions - even with the bonuses and, again, have a BD and HD TV, and truly love the film (don't we all?)then, again, go for it. I love the Mary Martin TV version - and the various stage versions too - and for some of us "I'm Flying" is the REAL Peter Pan song. But the Tv and play versions are also twice as long as the Disney one. By the way, note all the lyricists and the the artists credits (presented at the beginning, not the end like todays Pixar films) and that there were FOUR Directors. All the effort that went into this 77-minute film are now ready in a beautiful print for generations to come!
I hope you found this - somewhat lengthy - review both informative and helpful.
on August 22, 2005
I was glancing at the other reviews and noticed some reviewers wondering what became of the missing scene in which the audience is asked if they believe in faeries. The fact of the matter is this scene, which was vital to the original play, was purposely omitted by Walt Disney is his animated version. In fact, when the Disney version appeared in 1953, many reviewers who were great fans of the Barrie play complained about this, among them, Bosley Crowther, film critic for The New York Times, and Herbert Brenon, a British director who made a very popular silent film version of Peter Pan in 1925. Why would Disney do this? Crowther speculated that Disney assumed that Americans were more literal minded in 1953 than their British counterparts were in 1904 (when the play was first staged), and so wouldn't buy into all that faerie stuff. Also, Crowther sardonically added that perhaps Disney was afraid that Americans would find it simply too embarrassing to deal with too much "pixiness." Go figure. Anyway, that's the story behind the missing scene.
on August 3, 2007
Did anyone denouncing the jealous rages of Tinker Bell, the petty antics of the mermaids or Peter's sometimes cruel spirit actually read the original book? No? I didn't think so.
What is left to say? This movie is a Disney classic and holds a special place in the hearts of many adults. However, the indirect racism and stereotypes may not be appropriate for todays audience and their parent's undue concerns with political correctness and empowering views of femininity.
The film is very dated, but no more than the other animated features from this time period. The film also doesn't accurately reflect the original novel, but none of Disney's Classics hold very true to their inspirations.
This film is a beautiful example of light hearted entertainment of a bygone era. The old Disney Classics are in a league all their own and modern children's movies just can't touch them.
If you are a parent concerned with the indirect racism and old fashioned views just look to the humor in today's children's films. Sexual innuendo, toilet humor, political stabs, many of which go over the heads of the little ones. What makes outdated stereotypes any worse than the derogatory humor used in today's CGI cinematography?
At least these older films are intelligent and encourage children to dream big and use their imaginations.
The Platinum Edition of Peter Pan is a must have for any Disney collection. As your children get older show them the other adaptations, such as the live action and encourage them to read the book. There's no reason not to challenge a child. That's what these Classics did, they opened doors to other means of enjoyment and enrichment for children. A lot of parents today really miss that point.