Movie Review: Disney’s PETER PAN (65th Anniversary Edition)

Disney’s Peter Pan is based on the play “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” by J. M. Barrie. The movie was directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and Hamilton Luske and features the voice talents of Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Paul Collins and Tommy Lusk.

With a little faith, trust and pixie dust, every member of the family will let their imagination soar on this epic adventure to Never Land. In “Peter Pan,” fantastic adventures await the Darling children—Wendy, John and Michael—when Peter Pan, the hero of their stories, whisks them away to the magical world of Never Land.  After flying with Peter and the delightfully impish Tinker Bell past the “second star to the right and straight on till morning,” they explore the enchanted island and Peter’s secret hideout with the Lost Boys, and leap into high-flying battles with swashbuckling pirates and the infamous villain Captain Hook.

This 1953 animated classic follows Wendy and her two younger brothers who set out on an adventure of a lifetime with the magical and mischievous Peter Pan who takes them to his home of Never Land. When they arrive they meet up with the Lost Boys and end up taking on Captain Hook, the infamous pirate who has this endless personal vendetta against the boy who could fly. These two enemies go at it numerous times but Peter Pan is always one step ahead of Captain Hook. With a little help from Tinker Bell and a smiling crocodile that has a special taste for the bumbling pirate captain, Peter Pan, Wendy and the rest of the group win the ultimate battle of good versus evil.

Bottom line is, it had been such a long time since I had watched Disney’s Peter Pan and I really did enjoy revisiting this timeless animated classic from a much simpler time. The story is imaginative and all of the characters are fun to follow. This entry from the golden age of animation plays with stereotypes and ethnicities but does it so in a harmless way so if there’s anyone offended by this innocent fantasy adventure maybe they should get that grey matter on top of their neck checked out. This isn’t my all-time favorite Disney classic but ranks right up there close to the top. There’s a nice amount of humor, singing and action that kids of all ages can enjoy. Disney’s Peter Pan has had numerous home video releases over the years and this digital release imports all of the previous extras and adds a few new ones to the list. If you’re one of the few who doesn’t own one of Disney’s previous home video releases then here’s your chance to add it to your Digital collection. Peter Pan celebrates its 65th anniversary by joining the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection and is now available on Digital.

Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

Run Time: 77 Minutes

Rated: G

Video: 1080p High-Definition Full Frame (1.33:1)

Audio: English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff! The Signature Collection edition offers over two hours of classic bonus features plus never-before-seen extras, including the latest installment of “Stories from Walt’s Office,” which explores Walt’s love of flying and the company planes; a nostalgic reunion between Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy) and Paul Collins (the voice of John); and new “Oke” renditions of the classic song “You Can Fly” and deleted song “Never Smile at a Crocodile” accompanied by on-screen lyrics and the film’s unforgettable animated characters.

New Signature Collection Bonus

  • Stories from Walt’s Office: Walt & Flight – “Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings”. One thing you’ll notice inside Walt Disney’s office are all of the models and pictures of airplanes. Walt loved planes and was an aficionado of flying. As a continuation of the “Stories from Walt’s Office” series, we’ll soar into the world of one of Walt’s favorite pastimes and look at the history behind the company airplane he used to scout Central Florida looking for the perfect place to build his second theme park. (04:13)
  • A “Darling” Conversation with Wendy & John: Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins – Join Disney Legend Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy) and Paul Collins (the voice of John) as they reunite for the first time in many years to reminisce and discuss their experiences working on Peter Pan, meeting Walt Disney and learning to fly … literally. (08:16)
  • “You Can Fly” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the classic Disney song, “You Can Fly,” with fun lyrics on screen and lots of your favorite “Peter Pan” characters. (02:11)
  • “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the deleted song, “Never Smile at a Crocodile”, with fun lyrics on screen and highlighting the relationship between Captain Hook and Tick- Tock the Crocodile. (01:48)

Legacy/Classic Bonus

  • DisneyView
  • Sing-along Version of the film: Sing along with your favorite songs from the movie.
  • Growing Up with Nine Old Men – “Peter Pan is both a story of living with a child’s sense of openness to the world and an acknowledgement that the path to adulthood most often leads away from those qualities. A parallel of sorts to that duality can be found in Walt Disney and his core group of animators, the Nine Old Men, in their lives and in their work. Our short film will look at who they were and the parts they played in one of the most remarkable team of artists that ever worked together. (41:08)
  • Deleted Songs (07:51)
  1. Deleted Song: “The Pirate’s Song” – Original demo recording of the song played over concept art.
  2. Deleted Song: “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – With music played over static concept art of the crocodile from Pater Pan.
  3. Deleted Song: “The Boatswain Song” – With music played over static concept art of Captain Hook and his crew.
  • Deleted Scenes (10:01)
  1. Deleted Scene: “The Journey Home” – A proposed alternate ending where Peter asks the Lost Boys to return home with Wendy and the other children.
  2. Deleted Scene: “Alternate Arrival” – A deleted scene where Wendy and the children are initially attacked by the Lost Boys because Tinker Bell tells them that Wendy is holding Peter captive. We also see in this version of the story that Nana the dog travels to Never Land with Wendy and the children.
  • Disney Song Select – Simply play the clip from the movie with subtitles underneath it.
  1. “The Second Star to the Right
  2. “You Can Fly”
  3. “A Pirate’s Life”
  4. “Following the Leader”
  5. “Your Mother and Mine”
  • Audio Commentary Hosted by Roy Disney – Audio commentary hosted by Roy Disney, but carried on by several other people.
  • Music and More
  1. ”Never Land”: The Lost Song – A bonus piece that sets up the backstory of where this lost song was found and how Richard Sherman recomposed it. (02:39)
  2. Music Video: “Never Land” – Music Performed by Paige O’Hara – A music video of the song “Never Land” (03:16)
  3. Music Video: “The Second Star to the Right” – Music Performed by T-Squad – A music video of the song “The Second Star to the Right” performed by T-Squad. (01:03)
  • Backstage Disney
  1. You Can Fly: The Making of ‘Peter Pan’ – A making-of video of the 1953 Disney classic, “Peter Pan.” (15:59)
  2. In Walt’s Words: “Why I Made ‘Peter Pan’” – Based upon an article written by Walt Disney retold as a dramatic recreation. (07:40)
  3. Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale – An introspective video on the creation, history and personality of the one and only “Tink.” (08:27)
  4. The Peter Pan That Almost Was – Hosted by Ron Clements and John Musker, we take a look at the storyboards and early concepts of a version of the “Peter Pan” film that never saw the light of day. (21:01)
  5. The “Peter Pan” Story – An original featurette for the film created in 1952. (12:04)


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