Starring: Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried
Director: Clyde Geronimi
Running Time: 77 mins
Peter Pan is an American film about three children who are taken to the magical world of Neverland by a flying boy, where they encounter conflict between Peter Pan’s tribe of Lost Boys, the Red Indians on the island, and the evil pirate ship helmed by Captain Hook.
I love this film’s imagination and fun – it’s not just about magic, flying and stories, but there’s also a really fun rivalry between Peter Pan and Captain Hook, one that can really get excited about as well as laugh about. However, I have to say that the atmosphere was just a little bit weak, and despite this being an absolutely lovely film to watch, I never really got that interested.
Let’s start with the magical world of Neverland, which is what puts this up there with the best-looking classic Disney animations. It’s got the weird feel of Alice In Wonderland in one respect, but the setting also seems a lot like Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, which is what gives it its magical qualities that make it so delightful to watch.
The characters in this story are all very good too. Whilst Wendy’s brothers are a little bit underdeveloped, she herself is a strong and interesting character, as is Peter Pan, whose obsession with never growing up really is odd. Captain Hook and his bumbling crew are a lot of fun, whilst, rather strangely, Tinkerbell is actually one of the most cleverly written characters, with split loyalties and extreme jealousy with the presence of Wendy, which is pretty funny too.
Also, the songs in this film are pretty fun. To be honest, there are only two or three, but when they do come along, they’re short and snappy enough to be interested in, and they always have a decent relevance to the story, which is one of the most important things for a good musical.
However, the only big problem with this film is that it was all just a bit weak. Yes, I really enjoyed it, but there wasn’t really anything that captivated my imagination, it just tickled it. The film’s pacing is quite good, and there is a lot of action to add to the fun of it all, but, in a similar way to Pinocchio, the whole thing just seems a little bit fluffy.
Overall, though, this still gets a 7.2, because it’s got some good characters, a nice magical feel, albeit quite a weak one, and some fun action and songs.