On April 28, Disney+ presented another film adaptation of one of its old cartoons. This time, the hands of the filmmakers reached “Peter Pan”, based on the novel of the same name by James Matthew Barry and released 70 years ago. In this review, we will analyze how well-founded the appearance of the film version looks and what new it can offer the viewer.
“Peter Pan and Wendy” / Peter Pan & Wendy
Genre adventure fantasy, family comedy
Directed by David Lowery
Starring Alexander Moloney, Ever Anderson, Jude Law, Alan Tudyk, Yara Shahidi
Premiere of Disney+
Release year 2023
Edwardian London, a quiet pleasant evening. Before going to bed, the children of George and Mary Darling, little John, Michael and their older sister Wendy, decided to be a little silly. Their innocent game of pirates results in a broken mirror in the nursery, fair remarks from a stern father, and Wendy’s reluctance to grow up.
Suddenly, in the middle of the night, the fairy-tale character Peter Pan visits the children’s room together with his faithful assistant – the fairy Tin-Tin. He tries to catch his own shadow, wakes up the young inhabitants of the room and offers them to go to a fantastic Netherlands, where you can enjoy a carefree childhood as much as you want.
A little magic dust, memories of something good, and now the gallows get the superhero ability to fly among the clouds of the gloomy British capital. Having reached their destination, the newly-made travelers come under cannon fire from sinister pirates, whose leader is the treacherous and dangerous Captain Hook.
Disney stubbornly continues to dig out its old animated properties and turn them into modern films. The authors try to fill these creations with new, more relevant meanings, but sometimes they forget that some stories do not need it at all.
Certain proposed innovations in “Peter Pan and Wendy” look really appropriate.
The original cartoon was based on a fairy tale by James Barry. It came out in 1953 and indulged in jokes that would now be seen as a sign of bad tone (although a seagull’s shaved ass is still funny). It is hard to imagine in a modern Disney fairy tale that the Indians were really red-skinned, and the fairy looked like a sex symbol like Marilyn Monroe.
So it’s only fair that screenwriters David Lowery and Toby Halbrooks dropped any sensitive moments, or even hints of them, that were present in both original sources. However, this should not be counted among great achievements, because the new version of the classic story lost the main thing – the feeling of a bright, escapist adventure, and also – the Disney magic of falling in love with your fairy tales.
The canonical images of the main actors have undergone noticeable changes.
If in the cartoon everyone was almost constantly saved by Peter Pan, now he is the one who needs saving himself. Just recently, we wrote about another Disney project, in which the main character gave Т̶е̶м̶н̶о̶г̶о̶ ̶м̶е̶ч̶a palm of primacy to a female character, how here the girl performed by Ever Anderson overshadows the “boy who didn’t want to grow up” in everything.
Captain Hook, who was embodied on the screen by Jude Law, acquired the deepest backstory within the frivolous genre. Now his constant rage against Pen received a completely adequate and understandable motive, and their eternal opposition – a clear explanation. In the ending, the villain even turns on Ledger’s Joker a little and expresses the opinion that without this antagonism, life would lose its colors.
What can really captivate are the beautiful landscapes of Nidelland, which cinematographer Boyan Baselli seems to show from every possible angle with frank pleasure. This picturesque place, washed by the majestic ocean, resembles the Irish island from the tragicomedy “Banshee Inishreyn”. You can admire such shots for an infinite time.
In general, this is a beautiful fairy tale, which lost almost all its fairy-tale charm and adventurous spirit somewhere on the way to the viewer. Because those adventures are boring and cannot evoke real emotions.
The biggest problem with “Peter Pan and Wendy” is that it is a completely lean, diet product, so much so that the local crocodiles will definitely go hungry.
Pros: good acting, appropriate innovations, extremely beautiful and tastefully shot landscapes, good visual effects Cons: local adventures cause mostly boredom and indifference, lack of sense of humor that was in the cartoon, no sense of a real fairy tale that you want to immerse yourself in, fresh story Conclusion:
The movie can be turned on for the children to keep them occupied while you have urgent household chores. If choosing between two fantasy worlds this weekend, traveling in “Magic Doors” looks advantageous compared to flights in “Peter Pan and Wendy”. Let them even be infinitely beautiful