Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Peter Pan

Film #234


Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.

Year 1, Day 234

BEFORE: Back to Disney classics for this animation chain with Peter Pan taking today’s slot. This also brings a return to a film I semi-clearly remember although I’m sure there will be parts that look new to me on this re-watch. I don’t have much else to say, so I’ll just get right into it.

AFTER: Peter Pan was full of many things I remembered from the film and yet still had that feeling of newness. But new or old, the important thing is this film continued with some fantastic characters yet failed with some major story developments.

Character wise, Peter Pan was good all-around with leads and supporting characters. All three of the siblings, Wendy Darling (Kathryn Beaumont), John (Paul Collins), and Michael (Tommy Luske), in addition to Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll) and Captain Hook (Hans Conried) were clearly defined. These are just a handful of the total amount of characters in the film, and even with a short runtime (78 minutes) it still felt as though you knew these characters just as much as in a longer film. But as also seems to be the case, the supporting characters provide a lot more humor and entrainment. The funniest by far has to be Captain Hook’s assistant Mr. Smee (Bill Thompson) and for honorable mention, Nana the dog has to be thrown in for cuteness.

What I did not like about Peter Pan lies mostly with the story and my theory is that the aforementioned short runtime could be a cause for these problems. The problem is that there are a lot of places, or just scenes in general, that felt way too rushed and unnecessary. One of the best examples is Mermaid’s Cove. It serves no purpose whatsoever and is a waste of a precious two or three minutes. Even the Indian story line seemed like it was thrown in because they needed it to forward the story (provide a moment of conflict between Hook and Peter Pan) rather than including it because it was a natural progression of the story. The other example I have is Tinker Bell. While her role is better integrated with how things unfold (she plays a key role in the development of events), she still seems separate. Especially because she’s banned from Pan’s headquarters early on, she isn’t seen or mentioned in the middle portion of the film until she’s brought back for the end.

For the most part however, I was able to focus solely on the characters and their crazy antics and just go with the non sequiturs in the story. Peter Pan is full of bits of greatness but the sum total of all the parts is less than the parts individually. Good for a quick filler film but there are better Disney films.

RATING: 4 out of 5