Review: ‘Peter Pan’

James M. Barrie's childhood fantasy, Peter Pan, many times legit-staged, and previously filmed with live actors, is a feature cartoon of enchanting quality.

James M. Barrie’s childhood fantasy, Peter Pan, many times legit-staged, and previously filmed with live actors, is a feature cartoon of enchanting quality.

The music score is fine, highlighting the constant buzz of action and comedy, but the songs are less impressive than usually encountered in such a Disney presentation.

The Barrie plot deals familiarly with a little boy (Peter Pan) who refused to grow up, preferring to remain a pixie in Never Never Land, and a little girl (Wendy) under paternal orders to pass into young ladyhood.

Before she does, however, she has one more night of childhood and, with Peter, Tinker Bell, and her two young brothers, John and Michael, pays a visit to the land of chimerical fantasy wherein dwell the comically-dreadful Captain Hook; the toadying Smee, who fawningly tends the pirate; the basso-voiced Indian chief; the popeyed, tick-tocking crocodile; and the beautiful mermaids and lost boys.

The voice of young Bobby Driscoll, and cartoon animation in his likeness, sell the Peter Pan character. Equally good are the voices of Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy; Hans Conried as the villainous Hook and the exasperated father, Mr Darling and Bill Thompson as the fawning Smee. Tom Conway dulcetly intones the narrated story bridges.

Peter Pan

Production

Walt Disney. Director Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson; Producer Walt Disney; Screenplay Ted Sears, Bill Peat, Joe Rinaldi, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler, Milt Banta, Ralph Wright; Music Oliver Wallace

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 76 MIN.
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