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Why I Purchased Peter Pan from the Disney Movie Club

Mar 12, 2008
Based on the famous play, and succeeding novel, by J.M. Barrie, "Peter Pan" had been slated to follow the wild success of "Bambi." Walt Disney had planned to make the film as early as 1939, even going so far as to parley the rights with the Great Ormond Street Hospital (who had been given the rights to play by Barrie). The outbreak of World War II waylaid the production until 1949. The film was not released until 1953.

Disney was eager to cast an real boy to voice Peter Pan, though the character had been portrayed by a young woman to that point in history. Indeed, the characters of Nana and the Crocodile (renamed Tick-Tock and Croc) were depicted as animals, where they had been portrayed by actors on stage. In the 1911 novel, Nana was characterized as a Newfoundland dog, but it was depicted as a St. Bernard in the movie. The most beloved and long-lasting character, next to Peter, was Tinker Bell. Rather than a ray of light, the fairy was depicted as a green-clad, winged girl. To this day, Tinker Bell is one of the most well-liked Disney characters. When she dies in the play, the children in audience are encouraged to clap to bring her back to life - this, of course, is not included in the movie.

In the novel, Captain Hook is eaten by the Crocodile, whereas in the movie he is always evading the reptile's jaws. Likewise, in the play Hook loses his right hand, but the animators felt this would seriously restrict his movements, so they opted for the left hand. One of the few traditions carried over from the play entails using the same actor (in this case the voice actor) to play both Captain Hook and Mr. Darling. Indeed, Hans Conried, the voice actor, was the live-action study for all of Captain Hook's movements as well.

The story of "Peter Pan" involves the boy who will never grow up, Peter Pan, enticing the Darling children, Wendy, John, and Michael, to join him on his adventures in Never Land. Once there, they join Peter as he battles his arch rival, the pirate Captain Hook. Tinker Bell soon begins to resent Peter's time with Wendy and inadvertently betrays Peter and the Lost Boys to Hook.

The film features three songs by Sammy Cahn and Sammy Fain that have since become classics of modern soundtrack music. The songs are "You Can Fly," "The Second Star to the Right," and "Your Mother and Mine."

"Peter Pan" is still one of Walt Disney's most well-liked and requested movies to date. It is ranked in the upper echelon of Disney films, including such classics as "Snow White," "Bambi," and "Cinderella."
About the Author
Steve Collins is an Author and Journalist based in Encino, California. A huge Disney fan, he uses the Disney Movie Club to fill the missing gaps. Read his reviews of the movies he has bought from the Disney Movie Club
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