Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Peter Pan

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” -- Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
Peter Pan and Wendy 1915 Cover
Peter Pan is one of the true classics, both in book form and Disney movie form that everyone seems to love. I am included in that list. Mostly because I love J.M. Barrie's style of writing. I don't know if it distinct to him or to the time period but no matter which of the Peter Pan incarnations by Barrie I read I always know it is one of his works. The original Peter and Wendy is my favorite, but the sequels are good when I need to reminisce. I also love the characterization of Smee in the book. He seems so loveable and completely different than how he is portrayed in any other sequel or media.

Peter Pan, 1953
I also grew up in the land of Disney and the 1953 original animated version of eter Pan voiced by Bobby Driscoll with Katryn Beaumont as the voice of Wendy. I am not actually a fan of the movie. It doesn't really accurately capture the motherly feelings of Wendy or the fear that comes when they (particularly Michael) start forgetting their parents. I suppose it is good for a Disney movie, but the book just seems to have more substance.

There are a lot of other Peter Pan remakes and re-imaginations. There is the 2003 version with Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook and Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy or the 1991 masterpiece that is Hook with Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts (try and figure out how I actually feel about the movie). And more recently Peter and the Starcatchers (the 2004 prequel to Peter Pan and Wendy) appeared on Broadway. If you've never heard any of the songs I encourage you to look them up on YouTube. The musical won 5 Tony Awards and Christian Borle is absolutely fantastic.

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