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Peter Pan

Australian director P.J. Hogan's film based on J.M. Barrie's classic story.

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Second Star to the Right

  • Apr 13, 2011
  • by
Pros: adventure, wonder, magic, pirates, mermaids, first love and epic battle... what more could you want?

Cons: we awaken from the dream to find ourselves far from Neverland

The Bottom Line: An instant family favorite

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

The Darlings lived a quiet life tucked away in Edwardian era London. Mr. Darling worked at a bank, struggling with his social awkwardness to achieve a better financial footing for his growing family. Mrs. Darling ran the house and, with the help of faithful dog Nana, oversaw all the needs of their three children; Wendy, John and Michael.

Wendy leads her brothers through all sorts of thrilling adventures with her skill as a storyteller. Until the night Aunt Millicent discovers Wendy's hidden kiss, and it is decided that she is too old to continue living in the nursery. Dire news!

Clever Wendy's tales have attracted an audience though. Brat prince of Neverland, Peter Pan and his faithful fairy companion, Tinkerbelle, have invaded the nursery in search of Peter's lost shadow. Wendy, Michael and John don't have to grow up. Wendy can keep her hidden kiss. They can escape through the nursery window, out beyond the second star to the right and straight into Neverland with just a few happy thoughts and some pixie dust.

"Who be you to order me about and call me girlie?" Wendy

~~~~~~My Thoughts~~~~~~~

As a child, I would have happily moved to Neverland, joining Peter and his gang for adventures. I was always fond of the original story and the Disney rendition of Barrie's tale, despite the distressingly prim depiction of Wendy. This live action 2003 version left me breathless and starry-eyed with delight. The casting was perfection. Both Rachael Hurd-Wood as Wendy, and Jeremy Sumpter as Peter breathe a powerful and innocent new life into the roles.

This is Wendy as I played her in the wild strips of woodland hidden in the corners of every urban area; a bold, clever, adventurous, nurturing swashbuckler, and a compassionate storyteller extraordinaire. It's no surprise that wild loner, Peter, is mesmerized, and cannot help stealing her away. Peter himself is the perfect mix between impudent, foolishly daring, and inspiring hero; the origianl brat prince. Like a fledgling greenman, he is the perfect consort for this bold and compassionate maiden goddess.

Jason Isaacs plays dual roles as Mr. Darling and the doomed Captain Hook to perfection. He conveys the social nervousness and utter familial devotion of Mr. Darling with as much clarity as he conveys Hook's ruthless, dark and despairing nature. as Tink also gives a new lushness and welcome attitude adjustment to this key character. Here is a tiny warrior whose strength belies her size. Stuffed so full of magic, it sheds off of her in emotional bursts of pixie dust. Tink throws herself whole-heartedly into everything she does. As she is only big enough to have one emotion at a time, she embraces it and lives it fully before making way for a new one.

Writer/director P.J. Hogan has delivered an exemplary family film that will delight audiences of all ages. The excellent cast, beautifully imaginative settings and attention to details works together to bring a magical life to Barrie's much beloved story. CGI moments are seamless and strikingly beautiful, like the flight of the Darling children through London and on to Neverland. It felt like they had stepped right into a living starry night inspired by Van Gogh. We discover with Wendy that "never" is a very long time for anything, especially anything as important as growing up. As well as the one secret every woman with a hidden kiss knows... such a powerful bit of feminine magic will always belong to Peter Pan, a willing gift for passage home from Neverland.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Good for Groups
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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May 28, 2011
Hi, Quinn I thought I saw that you posted new reviews but for some reason I don't see them now. Did you use 'lunch this'? Just trying to find the root of the issue...
May 29, 2011
I used the "import new Epinions" function to bring over my review on Scott Pilgrim vs the World... Looks to me as if it may have doubled up and brought over a few recent reviews that I had already posted here.
June 03, 2011
Nice review! Yeah, I've heard that the import feature is still a little buggy. It often duplicates reviews too.
More Peter Pan reviews
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2010
Marvelous live-action depiction of this much beloved tale, an instant favorite
review by . March 26, 2009
This movie is, without a doubt, the best cinematic adaptation and closest rendition of J. M. Barrie's timeless, ageless fantasy tale about the boy who wouldn't grow up. It's simply perfect from beginning to end. It stays true to the book, but also incorporates a few fresh ideas, that take nothing away from the original story.    The actors are superb. Jeremy Sumpter is wonderful as the carefree, adventurous, cocky, yet innocent, Peter Pan, and Jason Issacs perfectly portrays the elegant, …
review by . December 09, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Generally the acting and the darker side makes the story almost new      Cons: Wendy Wendy Wendy      The Bottom Line: It's easy to screw up a children's story so well known. But if you explore the story from a different angle, it can become new--like this version.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.      Peter Pan has long since become a legend. Neverland …
review by . October 05, 2004
This first thing that I realized about this movie was that had I been a child when I watched it, I would have thought it to be one of the greatest movies ever. However, I'm a few years removed from being a child and I found this movie to be average entertainment for adults. I'll give it four stars for the fact that if I were ten, I'd give it five stars, but I'm almost thirty, and that part of me says to give it three stars.    The visuals in this film are beautiful. I've seen …
review by . April 09, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
I have seen several versions of the Pan story (notably Disney's and Mary Martin's) and while this story are great special effects and fairly good directing, this movie lacked the fun of those other versions. Also, the heavy British accents made it difficult to understand what the actors were saying at times. It was interesting to finally see a "real" boy play Pan and I guess the movie is a "coming of age" of sorts for him. However, doesn't coming of age mean the end of childhood and everything that …
review by . January 02, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Beautifully detailed, great actors, classic story     Cons: None, really     The Bottom Line: This is an excellent family movie of a classic, well-loved story.
About the reviewer
Quinn Blackburn ()
Ranked #125
Hello, my name is Quinn. :o) I also answer to Mom, YaYa, and occasionally Entwife. I enjoy Beauty wherever I find it... Nature, Music, Art in all its forms... I believe these to be true and sacred things … more
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About this movie


Everyone knows Peter Pan as the boy who will never grow up. Writer/director P.J. Hogan's (MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING) new live-action interpretation of the classic J.M. Barrie tale is surprisingly sentimental, imbuing Peter--played by the charming Jeremy Sumpter--with a sense of longing and a desire to be loved. The object of his affection is Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd-Wood), a pre-teen in Edwardian London with a penchant for telling dazzling tales to her younger brothers. When Mr. Darling (Jason Isaacs, who doubles as a daunting Captain Hook) decides that Wendy should live with her Aunt Millicent (Lynn Redgrave) in order to become a proper lady, Peter takes the Darling children to Neverland, where all of the characters in Wendy's stories actually exist. The trio embarks on the adventure of a lifetime, flying through the skies, encountering nasty mermaids, and enduring Tinker Bell's (Ludivine Sagnier) hijinx. Along with the Lost Boys, the Darling children take on Captain Hook, Peter Pan's arch nemesis, and...
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Director: P.J. Hogan
Release Date: December 25, 2003
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: May 4, 2004
Runtime: 1hr 54min
Studio: Revolution Studios, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures
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