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
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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