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Peter Pan (film)

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Spoiler warning!
Narrative secrets ahead.

Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M Barrie. It is the fourteenth film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and was originally released on February 5, 1953 by RKO Pictures. Peter Pan is the final Disney animated feature released through RKO before Walt Disney's founding of his own distribution company, Buena Vista Distribution, later in 1953 after the film was released. Peter Pan is also the final Disney film in which all nine members of Disney's Nine Old Men worked together as directing animators. It is also the second Disney animated film starring Kathryn Beaumont, Heather Angel, and Bill Thompson after their roles in the animated feature Alice in Wonderland.

The film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Fesitval. A sequel titled Return to Never Land was released in 2002, and a series of direct-to-DVD prequels focusing on Tinker Bell began in 2008. A preschoolers' television series featuring some of the characters, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, premiered in 2011. The film is one of the most comercially successful Disney movies, as well as one of the most popular.

Summary

Wendy, John and Michael Darling follow Peter Pan and Tinkerbell to a place called Neverland.

Plot

In the London neighborhood of Bloomsbury, George and Mary Darling's preparations to attend a party are disrupted by the antics of the boys, John and Michael, acting out a story about Peter Pan and the pirates that were told to them by their older sister, Wendy. Their father angrily declares that Wendy has gotten too old to continue staying in the nursery with them, and it's time for her to grow up much to everyone's shock. When George Darling began to storm out the room he trips over Nana. Both Nana and George fall but the rest of the family only comforts Nana. George is shocked and this causes Nana to be put in the dog house. Nana is heartbroken as she never sleeps in the dog house. George feels sympathy for Nana but claims the children are not puppies and Nana is truly a dog. When George and Mary leave for the party, Mary asks if the children will be okay without Nana, because Wendy mentioned about capturing Peter Pan's shadow the previous night at the window. George calls the whole thing garbage, and tells his wife that she's as bad as the children are, and that it's no wonder that Wendy is getting crazy ideas. That night they are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself. Wendy is awakened when Peter is trying to get his shadow on. Wendy offers to sew it on for him (as he is trying to reattach it with a bar of soap). Through conversation, Wendy learns that Peter likes to hear her stories. However, when Peter learns that she is to "grow up" the next day, Peter offers to take her to Never Land where she would never grow up. There, she could be the mother to the boys who live there. Wendy tries to kiss Peter out of gratitude, but Tinker Bell, who is jealous, pulls Wendy's hair. By this time, Michael and John awaken, and are allowed to go with them. Peter sprinkles the three with pixie dust, and after a few false tries, they are able to fly by thinking happy thoughts.

Peter then takes them with him to the island of Never Land. A ship of pirates is anchored off Never Land, commanded by Captain Hook with his sidekick Mr. Smee. Hook boldly plots to take revenge upon Peter Pan for cutting off his hand. Captain Hook laments Peter Pan's role in causing the crocodile to follow him, due to Peter cutting off his hand and throwing it to the crocodile. Tick-Tock found it so delicious he's following him everywhere for another taste. Tick-Tock suddenly shows up next to the ship. Hook hears the clock ticking and his eyebrows and pointing mustache begin twitching in rhythm (with the music of "Never Smile at a Crocodile"). The crocodile's eyes begin popping up to the tune, sending Hook into a panic. The crocodile then emerges from the water onto a rock rubbing his belly and licking his lips, accompanied by a wide smile towards the captain. Hook then screams for Mr. Smee to save him, and Smee shoos off the crocodile. The crocodile then frowns and wiggles his tail to the ticking clock while sulking away. The crew's restlessness is interrupted by the arrival of Peter and the Darlings. The children easily evade them, and despite a trick by jealous Tinker Bell to have Wendy killed, they meet up with the Lost Boys: six lads in animal-costume pajamas, who look to Peter as their leader. John and Michael set off with the Lost Boys to find the island's Indians, who instead capture them, believing them responsible for taking the chief's daughter Tiger Lily.

Meanwhile, Peter takes Wendy to see the mermaids, where they see that Hook and Smee have captured Tiger Lily, to coerce her into revealing Peter's hideout. Peter and Wendy free her, and Peter is honored by the tribe. Hook then plots to take advantage of Tinker Bell's jealousy of Wendy, tricking her into revealing the location of Peter's lair. The pirates lie in wait and capture the Lost Boys and the Darlings as they exit, leaving behind a time bomb to kill Peter. Tinker Bell learns of the plot just in time to snatch the bomb from Peter as it explodes.

Peter rescues Tinker Bell from the rubble and together they confront the pirates, releasing the children before they can be forced to walk the plank. Peter engages Hook in single combat as the children fight off the crew, and finally succeeds in humiliating the captain. Hook and his crew flee, with the crocodile in hot pursuit. Peter gallantly commandeers the deserted ship, and with the aid of Tinker Bell's pixie dust, flies it to London with the children aboard.

Mr. and Mrs. Darling return home from the party to find Wendy not in her bed, but sleeping at the open window; John and Michael are asleep in their beds. Wendy wakes and excitedly tells about their adventures. The parents look out the window and see what appears to be a pirate ship in the clouds. Mr. Darling, who has softened his position about Wendy staying in the nursery, recognizes it from his own childhood, as it breaks up into clouds itself.

Cast

  • Peter Pan: Bobby Driscoll
  • Wendy Darling: Kathrine Beaumont
  • George Darling: Hans Conried
  • Captain Hook: Hans Conried

Songs

  • The Second Star to the Right
  • You Can Fly
  • What Makes the Red Man Red?
  • Your Mother and Mine

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