1 The Mickey Mindset: Disney Animation Reviews #14 - Peter Pan

Friday, January 10, 2014

Disney Animation Reviews #14 - Peter Pan

Disney Animation Review: 14/53 - Peter Pan

Ryan Dosier - The next Disney film on the countdown is 1953’s Peter Pan, the fanciful adventure of the boy who never grew up. Walt Disney must have adored this film, because he used Tinker Bell in numerous things once he entered the world of television. Tinker Bell quickly became a second mascot for the Disney company, right next to Mickey Mouse.

The film itself is a fun and fanciful turn with some bright and delightful characters. The opening of the film is incredibly strong, with Peter Pan teaching the Darling children to fly and taking them to Neverland. The film loses a little bit of its steam once they reach Neverland, with some odd experiences with Mermaids and Native Americans, but luckily there’s Captain Hook to keep everything entertaining.

Captain Hook is one of the greatest Disney villains of the animated canon, and perhaps the greatest out of the 14 films I’ve watched so far. He is animated with ferocity and wild gestures that make him stand out. Captain Hook’s greatest feature is his voice, provided by Hans Conried. The voice more than anything gives Captain Hook his devilish character. He and Mr. Smee make for the best part of the film by far.

The character of Peter Pan is an incredibly weak protagonist. He is heroic only for the sake of showing off to Wendy or making a fool of Captain Hook. For the most part, Peter Pan is a selfish, obnoxious, rude character. I suppose since he is a young boy who is in a perpetual state of adolescence these traits make sense, but it feels like he doesn’t learn anything in the film at all.

Tinker Bell is a spectacular character, however, animated with fantastic realism and amazing sass. She stands up for herself and saves Peter’s life. Arguably, Tinker Bell grows more as a character than Peter Pan in the movie. She starts out selfish and jealous and then sacrifices herself for Peter and even saves Wendy.

The design and the colors and the art in Peter Pan are amazing. The Disney team took the source material and ran with it, creating bright, outstanding layouts and impressive, timeless character designs. There are some major weak spots in the middle, but the beginning and the climax to the end are wonderful. Everything Captain Hook does is gold. The youngest Darling child, Michael, is adorable. The animation is amazing. And yet... the music is forgettable. The Lost Boys are obnoxious. Wendy never finds her character.

Overall the film is a fun, fantastical adventure. Peter Pan is nowhere near the greatest Disney feature of this period, but it is still quite good and worthy of the title of Disney Classic and especially worthy of multiple viewings.

4/5 Flying Children

The Mickey Mindset, mickeymindset@gmail.com

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