Peter Pan tek's rating: ½

Peter Pan (PG)
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Well, so far I have never read the book, but even so I could tell this was a very faithful adaptation. It really is a great story, though perhaps a bit too familiar to get quite as excited about as I might. Anyway, in case there's a person on the planet who doesn't know the story, there's this boy named Peter Pan who ran away to Never Never Land, so he could never grow up. He leads a group of such children called the Lost Boys, who are at war with pirates led by Captain James Hook. There's also a tribe of Indians (the story being too old for the term "Native Americans") including Princess Tiger Lily. And there are mermaids (dangerous creatures who can, if you're careful, be helpful). Also of course there are fairies, one of whom is Peter's beautiful friend Tinkerbell.

Peter visits the real world sometimes, where he meets a lovely girl named Wendy Darling (who's getting close to growing up, herself, something her grandmother insists upon), as well as her younger brothers, John and Michael. Peter teaches them to fly, and takes them away to Never Never Land, where they have some adventures together. The children begin to forget their parents, who are back home worrying about them, especially their mother, who insists on sitting by the open window constantly, waiting for them to return. The relationship between Peter and Wendy is... complicated. The Lost Boys (and even John and Michael) come to think of her as a sort of mother, and more importantly a storyteller. She's beginning to love Peter, who perhaps feels the same without really understanding it, and certainly doesn't want it, because it means growing up, which he is determined never to do. Tinkerbell, meanwhile, is jealous of Wendy, and on several occasions plots against her, in small ways, once even cooperating with Hook. Wendy herself plays at joining Hook's crew, at one point.

The story really is an interesting dichotomy, which seems to simultaneously espouse the ideas of having to grow up and also refusing to grow up. This paradox is neatly resolved in advance, however, by the opening line "All children, except one, grow up." Even so... while we know all children must grow up, we also know Peter Pan never will (Hook notwithstanding), and we cherish him for this. Hell, he has a whole complex named after him.... In the end, of course, Wendy and her brothers return home (and btw, don't forget that phrase "except one," it's important in another way), and Peter returns to Never Never Land. That's about all I can tell you. It really is a great movie, good effects and all. Great story. Timeless. So check it out sometime.


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