Just over three years ago, I settled in for the 1953, Disney classic Peter Pan. A film I hadn’t seen in a long time. Now, it’s time for another revisit, with the beautiful Signature Collection blu-ray transfer available from Disney today.
And yes, while there is still that troubling What Makes the Red Man Red song, the film endures because the character is eternal, and finds fans anew each time someone opens J.M. Barrie’s original stageplay and book, or slips the Disney blu-ray into their player.
The Darling family’s children, Wendy (Kathryn Beaumont), John (Paul Collins) and Michael (Tommy Luske) have vivid imaginations, and the boys enjoy Wendy’s tales of Never Land, and the boy who refuses to grow up, Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll).
When Peter comes to their window (he loves stories about himself), the group find themselves on an adventure to the fantastical land, where they meet mermaids, rescue princesses, and confront the dastardly Captain Hook (Hans Conreid) – who after careful thought IS my favourite Disney villain.
There is lots to entertain viewers of all ages in this film, and it’s always primed and ready for another visit, but for the collectors, it’s the extras that offer the real meat and potatoes, as it gives a behind the scenes look at how the film was made.
Supplementing the extras that were part of the original DVD and blu-ray release, there are some very enjoyable additions that make this one a welcome entry to the Signature Collection as well as a worthy addition to the blu-ray shelf.
There is a featurette about Walt Disney’s love of flight, something that arises time and time again, through countless films in the Disney catalogue, as well as a very enlightening conversation with Beaumont and Collins about their involvement in the film. The mini-docs are filled with wonderful behind-the-scenes photos that show all corners of the production, as well as the revelation that a number of the scenes were shot live action with the voice actors so that the animators could have a visual reference.
Also included is a sing-a-long version of the song Never Smile at a Crocodile which was included in the film sans lyrics, and is presented here for one’s listening enjoyment.
The transfer, without question, is gorgeous, and the images pop off the screen. It remains a beautiful looking film, and allows the viewer to revel in the age of hand-drawn animation, something, sadly, that may never come again.
Peter Pan remains an exemplary piece of family entertainment, filled with Disney’s trademark charm and joyous storytelling and this edition should have a pride of place in your collection.
Look for other Signature Collection titles available from Disney to round out the set!
Peter Pan: The Signature Collection, is available today.