Peter Pan - Platinum Edition (2-Disc DVD-Video Set)
B Sound: B Extras: B+ Film: A
classic Peter Pan has arrived on
Disney DVD in an all new remastered 2-Disc
Platinum Edition. This re-release is
a pleasant surprise, having been greatly overhauled since the earlier Special
Edition release in 2002. This film in
1953 was a pivotal time for the Disney Company in that it was the very last
Disney Feature Film to be released by RKO Radio Pictures, as Disney established
is own distribution company Buena Vista.
But nothing new, Disney has always been a forerunner and with the coming
of Peter Pan Disney was about to create many more ‘firsts.’ Peter
Pan prior to the Disney animated release was only performed as a play and
for the animated feature many new venues could be explored. In the play there was no Tinker Bell, only a
stage light that traveled around; also there was no crocodile only an off-stage
‘ticking.’ The crocodile in Disney’s Peter Pan is one of the animated films
key elements to make the film unforgettable.
Disney was able to infuse a whole new slew of characters to make this
animated one of the most memorable classics of all time.
people who have lived in a cave for the past 100 years, here is a summation of
the tale of Peter Pan. Peter Pan tells
the tale of a mischievous boy who refuses to grow up. In his travels Peter visits the Darling
family in order to hear the bedtime stories of Wendy, the Darling’s oldest
child. On the eve of the night that
Wendy was to ‘grow up’ and move out of the nursery, Peter Pan pays another
visit to retrieve his shadow that he has seemingly left behind. Upon finding out about all of this ‘growing
up’ nonsense, whisks Wendy and her two brothers Michael and John off to Neverland
where they never have to grow up. Once
in Neverland the Darling children experience first hand the wrath of Captain
Hook in daring escape. In a fantasy
filled world Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, and the Darlings have adventures full of
Pirates, Mermaids, Indians, and much more.
Will Peter Pan defeat the evil Captain Hook? Will the children ever grow up? Will Tinker Bell stop obsessing over
Peter? Only time can tell…Now what is
that ticking noise…uh oh!
was always a tad politically incorrect, but that was never the intention of the
story or this animated feature. There
are talks of a ‘woman’s place’ and Indians (with ethnic slurs on occasion), but
it was how things were then and it makes the story even more lovable with its
interesting aspect of Peter Pan that many do not realize is that the animated
stars of the film were inspired by real people.
Many think Tinker Bell was modeled after Marilyn Monroe, when actually
it was a model named Margaret Kerry who inspired artist Marc Davis in his
creation of Tinker Bell. Also Peter Pan
was inspired by a Disney regular named Bobby Driscoll, who also voiced Peter
Pan. A final inspiration worth
mentioning is Captain Hook, who was modeled somewhat after the voice actor who
played him Hans Conried. Like the play
suggests, the voice part of Captain Hook is also the voice of the Darling
childrens’ strict father George Darling.
Interesting quirks flow throughout most Disney films, so keep your good
eye out for them.
technical aspects of this DVD are impressive and possibly one of the best
Disney Platinum Editions yet. The picture
is presented in a nice 1.33 X 1 Full Screen that has been digitally remastered
and is the best edition to date. The
colors are sharp, the picture does not seem washed at all like many restored
animation films do, and there is little to no debris. Overall, nicely restored and can not wait for
a Blu-ray version. It was also their 12th
three-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor release, something this DVD’s transfer
hints at but is not always as colorful as.
Maybe the Blu-ray will be more like those prints. The sound is in the standard Disney Platinum
sound of a 5.1 surround Dolby Digital Enhanced Home Theater Mix that whooshes’
and ‘pops’ at the right moments, as well as the songs musical numbers of the
film sounding the best they ever have.
This was originally theatrical optical mono which shows throughout, but
the upgrade is impressive just the same.
extras are great also on the Platinum Edition giving audiences a cornucopia of
features. Special Features include
Disney games that are fun for kids and adults alike with such games as Sudoku
Challenge and Tarrrget Practice (get it LIKE A PIRATE!). Also included is a ‘Never Before Seen
Alternate Opening’ which this reviewer found interesting but not as good as the
original opening, Deleted Songs, an excellent ‘Why I made Peter Pan’ featurette
starring Walt himself, and much more. In
the end, the technical aspects of this DVD are truly impressive and this reviewer
is sure the upcoming Disney Classics on Blu-Ray will be even better.
Peter Pan is a classic and for years Disney
has brought classics to life. If each
generation does not view this exceptionally fun and detailed animated feature,
they are truly missing out on a masterpiece.
- Michael P Dougherty II