Friday, December 20, 2013

#653. 7 incarnations of Peter Pan

One of my biggest fan obsessions is Peter Pan.  For whatever reason, the boy who wouldn't grow up has always fascinated me, so it's been fun to experience different incarnations besides the J.M. Barrie original (which started out as a play):


  • Peter Pan (1953) The classic Disney animated feature was probably my first exposure to the character, which did not at all prepare me for how very-less-than-angelic Tinker Bell really is.
  • Hook (1991) This was my second.  I think it's always suffered from a poor reputation because most people thought of it as either a Robin Williams movie, a Dustin Hoffman movie, or a Steven Spielberg movie.  For me, it was always a Peter Pan movie, or more accurately, a Pan-the-Man movie, what happens when he grows up, and how ironic that Captain Hook himself never moved on.  If anyone was ever born to play an adult Peter Pan, it was Williams, and for me, this will always be a signature role.  (Notable actress playing Tink: Julia Roberts.)
  • Peter Pan (2003) Created to cash in on the Harry Potter craze, this live action adaptation had the great benefit of exposing me to the long stage tradition of Hook and Mr. Darling be portrayed by the same actor, in this instance rather brilliantly by the perennially underrated Jason Isaacs.  (Notable actress playing Tink: Ludivine Sagnier, who at the time was much more well-known thanks to her provocative role in the movie Swimming Pool.)
  • Finding Neverland (2004) Less about Peter Pan himself and more his creator, and the sweet brood of boys who helped inspire him.
  • Peter and the Starcatchers (2004) The first in the Starcatcher series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, another attempt to make Peter Pan relevant to the Harry Potter generation.  There were five books in all, plus a stage adaptation (fittingly enough).  This one had the added advantage of allowing me to indulge two obsessions at once (Dave Barry is more or less Peter Pan himself).
  • Peter Pan in Scarlet (2006) This is the authorized sequel, the product of a contest held by the Great Ormond Street Hospital, which was granted the official rights to the character by Barrie.  I haven't actually read this, perhaps out of morbid fear that it wouldn't live up to expectations (I read a Hook origin novel that didn't), and partly because I'd entertained hope to enter and win the contest myself.  I didn't and so I didn't.  But I would probably still like my idea better (down, inner Dilloway, down!)...
  • Neverland (2011) A sort of Charles Dickens version of Peter Pan, featuring Rhys Ifans as Hook.  It's funny, because Ifans interacted with a different Peter (by a few degrees) in The Amazing Spider-Man the next year.  (Notable actress playing Tink: Keira Knightley.)

5 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

I think I used this joke on the Geek Twins: I never liked Peter Pan; I always preferred Jif.

No one, not even me, wants an inner Dilloway. That would be scary.

DAVID WALSTON said...

I do love the Disney classic. Finding Neverland was a pleasant surprise. My daughter likes all the Tinkerbell cartoons that have come out.

Tony Laplume said...

Pat, you're so funny...

David, I didn't include the Tinker Bell cartoons, because they do not represent the true nature of Tinker Bell. And then what's the point??? It's be like Batman handing out Christmas gifts to the Arkham inmates. It just isn't right...

Remembering Grace said...

To me, Hook is Peter Pan incarnate. My daughter and I are both like kids when it comes to this movie...we will ALWAYS watch it, and defend it to all naysayers.
I think the people who've given it such a bad rap through the years need to watch it again...so much work was put into the story and the sets and the continuity.
And I agree with you completely, Robin Williams OWNED this movie as Peter Pan.

Tony Laplume said...

Another fan of Hook! Yay!

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