Peter Pan (1953)
Adventure / Animation / Family / Fantasy
Directed by Clyde Geronimi and Wilfred Jackson
Bobby Driscoll as the voice of Peter Pan
Kathryn Beaumont as the voice of Wendy Darling
Hans Conried as the voice of Captain Hook and Mr. Darling
Bill Thompson as the voice of Mr. Smee and Other Pirates
Heather Angel as the voice of Mrs. Darling
Paul Collins as the voice of John Darling
Tommy Luske as the voice of Michael Darling
Candy Candido as the voice of Indian Chief
Tom Conway as Narrator
The beginning of the classic animated film begins with the narrator informing the audience that what is about to happen "has happened before and will happen again". The only difference is it is now going to happen in Edwardian London. George and Mary Darling are getting ready for a party and are interrupted by John and Michael reenacting the tale of Peter Pan and the pirates. Their older sister, Wendy was the one to tell them about the story. Their father disapproves of Wendy telling them these stories, for she is getting too old and must move out of the nursery she shares with her brothers. He wants her to grow up and have her own room. Later on that night, Peter Pan comes by their room and instructs them on how to fly with the assistance of Tinker Bell, a tiny fairy. After they have mastered the flying, he brings them along to the island of Never Land. A land where you never grow up and that is where they encounter many different characters and their adventure begins.
Peter Pan is young adventurous boy that lives in the fantastical world of Never Land, and wishes to never grow up. One night, he pays a visit to the Darling family in London. Daughter Wendy has been told she needs to grow up and move out of the nursery, but Peter arrives and teaches her, and her two brothers John and Michael, how to fly with the help of his pixie friend, Tinker Bell. He takes them with him to the island of Never Land. There, Captain Hook, his band of vicious pirates, and his sidekick, Mr. Smee, have their ship anchored. Hook seeks revenge on Peter for cutting his hand off and feeding it to a crocodile. Thankfully, the crocodile has also swallowed an alarm clock, so his presence is always known while he hungrily waits for another taste of the captain. Hook also wants to capture Tiger Lily, the chief’s daughter, so he can find out where the boy’s secret lair is.
Meanwhile, as Peter evades the pirates, the children meet up with the Lost Boys, a group of six children in animal-costume pajamas who see Peter Pan as their leader. Tinker Bell’s hidden ploy to get Wendy killed is found out when Peter returns, and she is banished “forever” (although she is eventually forgiven). John, Michael, and the Lost Boys set off to find the island’s Indians. Instead, they are captured by them, as they believe the boys took Tiger Lily. Big Chief warns that if his kidnapped daughter is not back by sunset, they will be burned at the stake.
In the meantime, Peter takes Wendy to meet the mermaids, not realizing that they are in love with him. Consequently, they try to drown Wendy. However, the pair then discovers that Hook has seized Tiger Lily, and is trying to coerce Peter’s hiding place out of her. Together, Peter and Wendy free her, and Peter wins honors from the tribe.
Hook manages to trick Tinker Bell into revealing Peter Pan’s hideout, by taking advantage of her jealousy of Wendy. He then imprisons her in a lantern. When the children go back to the lair, Peter demands that the Darlings stay with them, but Wendy insists they must return home. Wendy tells the Lost Boys of her mother, inspiring them to want to go home with her. This maddens Peter, who refuses to grow up and live in real life. The pirates lay in wait and snatch the Lost Boys and the Darlings as they prepare to exit, while a time bomb is left for Peter. Fortunately, Tinker Bell learns of the plan just in time and grabs the bomb from Peter as it is exploding.
He rescues the pixie from the rubble, and they proceed to confront the pirates. They save the children before they are forced to walk the plank. Peter battles Hook, as the rest of the children fight off the crew. Hook and his pirates eventually flee, the crocodile hot on their tail. Peter takes command of the ship, and with a little fairy dust, flies it back to the Darling’s London home. However, the Lost Boys decide to stay in Never Land, rather than be adopted.
Back at the house, Mr. and Mrs. Darling arrive home from a party to find Wendy not in her bed, but asleep by the window, while John and Michael are in deep slumber in their beds. The parents are oblivious to their children’s whereabouts. When Wendy awakes, she excitedly tells her parents of her adventures. They look out of the window to find a cloud that resembles a pirate ship, and Mr. Darling softens his position on letting his daughter stay in the nursery, for he remembers the same cloud from his childhood.
Actors: Heather Angel, Hans Conried