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Disney Animated Canon entry #14.
The well-remembered 1953 Disney animated movie presents a cozier version of Peter Pan, keeping most of the incidents, but virtually none of the original dialogue.
During their sequel period, Disney made Return to Neverland, in 2002, one of the few animated sequels to get a theatrical release (but still not part of the Disney Animated Canon itself). Their publishing arm has released a series of prequel novels written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Finally, their take on Tinker Bell has long been something of a mascot character for the company and in the new millennium the Spin-Off Disney Fairies line of books, merchandise, and a made-for-DVD film was launched focusing on her and other (original) pixies (similar in concept to the Disney Princess line). And for the boys (though it features a token girl) is a pirate-adventure flavored take on the Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go formula called Jake and the Never Land Pirates where a group of kid pirates match wits with Captain Hook and Smee.
Peter Pan provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Wendy shares a voice actress with Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and several scenes play this up. Her general personality resembles Alice in the first place, and her rambling to Peter when she first meets him seems to call back to how much of Alice in Wonderland is taken up of Alice talking to herself.
Peter: Girls talk too much.
- Affably Evil: Smee (Hook is Faux Affably Evil).
- All Animals Are Dogs: The crocodile occasionally wags his tail and begs.
- Bad Boss: Hook shoots one of his own men for singing off-key.
- Better Living Through Evil: The pirate song.
- Big Bad: Captain Hook.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The mermaids, oh so much.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The mermaids in the lagoon scene come in a pair for each color: Two blondes, two redheads, and two ravenhaired mermaids.
- Bowdlerise: The Indians' skin color was changed to be less....well, red in the DVD release.
- Braids, Beads, and Buckskins: The tipis and the chief's war bonnet suggest that the tribe of Native Americans came from the Great Plains area, but for some reason they also have totem poles (which belonged to people from the Pacific Northwest) and Princess Tiger Lily wears feathered headband (worn by Northeastern people).
- Justified in that Neverland is pretty much a child's version of reality (a British child's version of reality, at that), so such things are almost to be expected.
- Breakout Character: Tinker Bell. of course.
- To a lesser extent, the Crocodile. He (or at least Expies of him) makes guest appearances and cameos in a lot of subesquent Disney productions.
- British Stuffiness: John Darling, Wendy to a lesser extent.
- "I'm frightfully sorry, old chaps. This is all my fault", John upon leading an expedition party that gets captured by Never Land's local Indian tribe.
- Centipede's Dilemma: Peter briefly doesn't know how to answer Wendy when she asks how he flies.
- The Chew Toy: Mr. Darling.
- Chick Magnet: Peter Pan.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Averted; in fact, we never see Tinker Bell recover from the bomb. She gets better with no explanation. On the other hand, this is played straight in the sequel when Jane's newfound belief revives Tinker Bell.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Tinker Bell towards Peter.
- Peter just inspires this in female characters. All the mermaids act this way about him, and even Wendy gets a helping of this during the Indian tribal song.
- Comedic Sociopathy: Watching Hook fight for his life against the crocodile by all means shouldn't be funny. But somehow, it is.
- Cut Song: "Never Smile at a Crocodile" (though the melody still is heard when Tick-Tock enters the scene, and it appeared in a Sing Along Songs volume), "Neverland" and a few songs for the pirates.
- "The Second Star to the Right" originated from a deleted song from Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland, "Beyond the Laughing Sky".
- Another song that was cut involved the pirates trying to persuade the Lost Boys to join their crew. It was eventually replaced with a different song, "The Elegant Captain Hook". This song was restored for the stage play.
- Dangerously Close Shave: Played for Laughs when Smee mistakenly believes he's accidentally cut off Captain Hook's head while shaving him.
Smee: Oh dear! I've never shaved him this close before!
- Dirty Coward: Hook.
- Disproportionate Retribution: To Hook. Peter continually makes his life miserable despite the man seemingly having done nothing to originally spark the boy's malice. Granted, Hook is evil, but c'mon, anyone would want revenge when someone lops off one of their body parts.
- Evil Plan: Though it doesn't drive the entire plot, all the conflict generated by Hook is centered killing Peter Pan.
- Failure Is the Only Option: For Hook, sadly this is true.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Hook to Tiger Lily. "There is no path through water [drowning] to the Happy Hunting Ground."
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: Hook's large hat plume.
- Free-Range Children: It is Neverland, after all...
- Frothy Mugs of Water: Notably averted: Smee is seen drinking brandy, and is very drunk. Also, both Hook and Pan smoke at a few different points.
- Green Around the Gills: During the "What Makes The Red Man Red" number, John's face turns green when he inhales the smoke from a calumet.
- Hair Decorations: Wendy, who even sleeps with her hair bow in place. Which is particularly hard to miss since she spends the whole movie in her nightgown.
- High Heel Face Turn: Tinker Bell's jealously against Wendy leads her to betray the location of the hideout to Hook. When Hook traps her under a jar and weasels out of his promise to "not to lay a finger or a hook on Peter Pan", she escapes and turns back by saving Peter.
- Honor Before Reason: Having given his word of honor to not fly in his final duel with Captain Hook, Peter doggedly refuses to do so even when Hook proves to be the superior swordsman, having forced him to the corner of a mast leading to a fall that can kill him.
- Hook Hand: Captain Hook is the picture for this trope page.
- I Gave My Word: See Honor Before Reason.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Hook's a legitimate threat to everyone...everyone except his two greatest enemies, Peter Pan and the crocodile.
- Interacting with Shadow: When Peter first meets Wendy his shadow has been ripped off his body, and Wendy sews it back on (it attaches at the feet)
- Join or Die: Captain Hook gives Wendy and the boys the option of joining his crew or Walking the Plank.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: Make that killed mid-song. During a conversation with Smee, Captain Hook pauses, annoyed at the interruption formed by an accordion-wielding pirate in the rigging, casually singing about the pirate's life. Hook casually draws a pistol, aims it over his shoulder and fires without so much as glancing back. Cue a drawn-out, falling note and a splash. To make things all the more ironic, the unfortunate crewman's last words (well, lyrics) were: "The life of a pirate is short!"
- Large Ham: Hans Conried, the voice of Captain Hook, was clearly having a blast while recording his lines.
- Lighter and Softer: Than the original novel/play, but Darker and Edgier than the sequel.
- The original draft of the film was even darker than the play was, apparently.
- Loophole Abuse: "Not to lay a finger or a hook on Peter Pan". Hook didn't say anything about bombs though...
- Lost in Imitation: Disney was the first to have the Lost Boys unable to fly (though in Return to Neverland they are briefly seen flying to show Jane how pixie dust works), a trend that was replicated by future adaptations.
- In the book, Slightly, not Curly/Cubby, was the pudgy Lost Boy. Disney chose to make Curly/Cubby the fat one, and just about every adaptation since then has done the same.
- This was also the first movie version of Peter Pan to break the stage tradition of having Peter Pan be played by a woman. This is somewhat ironic since casting adult women as the voices of young boys is a common practice in the animation industry to this day. Nevertheless, Disney cast Bobby Driscoll, its juvenile star of the day, as Peter's voice. However, Disney kept the stage tradition of having the same actor play Mr. Darling and Captain Hook.
- Minion with an F In Evil: Smee.
- Though he DID try to convince Hook to return to the "good ol' days" of plundering and slitting throats outside of Neverland. It's more-so that he personally has no grudge against Peter, and while genuinely evil, is too damn stupid to accomplish any effective villainy.
- Ms. Fanservice: Tinker Bell, to the point where there used to be rumors that she was based off Marilyn Monroe (which is false; Marilyn Monroe wasn't even famous at the time.)
- Musicalis Interruptus:
"Oh, dear, dear, dear, Captain Hook. Shooting a man in the middle of his cadenza?"
- Mythology Gag: A couple involving Captain Hook, calling to attention traits of J. M. Barrie's Hook that the Disney version avoids or subverts:
- In the beginning, when John and Michael are playing Peter Pan and Captain Hook in the nursery, John is wearing the "hook" on his right hand, like Hook in the original novel/play. However, Wendy steps in and corrects him that Hook misses his left hand, a change the Disney animators consciously made because it made Hook easier to animate if he could still use his right hand properly.
- During Hook and Smee's first scene, after Hook has shot a pirate "in the middle of his cadenza" and Smee hints that this can hardly be said to be good form, Hook explodes with "Good form, Mister Smee? BLAST GOOD FORM!" This is in direct contrast to the original Hook, to whom "good form" was extremely important. (Though it has to be said, he too killed his own pirates without thought for petty reasons, such as ruffling his lace collar.)
- Never Smile At a Crocodile: Tick Tock Croc. Even has a song about him of the same name that was cut from the film, though the instrumentals remain in part.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Bill Thompson, voicing Smee, occasionally tries to pronounce the odd word with an Irish accent. It's not exactly convincing, so it's hardly surprising that Jeff Bennett, who voices Smee in modern Disney productions (including Return to Neverland), completely drops this and makes Smee an all-out American.
- Opening Chorus
- Our Mermaids Are Different: They seem like the fluffy, girly kind we've come to accept as normal, but then they go and try to kill anyone they don't like. Specifically anyone who steals their crush's attention. This is vastly different than the quirky, innocent version of mermaids from later Disney canon.
- Panty Shot: Tinker Bell, many times in the first film.
- Putting a Hand Over His Mouth: Happens once to Michael (when an Indian grabs him) and twice to Wendy (by Peter and then a pirate).
- Redheaded Hero
- Say My Name: "SMEEEEEEE!!!"
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: John does this quite a bit.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Wendy, a very mature girl with the ability to influence someone like Peter Pan himself. During the Walk the Plank scene, she was the definition of composed.
- "Somewhere" Song: "The Second Star to the Right", of course.
- Spin-Off: Tinker Bell, besides being practically the second mascot of Disney after Mickey Mouse (appearing in many commercials and in the studio's Vanity Plate), has become a Breakout Character and now stars in a series of her own.
- The Stoic: Tiger Lily.
- Team Mom: Wendy was taken to Neverland just for the sake of being this to Peter and the Lost Boys.
- Time Bomb: What Hook tries to use to kill Peter instead of poison like the original.
- Interestingly, in a Disney on Ice adaptation of the film, they went with poison like in the original.
- Tribal Carry: When the Lost Boys are captured by the Indians.
- Tribal Face Paint: The Indian chief and a couple of his warriors wear it, as does Michael while he's their guest.
- Villain Song: "A Pirate's Life" and "The Elegant Captain Hook".
- Voice Changeling: Peter makes his voice sound like Hook's to trick Smee into returning Tiger Lily back to her tribe.
- The Voiceless: Tinker Bell, of course. While she does talk in the book, it makes a bit of sense for the movie - See Fridge Brilliance in the Fridge tab.
- Tiger Lily was reticent most of the time. However, she did speak at least once, when she let out a brief but muffling cry for help to Peter.
- Tootles is the Lost Boy who speaks the least.
- Wicked Cultured: Captain Hook.
Return to Neverland provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: While the moviemakers have made an obvious attempt at staying true to the look and feel of the original movie, there's a notable change nonetheless — the sequel is more cartoony in its animation, the colors are brighter, the backgrounds simpler, and the entire thing has a sleeker, more "modern" feel to it. This is hardly surprising when there's fifty years between the movies, techniques have changed and new animators have taken over.
- Artistic License Physics: Jane tries to leave on a raft which sinks from springing a leak. Rafts are designed so they can have holes and still float.
- Maybe physics work differently in Neverland.
- Or the raft was that badly constructed.
- Ascended Extra: One of the things the sequel actually has going for it is that the Lost Boys (who were bit characters in the first movie) get far more screen-time, much stronger characterizations, and a bgger part in the plot. They even get to introduce themselves to Jane by name, while their names weren't even mentioned in the original movie.
- Award Bait Song: "I'll Try".
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Tigerlily and all of the natives make no appearance, though they are alluded to and Peter even flies through their (empty) camp at one point. Probably they were left out for the sake of political correctness.
- Conspicuous CG: The pirate ship flying through London.
- Dead Hat Shot: Subverted. Shortly after Peter and Tinker Bell dive into the ocean to rescue Jane from the octopus, Peter's hat is seen bobbing on the surface of the water. This leads to Hook congratulating himself for finally defeating him... until seconds later, Peter emerges holding the sack Jane is inside of and asks Hook if he missed him.
- Disney Death: Tinker Bell dies because Jane didn't believe in fairies. She is revived when Jane finally starts to believe.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The giant octopus.
- Green Around the Gills: Tinker Bell's face turns green after getting dizzy from being spun around and she puts her hand over her mouth while her cheeks are puffed, trying not to throw up during the song " So to be One of Us".
- Hot Mom: In Return to Neverland, Wendy is all grown up and with kids. One of them, Little Miss Snarker Jane, becomes the female lead instead.
- Lighter and Softer: Than the first movie, but still Darker and Edgier than Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
- Loophole Abuse: "...not to harm a single hair on Peter Pan's head." After capturing Peter, Hook gives Jane the one hair he said he wouldn't harm.
- Mr. Fanservice: For someone who never wants to grow up, Peter is kinda cute. He even boasts about his good looks, and when Tinker Bell gets jealous of Jane, he tells Jane that "all girls get like that around me."
- Mythology Gag: When Tinker Bell is sick, Slightly is the one acting the doctor, complete with a thermometer. In the original play/novel, it was Slightly who acted as "doctor" after Wendy was shot, and his way of "curing" her was to put a thermometer in her mouth.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Peter (red) and Jane (blue).
- Sidekick Song: "So to be One of Us"
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The octopus is more or less exactly the same as the crocodile was, even making a "blip-bloop" sound that's almost identical to the crocodile's "tick-tock." The only difference apart from their species is that the octopus is antagonistic to everyone, not just Hook (though Hook does become a particular favorite prey of his) — other than that it's hard to see why Disney couldn't just use the crocodile.
- Triumphant Reprise: "Now That You're One Of Us". It doesn't last long.
- Unwilling Suspension: Peter when prisoner on the pirate ship. Oddly enough, they have an anchor with shackles attached to it.
- "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Here We Go, Another Plan".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Beyond a vague mention by Hook that he'd "finally got rid of him," it's never explained exactly what happened to the crocodile between the two films.
- You Said You Would Let Them Go: Hook fools Jane this way after making a deal with her to show him where Peter's treasure was in exchange for a ride home to London.