Growing up, Peter Pan was always my favorite of the Disney animated classics. While I loved all the old Disney films, this one pulled me in with it’s sense of adventure and excitement, not to mention a dazzlingly wondrous new world I longed to explore. Then again, I was also a sucker for pirates, so that probably had a lot to do with it. Regardless, Disney has now released the film as the newest addition to their Diamond Edition collection, and much like all the other films in this collection, they have done a stupendous job of putting together a set that will appeal to modern youth as well as their nostalgic parents.
As the proud father of a ten-month old girl, I am so excited that Disney is cleaning up their classic films and re-releasing them in these flawless editions. I can’t wait to share these timeless stories, characters and music with her. Having said that, I will be selfishly hoarding this copy of Peter Pan for myself. In re-watching the film, I was reminded just how great an adventure this really is. Captain Hook is still one of Disney’s most entertaining villains, and Neverland is one of the most spectacular locations they envisioned. One could argue that Wonderland rivals Neverland in terms of sheer creativity, but Neverland seems like it would be a more exciting place to visit.
I was also reminded just how drastically Tinkerbell has evolved over the years. With her place firmly cemented as a modern mascot for the Disney corporation, it’s hard to remember that she was initially presented in this film as petty and vindictive. Her jealousy even led her to attempt to kill Wendy.
Not only does the Diamond Edition have remarkable picture and sound thanks to a thorough digital restoration, but kids will be thrilled with the interactive games hidden throughout the film. Anytime you pause, you are taken to a series of games and activities themed to the life of a pirate. I only got to try a few of them, but the games are clever variations on moments from the film. I guarantee that your kids will love this feature.
There are also two deleted songs including the infamous “Never Smile at a Crocodile,” a never -before-seen ending where they all get to say goodbye to Peter and much more. Unrelated to Peter Pan specifically, there is also a documentary about growing up the child of one of the “9 Old Men.” As any animation buff can tell you, the 9 Old Men were a core group of Disney animators who animated some of the most iconic characters and moments from Disney’s legacy. This documentary steps aside from their professional lives and examines their personal lives from the perspectives of their children. It’s interesting, but honestly, not the most compelling documentary I’ve seen on these sets. Personally, I’m more invested in the process and I found this a little bit dull.
Overall though, it’s a great set as always. Reviewing these Diamond Editions is starting to feel redundant as I always find myself raving about how good they are. However, these sets are all so fantastic, there’s no reason not to. Disney steps up each and every time, ensuring that these masterpieces of storytelling will never be lost to history. Unlike Peter Pan, we all have to grow up sometime, but Disney’s efforts will ensure that every generation will be able to treasure these films as much as their parents did growing up.