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At the recent media screening of the new Warner Bros. film, PAN. my grand daughters and I enjoyed the opportunity to see the film before the premiere.
The live action feature stars newcomer Levi Miller as a young Peter, along with Hugh Jackson (Blackbeard), Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily and Garrett Hedlund as young James Hook along with a short appearance by Amanda Seyfried as Mary (Peter’s Mom). Rounding out the main characters are Adeel Akhtar (Mr. Smeed) and headmistress, Kathy Burke (Mother Barnabas).
An original adventure about characters created by J.M Barrie brings us the tale of Peter as a youngster and the series of events that led to his life on Neverland.
The film starts out in England, 1920s era, where a young woman makes her way through the dark streets. She finally arrives at her destination where she is seen saying good bye to a baby in a basket, placing a pan flute necklace on him and tucking a note into the fold of his blanket. A note that promises Peter she will see him again in this world or another.
Fast forward 12 years and into the middle of World War II. Peter and his best friend, Nibs (played by Lewis McDougall) have grown up in the Lambeth Home for Boys, a dark and ugly orphanage run by nuns, included the heartless head nun, Mother Barnabas (Kathy Burke). After Peter and Nibs have a run in with the headmistress, they are plucked out of their beds in the middle of the night. Nibs jumps “ship” but Peter stays onboard and is taken to Neverland. Here along with boys of all ages, shapes and size, he must slave away, for Blackbeard and his team of pirates, working the mines in search of pixum, the stone from which pixie dust is created. The magical dust used by the fairies of Neverland is slowly being mined by Blackbeard’s “crew”. When an incident, brings Peter front and center to the attention of the feared leader, Blackbeard, it is discovered that he may be the chosen one sent to overthrow the notorious pirate and save Neverland. Learning his mother may be alive and living in Neverland, Peter with the help of his new friend, James Hook and Mr. Smeed must escape the mines. Running for their lives with Blackbeard’s henchmen in pursuit, they meet Tiger Lily and together, they help Peter find his true destiny and become the hero we all know as “Peter Pan”
Director, Joe Wright and his team of award winning producers, writers and creative team members, brings movie viewers an incredible new story. The costumes, the sets and the fight scenes bring us into a magical land full of fairies, pirates, and pixie dust. A fight scene between Blackbeard and Tiger Lily on board a floating pirate ship as well as the fight between Hook and one of the members of Tiger Lily’s tribe had audience on the edge of our seats. Seeing the fairies and “Tink” was a high point in the film for my granddaughters. While floating ships including the enormous Queen Anne’s Revenger (Blackbeard’s ship) as well as the Ranger and Hook’s Jolly Roger made the adventures all the more visually amazing for me.