My Favorite Version
J. Rodriguez | 08/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the version of Peter Pan that I grew up with, and thankfully I've found it after years of searching. (and thanks to the other reviewer, Taran, for posting this and another movie online, which is how I came to find it.)
It's a great version of the story and still kept me entertained and made me laugh all these years later. I think any little kid would certainly enjoy it. One thing I found is that it is not close-captioned as stated in the 'Format' section of the product details, which I would have liked. Other than this, I am very excited with my purchase and encourage you to buy this version of the classic story."
Charming blend of fairy tale magic, humor, and a universal t
Taran Wanderer | Chicago, IL | 06/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If Burbank Films Australia has not created the most faithful adaptations of classic literature they have definitely produced some of the most charming introductions to these stories made especially for children. Peter Pan, originally released in the year 1988, is, if not an adaptation, an introduction to J. M. Barrie's classic story of the boy who would never grow up. A low-budget production, perhaps, but fun and creative in many ways, and sure to delight young children. Though this animated library for children features tales not intended for children, these animations certainly serve, as I've said, as perfect introductions that will make children who cherish them eventually want to pick up the books and learn the full story for themselves. That's what happened to me, I don't see why it shouldn't happen to any other child. This obscure and under-appreciated company, which today has become the Burbank Animation Studios, is responsible for sparkling in me an interest for stories such as Anthony Hope's "The Prisoner of Zenda," Jules Verne's "20,000 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows."
I'll pity anyone who doesn't know the story of Peter Pan, and in any case, I'll briefly summarize it here. One night, after the three Darling children, Wendy, John and Michael, have listened to their bedtime story, their mother and father prepare to leave for the night. The three children are certain that the hero of their favorite stories, a boy by the name of Peter Pan who never grows up and has the amazing ability to fly, is a true person and as real as any of them. Shortly after being left alone, Peter Pan returns in search of his own shadow, which he had left behind after a previous visit to the Darling household in London. The children are awakened by Peter and his pixie fairy, Tinkerbell, and shortly after the boy invites all three of them to join him on a visit to his home, the enchanted place called Neverland. With the help of lovely thoughts, a wiggle of the shoulders and pixie dust, Peter Pan leads the three children to the enchanted where they meet mermaids, Indians and pirates. The chief pirate, Captain Hook, is a vicious pirate that seeks revenge on Peter Pan after the boy had playfully cut off his right hand and fed it to the crocodile. More importantly, Captain Hook wants to rid the island of any "mother," for Peter Pan had assigned Wendy to be his mother as well as that of the Lost Boys, a group of motherless rascals in need of loving care. Peter Pan and his friends battle each of Hook's schemes, until the time comes to return home, and continue growing like all children must.
An adult seeking elaborate animation, professional voice-acting, obnoxious pop-songs and things like that will find Burbank Films Australia's "Peter Pan" to be very dull. On the other hand, there's plenty here that a small child will find highly amusing. For one thing, the film is filled with colorful sceneries; the opening of the film alone, where Wendy Darling narrates about the many creatures that inhabit Neverland, is simply charming. The animation here is really well done as well. No, it's not Disney by any means, but as far as low budget animations go, it is very smooth and lively. Another highlight is the music; the film, like all other B.F.A. productions features its own theme melody. In this case, it is a soft, simplistic tune that plays throughout the film, blending itself with the mystical, fantasy like setting and tying it all together nicely. There's a lot of humor; the way some characters, particularly Captain Hook and his henchmen, are portrayed is funny in a clean and clever kind of way. Watching Captain Hook's outrageous facial expressions as he plays his harmonica, or hearing him begin to tell his favorite tale ("It was a dark and stormy night...") definitely will inspire laughter of the best kind. I must warn more sensitive viewers about something that may be of concern to some people. Captain Hook's two henchmen, an obviously Italian one and a larger, somewhat empty-headed black one, may seem as negative stereotypes of two different cultures. On the other hand, these characterizations are due to them being the "dumb villains," nothing to do with racial undertones. Someone else will prefer seeing it differently and thus ruin his or her viewing experience, and that's a shame, but what can you do? Instead, a person should consider the wonderful values that this film provides. Its message is sweet and universal. Small boys (and girls) need the tender and loving care of a mother (and father), and the always cruel truth that childhood is a precious gift that unfortunately cannot last forever. All these things are nicely put together, thus creating a rare jewel of an obscure film, bound to be cherished by children and remembered when that precious gift is through."