Blu-ray Review: Peter Pan
The classic animated film Peter Pan makes its journey into the latest technological platform - for the latest generation of young ones - with the new Blu-ray edition now in stores. Released in theaters 60 years ago this month, the beloved story of a magical boy who never grows up was a blockbuster in its day and has lived on through TV, VHS, DVD and theatrical re-releases. The usual pattern of digitally restored picture and sound is applied here which has its limits on the look and feel of a hand-drawn film from the beginning of the Eisenhower era. But Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and pals are such memorable characters that this disc will be a welcome addition to the libraries of today's younger children as well as adult lovers of animation.
For avid fans of the Disney empire, a worthy bonus feature is the 41-minute documentary Growing Up with Nine Old Men. The film features gushing interviews with the children of the studio's original pack of animators talking about how great their upbringings were. With a very California vibe to it, this one will be of little interest to anyone outside of the hardcore fans of the history of the Disney brand.
Two deleted scenes and two deleted songs add a tad bit to the experience. Being an older film from the early 1950s, Peter Pan's makers didn't conceive of accumulating extra content for the eventual Blu-ray release so Disney had to stretch to add in new material. The deleted items are just storyboards so little children may not find much amusement. Cinema aficionados on the other hand will welcome them.
The film can be played in the original format, or with lyrics for sing-along fun. Peter Pan also features the cool Disney Intermission feature which brings fun activities to the screen when the film is paused. Here, as a parent pauses to go the bathroom or to the kitchen to refill on snacks and drinks, the kids can play games like a shadow hunt instead of complain about paused images. And with the popularity of the Disney Junior animated series Jake and the Neverland Pirates, children should be very familiar with the characters and voices of Captain Hook and Smee in the Intermission. Also available is a nice Storybook app, although it is only compatible with Apple products.
Blu-ray Title: Peter Pan - Diamond Edition
Review by Gitesh Pandya
Run Time: 77 minutes
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
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