Peter Pan (2003)

(On DVD, January 2017) There have been many attempts to tell stories around J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in the past decades (the fatally flawed Pan “reimagining”, the dull Finding Neverland biopic, all the way back to 1991’s Hook, presenting itself as a sequel), but I don’t think there’s been as pure a telling of the story itself as the 2003 version of Peter Pan. Strong special effects, decent actors, lush visuals and decent direction by P.J. Hogan all work well in presenting the myth with the latest technical polish. The story’s edges haven’t been polished to Disney perfection and that’s quite all right—the original novel is not without its darker moments. Now, Peter Pan has never been anywhere close to the top of my favourite stories, but this film does a fairly good job at re-creating what makes it special. In-between Jason Isaacs, Jeremy Sumpter, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Olivia Williams and Ludivine Sagnier, there’s plenty of acting power here to support the visual effects. In many ways, there isn’t anything else to say—if you want to see a faithful adaptation of the novel, this is still your best bet.

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