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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Greek: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Arabic: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, Greek, Arabic, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Audio commentary
  • Featurette - 1952 Theatrical Promotional Featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • Digitally remastered
  • Awards/Nominations
  • 2 Interactive game - One game and one Interactive Storybook

Peter Pan (Remastered)

Disney/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 73 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Can there be anyone with even the slightest interest in movies and the world of entertainment who does not know of J.M. Barrie's wonderful story, Peter Pan? Should there be, here is a brief synopsis.

Peter Pan is the boy who can fly, who never grows up, and lives in Never Land with the Lost Boys (a lot like John Howard - except for the flying bit). His off-sider is an ever-jealous pixie named Tinker Bell, and his arch-enemy is the delightfully wicked Captain Hook, who has sworn to destroy Peter. Whilst out flying one night he happens to pass the house of the Darling family and overhears Wendy Darling telling bedtime stories of his adventures to her two younger brothers, John and Michael. Peter accidentally leaves his shadow in their house and, on a subsequent visit to retrieve it, is 'caught' by Wendy and her brothers. This is the night we join the story, as Peter convinces the Darling children to fly to Never Land with him so Wendy can tell bedtime stories to the Lost Boys and become their surrogate mother (isn't this the dream of all little girls?). With a sprinkle of pixie dust from Tinker Bell and some happy thoughts, they are away on the most exciting adventure of their lives. Mermaids, pirates, indians, Tic Toc (the crocodile who ate Hook's hand and now wants the rest), Tiger Lily, Smee, The Jolly Roger, Skull Rock, and wild animals combine to ensure Never Land is a place that, once visited, is never forgotten.

Disney released Peter Pan in 1953, almost 20 years after work first began on it. Various delays including World War II and Walt Disney's own uncertainty, ensured that Disney Studio's fourteenth full-length animated feature, following on from Cinderella and the less successful Alice In Wonderland, was released with much anticipation and expectation. This was not the first time the stage play Peter Pan had been made into a movie, for a live-action film was released in 1924, and there had been many stage productions before (and after) Disney's animated version. Walt Disney's own fascination with Peter Pan was sparked as a child, after he was taken to see the stage version in London.

It is interesting that a film with a storyline already so well known should signal the second successful period of Disney animated features. Peter Pan's success lies in the wonderful animation and delightful sense of humour running through the film. The characters are lovable - even the bad ones. The audience is safe in the knowledge that this is Disney and no one is going to get seriously hurt. It may be a familiar story, but it has that distinct Disney feel and look, all the while sticking closely to the original storyline.

"Hana mana ganda,
Hana mana ganda"

Whether you are seven or seventy, do yourself a favour and check out Disney's Peter Pan. Borrow the neighbours kids if you feel you need an excuse, but remember there is (hopefully) still a child in all of us, and we should never need an excuse to relive something as wonderful, and as innocent, as this.

  Video
Contract

Timed beautifully for the cinema release of Disney's animated sequel Return To Never Land, the original, Peter Pan, has been restored and remastered for DVD and the result has justified the effort. Presented in full frame and therefore not 16x9 enhanced, this is a beautiful transfer. Colours are bright and clear, and detail is outstanding. Blacks are deep and even and contrast well with the vibrant colours on screen.

This is a very clean transfer with no artefacts noted and no apparent layer change.

Subtitle options are English, English (Audio Descriptive), Greek and Arabic. The English is faithful to the spoken dialogue, but not being fluent in the others I cannot vouch for their accuracy.

There is little else to be said for the video transfer. It is a treat to be able to just sit and get lost in the whole adventure and not be distracted by potential transfer faults. Thumbs up all round for Peter Pan.

  Audio
Contract

Whilst there are several options, it is the English Dolby Digital 5.1 that most of us will be interested in. This is an unusual transfer, but one that works well. Although it is in 5.1, almost all vocals and sound effects emanate from the centre speaker, giving it an almost mono sound. This is of course how the original would have sounded, and is therefore quite faithful. Music and the barest of effects are channeled to the subwoofer and surrounds, which fill out the room nicely.

Other options are Greek Dolby Digital 5.1 and Arabic Dolby Digital 2.0. Both are equally as clear and well presented as the English Dolby Digital 5.1.

The music itself is most suitable and contains some nice choral pieces. The songs sung by the various characters are all good fun, and I would recommend switching the subtitles on while they are playing, especially for the song from the indians. The lyrics are a bit quick, very funny, and definitely not politically correct.

Audio sync is not really an issue. Vocals are generally clear, except for the songs that are large cast numbers all channeled to the centre speaker, and this can be a little hard to decipher. Thankfully, there are subtitles for all.

  Extras
Contract

Peter Pan is almost worth purchasing for the extras alone, and kids and adults alike are catered for.

The Making of Peter Pan is much as the name suggests, runs a little over ten minutes and packs in a lot of information. It is full frame, Dolby Digital 2.0, and a mix of black and white and colour. It includes footage of Walt Disney himself, as well as stills of the live-action models at work as they 'pose' for almost every scene from the movie. This gave animators a reference to draw from, so that character movements would closely match real human movement. There are also thoughts and reflections from some of the animators.

The Peter Pan Story is the original 1952 Theatrical Promotional Featurette and is also full frame, Dolby Digital 2.0 and black and white. It is basically a history of the story of Peter Pan and how Disney came to animate their version.

Audio Commentary: Hosted by Roy Disney, nephew of Walt, this is actually an edited collection of interviews, recollections and reflections from noted cinema historians, animators who worked on Peter Pan, actresses who were the live-action studies and/or provided voices for characters, and Walt Disney himself. This is one of the more enjoyable and informative commentaries I have heard and will be of interest to Disneyphiles, would-be animators, movie historians, and trivia buffs. Most vocals and sound effects have been removed from the feature as it runs in the background, with just the music accompanying the commentary, and this works well.

Still Frame Gallery is a nicely presented series of screens that represent framed photos on a wall. Each can selected and enlarges to full frame.

"Peter's Playful Prank" Storybook is similar to the read-along books and tapes popular with kids a few years back. You can choose to read along with the narrator of this short story, interacting with some of the characters. Kids should love this.

Pirate Treasure Hunt Game is a multiple-choice board game using events from the film as questions. Again, this will appeal mainly to children.

"Follow The Leader" Sing-Along Song: Kids can sing-along with Peter, Wendy and a host of others as they perform.

  Overall  
Contract

While classic films deserve to be released with love, attention and effort, not all of them actually receive it. Peter Pan is generally considered a classic, at least as far as animated feature films are concerned, and thus is beautifully presented in all its full colour glory. It is reassuring to know Disney Studios are aware that films such as this set them up as the benchmark for animated feature films and acknowledge that the DVD buying public will not settle for less than terrific releases. Children and adults should find little to complain about with Peter Pan. Great family viewing.


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      And I quote...
    "Fully restored and remastered, Peter Pan is an animated classic that will bring enjoyment to children and adults alike. "
    - Terry Kemp
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Akai
    • TV:
          TEAC CT-F803 80cm Super Flat Screen
    • Receiver:
          Pioneer VSX-D409
    • Speakers:
          Wellings
    • Centre Speaker:
          Wellings
    • Surrounds:
          Wellings
    • Subwoofer:
          Sherwood SP 210W
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