Disney recently invited me to Los Angeles as part of the #HanSoloEvent, #ABCTVEvent and #PeterPanBluray press event. Travel, accommodations, and a review copy of Peter Pan blu-ray were provided, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Amazon affiliate links are used in this post.
Don’t miss the free printable activity sheets (including recipes, games, coloring pages and more) at the bottom of this post!
Can you believe that Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, is celebrating its 65th anniversary? “Peter Pan” is the seventh title to join the Walt Disney Signature Collection, which includes “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Pinocchio,” “Bambi,” “The Lion King” and “Lady and the Tramp.”
Peter Pan Signature Collection is available NOW on Digital and Movies Anywhere, and will be available on DVD/Blu-ray as of June 5! I am so excited to own this Disney classic and I’ve already watched it with my kids (yes, I had it on VHS, so I’m thrilled to add it to my DVD/Blu-ray collection).
About the Peter Pan Signature Collection
The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition of “Peter Pan” invites adventures of all ages to believe in magic once again and experience a timeless treasure from Disney’s golden age of animation that has stirred the hearts and imaginations of moviegoers worldwide since its original 1953 release. The Signature Collection edition offers over two hours of classic bonus features plus never-before-seen extras (see details below). I got lost in the bonus features and enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed watching the film.
In “Peter Pan,” fantastic adventures await the Darling children—Wendy, John and Michael—when Peter Pan, the hero of their stories, whisks them away to the magical world of Never Land. After flying with Peter and the delightfully impish Tinker Bell past the “second star to the right and straight on till morning,” they explore the enchanted island and Peter’s secret hideout with the Lost Boys, and leap into high-flying battles with swashbuckling pirates and the infamous villain Captain Hook.
Peter Pan Fun Facts
These fun facts about Peter Pan are copyright Disney. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Peter Pan – Origins
• J. M. Barrie – created Peter Pan in stories that he told to the young sons of his friend Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies
• The character’s name comes from two sources: ‘Peter’ from the name of the youngest of the Llewelyn-Davies boys, Peter, and ‘Pan’ from the mischievous Greek god of the woodlands.
• Peter Pan first appeared in print in 1902 in a book called ‘The Little White Bird,’ a fictionalized version of J. M. Barrie’s relationship with the Llewelyn-Davies children.
• The book was used in a very successful play ‘Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.’ This play premiered at the Duke of York Theatre in London on December 27, 1904.
• In 1906, ‘Peter Pan’ was published into a book entitled, ‘Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.’
• In 1911, Barrie adapted the play into the novel ‘Peter and Wendy’ – which is most often published simply as ‘Peter Pan.’
• ‘Peter Pan’ was released in 1924 as a silent movie, directed by Herbert Brennon, starring Betty Bronson as Peter and Ernest Torrence as Hook.
Walt Disney’s History with Peter Pan
• Walt Disney and his brother Roy robbed their own piggy banks to get enough money to go to see a visiting road production of ‘Peter Pan’ starring Maude Adams. As Walt recalled, “I took many memories away from the theater with me, but the most thrilling of all was the vision of Peter flying through the air.”
• Walt later had the privilege of portraying the part of ‘Peter Pan’ in his school play – “No actor ever identified himself with the part he was playing more than I. I actually flew through the air! Roy was using a block and tackle to hoist me. It gave way, and I flew right into the faces of the surprised audience.”
Walt Disney’s Production of PETER PAN
• Walt’s words on why he made the film: ‘Here is a story, it seemed to me, which had never been quite fulfilled, despite its wonderful career on the living stage. A story which deserved the added dimension of animation on the screen.”
• Walt’s words on his version of PETER PAN: ‘I believe our treatment has enabled us to get more of the playwright’s original intent of robust fun and adventurous excitement in the Never Land exploits. Our version is a little more boisterous; not so timid as some stage presentations tended to become in trying for that definitive charm. I believe we have the adult a little more in mind too, along with the younger members of the family.”
• Working with the Great Ormond Street Hospital, Walt Disney was able to obtain story rights between late 1938 and early 1939.
Animation & Production
• This was the last Disney animated feature film in which all nine of Walt’s “Nine Old Men” worked together as directing animators.
• Women constituted nearly half of the studio talent AND were working within virtually every aspect of production on PETER PAN. From animation to art direction, special effects and Ink & Paint.
• A full week’s worth of steady output by a top-notch animator may only take up five seconds on screen.
• Over a million drawings were completed during the production of this film with over 250,000 separate drawings utilized in the final film.
• At the time of production in 1953, a record number of backgrounds were created and used in the film. Backgrounds totaled 934, compared to 773 for Cinderella (1950) and 736 for Alice in Wonderland (1951)
• The reason behind the volume of backgrounds for PETER PAN, stems from the fact that the principal characters are ‘human,’ and humans have a tendency to move around more than animals. This determined the various camera angles needed to give the production the scope that Walt wanted for his telling of Barrie’s classic story.
• In the time required to design and paint one animated background for PETER PAN a live-action studio could plan and construct an actual movie set.
• The production of PETER PAN represented the highest concentration of talent with the studio’s history to that point.
KATHRYN BEAUMONT (Voice of and Live-Action Reference Model for Wendy) was 12 years old when she was chosen by Walt Disney to be the voice of Wendy. She said, on working with Walt Disney,
“I found Walt to be such an easy person to be around. I felt so comfortable with him. Having come from another studio, my experience was feeling that it was just a workplace, and I expected that would be the atmosphere at every studio. Until I came to Disney, and I realized, my goodness, this is very, very different. There’s a whole different atmosphere here. Walt himself was visible, where the head of the studio at MGM was not. At Disney, his presence was felt. You’d see him walking down the hall. He’d join the line in the cafeteria at lunchtime. He would pick up a tray, get his lunch and find a place to sit down with someone and just chitchat. I think the whole idea was that we were all team members. It was everyone sharing responsibility and sharing creativity.”
Peter Pan Signature Collection Bonus Features
BLU-RAY & DIGITAL*:
New Signature Collection Bonus
- Stories from Walt’s Office: Walt & Flight – “Think of the happiest things, it’s the same as having wings”. One thing you’ll notice inside Walt Disney’s office are all of the models and pictures of airplanes. Walt loved planes and was an aficionado of flying. As a continuation of the “Stories from Walt’s Office” series, we’ll soar into the world of one of Walt’s favorite pastimes and look at the history behind the company airplane he used to scout Central Florida looking for the perfect place to build his second theme park.
- A “Darling” Conversation with Wendy & John: Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins – Join Disney Legend Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Wendy) and Paul Collins (the voice of John) as they reunite for the first time in many years to reminisce and discuss their experiences working on Peter Pan, meeting Walt Disney and learning to fly … literally.
- “You Can Fly” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the classic Disney song, “You Can Fly,” with fun lyrics on screen and lots of your favorite “Peter Pan” characters.
- “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – A new “Oke” rendition and graphic look of the deleted song, “Never Smile at a Crocodile”, with fun lyrics on screen and highlighting the relationship between Captain Hook and Tick- Tock the Crocodile.
- Sing-along Version of the film: Sing along with your favorite songs from the movie.
- Growing Up with Nine Old Men – “Peter Pan” is both a story of living with a child’s sense of openness to the world and an acknowledgment that the path to adulthood most often leads away from those qualities. A parallel of sorts to that duality can be found in Walt Disney and his core group of animators, the Nine Old Men, in their lives and in their work. Our short film will look at who they were and the parts they played in one of the most remarkable team of artists that ever worked together.
- Deleted Song: “The Pirate’s Song” – Original demo recording of the song played over concept art.
- Deleted Song: “Never Smile at a Crocodile” – With music played over static concept art of the crocodile from Peter Pan.
- Deleted Song: “The Boatswain Song” – With music played over static concept art of Captain Hook and his crew.
- Deleted Scene: “The Journey Home” – A proposed alternate ending where Peter asks the Lost Boys to return home with Wendy and the other children.
- Deleted Scene: “Alternate Arrival” – A deleted scene where Wendy and the children are initially attacked by the Lost Boys because Tinker Bell tells them that Wendy is holding Peter captive. We also see in this version of the story that Nana the dog travels to Never Land with Wendy and the children.
- Disney Song Select – Simply play the clip from the movie with subtitles underneath it. “The Second Star to the Right” | “You Can Fly” | “A Pirate’s Life” | “Following the Leader” | “Your Mother and Mine”
- Audio Commentary Hosted by Roy Disney – Audio commentary hosted by Roy Disney, but carried on by several other people.
Music and More
- ”Never Land”: The Lost Song – A bonus piece that sets up the backstory of where this lost song was found and how Richard Sherman recomposed it.
- Music Video: “Never Land” – Music Performed by Paige O’Hara – A music video of the song “Never Land”
- Music Video: “The Second Star to the Right” – Music Performed by T-Squad – A music video of the song “The Second Star to the Right” performed by T-Squad.
- You Can Fly: The Making of ‘Peter Pan’ – A making-of video of the 1953 Disney classic, “Peter Pan.”
- In Walt’s Words: “Why I Made ‘Peter Pan’” – Based upon an article written by Walt Disney retold as a dramatic recreation.
- Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale – An introspective video on the creation, history, and personality of the one and only “Tink.”
The Peter Pan That Almost Was – Hosted by Ron Clements and John Musker, we take a look at the storyboards and early concepts of a version of the “Peter Pan” film that never saw the light of day.
- The “Peter Pan” Story – An original featurette for the film created in 1952.
*Bonus features may vary by retailer
Peter Pan Activity Sheets
Enjoy this printable packet full of coloring pages, games, and recipes. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD. Enjoy!
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