Where I Watched it: Disney Plus
English Audio Description Provided By: Deluxe
Narrated By: Marsha Bartenelli
Sometimes you’ll hear a critic talk about whether or not a project or film has a voice or perspective. When it comes down to something that’s been done to death, and you have other versions, then that question is more relevant. What is this film trying to say that hasn’t been said before? Why now? Why this version? I just don’t think that, despite David Lowry’s best intentions, that this film revolutionizes anything. It didn’t refresh anything. It barely tried to be even slightly different than Disney’s animated feature.
All of that is disappointing. The last time Lowry decided to set foot into the world of Disney, he made a very different and unique version of Pete’s Dragon that felt more realistic, and had a completely different story. He totally reinvented that IP, and then Disney asked him to take a look at Peter Pan and this is what we got.
his big changes aren’t with the plot or the story, but rather choosing a more forward thinking film, that sees Tiger Lily as less of a gimmick and more as a realized person within Neverland. He also gives hook a backstory that in itself is far more interesting than the movie you actually end up getting. That other movie, the one Lowry touched on, sounded great. Sadly, he made this instead.
For a film about happy thoughts, dreaming big, and never growing up, this certainly has none of the childlike wonder of Disney’s animated classic, it lacks the imagination of hook, and doesn’t even dare to push the story in a new direction like Pan.
There is no reason for this to exist, unless Disney believed people had forgotten Peter existed. That’s certainly not the case.
As far as the audio description goes, while the magic is translated as well as allowed, including direct references to the Disney classic, including Hook trying to balance himself awkwardly on top of a crocodile. But, I did feel like the lost boys lacked any real separation, aside from one of them wearing an animal costume, and I might have liked a bit more definition on the actress playing Tiger Lily, since the last time someone tackled Pan they felt Rooney Mara was appropriate casting for an indigenous representation.
On the plus side, the acting is great. All the kids are well cast in their respective roles, as is Jude law, who delivers his own brand of hook. And, it also sounds brilliant. While the film has songs in it, much like how Peter and the Starcatcher utilized music, the score playfully loops familiar Disney tunes throughout instead of having them recreated in choreographed musical numbers.
It’s a little like Pinocchio from last year. No effort to really do anything terribly new or different, when we’ve seen that something different can be successfully done.It’s sad to think that the director of A Ghost Story has lost his unique storytelling perspective.
Final Grade: C-