Disney has had lots of success with its live-action remakes of classic animated films, with “Aladdin”, “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast”, all becoming massive box office successes. And Disney has been looking to continue the success with a wave of live-action remakes released directly onto Disney+, with “Lady and the Tramp” and “Pinocchio”.
The latest attempt is “Peter Pan & Wendy”, which tells the story of Wendy Darling, a young girl afraid to leave her childhood home behind who meets Peter Pan, a boy who refuses to grow up. Alongside her brothers and a tiny fairy, Tinker Bell, she travels with Peter to the magical world of Neverland. There, she encounters an evil pirate captain, Captain Hook, and embarks on a thrilling and dangerous adventure that will change her life forever.
Unlike some of the other live-action remakes, “Peter Pan & Wendy” isn’t a shot-for-shot remake of the original, with the story going through some major changes to make it more suitable for today’s audience. The opening scenes are pretty close to the original story, with how Wendy and her brothers meet Peter Pan, before heading off on an adventure. These early scenes weren’t that interesting, and I soon found my attention drifting off. However, the big final battle involving Captain Hook and Peter Pan, was really good. It gave off some “Pirates Of The Caribbean” vibes, with some fun sword fighting and a flying pirate ship.
The film looks stunning, because the fantastic locations used to make Neverland feel a world away from London. It has a very dark and natural look, which isn’t what you necessarily think of when you think of Neverland. If you’re looking for some of the classic music to return, the only singing we get is shanty songs from the pirates, which I really enjoyed. Jude Law makes a fantastic Captain Hook, because he gives off that evil manic pirate vibe, while also allowing you to connect to him, maybe a little bit too much, as there were many moments I actually was rooting for him to beat Peter Pan.
“Peter Pan & Wendy” is an odd film, it has some great moments in it, and I think lots of people are going to enjoy it, but it just didn’t click with me. It’s better than some of the other live-action remakes, but honestly, I just don’t see the need for this one. We’ve had so many versions of “Peter Pan” over the years, there’s not really anything new here. It has moments where it feels like a big screen adventure, and other times. You can see why it’s been released directly onto Disney+.
Overall, “Peter Pan & Wendy” is a solid live-action adventure to bring the story to a new generation, and I think it delivers what it sets out to do, but the film didn’t really come alive until it had got past the traditional story and started going following its own path. I found the first half of the film to be rather dull, and while it picked up steam at the end, I can’t help but think that I’d rather have rewatched “Hook” instead. There are plenty of positive things about the film, though. It’s got some fantastic action scenes. It adds a little more maturity to the story, and it delivers exactly what you’d expect, a fun adventure in Neverland.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.