I’ve been on a bit of a Peter Pan kick lately. It all started with catching Hook a few weeks ago, which I’ve always loved and enjoy watching from time, on the boob tube. After finishing it, I remembered that I was given the original Peter Pan novel for a Christmas when I was around 9 years of age or so, and I decided to pick it up on my next trip to my parents’ house in Dallas. I downloaded all the other official Peter Pan films in the mean time for a watch, as I had never seen them before.
One of the main reasons for this was I was also curious as to how the stories differed in the film versions from the original story, and from each other. I found out they all varied greatly, especially in the tone from the novel, except for Hook, which got it perfect. I’m not going to go into a comparison of the stories here, as that is not really important. All I’d really like to mention about the movies is that the Disney’s 2002 “Return to Neverland” was a rather poor rip off of the Hook plot line, and I didn’t really find it worth it. Disney has really lost it’s flair since The Lion King, IMO. “Walt Disney’s Peter Pan” (February 5, 1953) and “Peter Pan” (2003) however were both well worth it.
The main difference I was referring to between most of the movies and the novel is the heavy presence of a dark and sinister theme in the original book. The Lost Boys were just as cut throat as the pirates, as it mentioned the often battles and killing each other in cold bold, and it even mentioned something to the extent of Peter Pan “thinning out the ranks” of the Lost Boys when their numbers got too large, IIRC. The mermaids were silent killers when they got the chance, and there was also talk of “fairy orgies”. I thought this was all great for a children’s book, as it didn’t concentrate on these aspects, but they were there to give a proper setting. It was a very interesting and fun read, but a far cry from the brilliant status it has been given, IMO. Makes me wonder what all the people out there that complain about Harry Potter would say if they gave this one a read. Oh, the only thing Tinkerbelle pretty much ever says throughout the book is “You ass” :-).
Speaking of Harry Potter, it came as a bit of a shock to me seeing Maggie Smith, who plays Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies, playing as Granny Wendy in Hook. She did an amazing job at looking decrepit.
One final non-related note… the very briefly overhead Neverland island view shown on Hook really reminded me of my Eternal Realms map.