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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Peter Pan & Wendy: A Disappointing Trip to Neverland

Rating: ★★½☆☆ (2.5 out of 5)

Released 04-28-2023

Watched 05-13-2023

Reviewed 05-18-2023

Watched on Disney +

"To grow up might just be the biggest adventure of all"

"Peter Pan & Wendy," Disney+'s latest venture into live-action remakes of classic animated tales, unfortunately, falls quite short of magical. It seems that in an attempt to recreate and modernize the beloved children's story, the film strays too far from its roots without introducing any compelling new elements.

The casting, while promising on paper, fails to truly captivate. Ever Gabo Anderson, as Wendy Darling, brings an earnestness to her role that often feels hampered by the script. While undoubtedly spirited, Alexander Molony's Peter Pan lacks the depth and timeless mischief that one associates with the eternally youthful boy. Jude Law's portrayal of Captain Hook, the villainous pirate captain, is commendable, but it's not enough to elevate the movie.

What's notably missing from this adaptation is the charm and whimsy that defines J.M. Barrie's tale. The movie is not a musical nor a play, but it struggles to define what it is in their absence. The energy and spontaneity of song is absent, and the structured world-building of a play is replaced by a confused narrative.

The plot largely follows the classic storyline – Wendy seeking escape from her mundane life, the adventures in Neverland with Peter and her brothers, and the clash with Captain Hook. However, the film fails to balance the familiar and the fresh. Its attempts to introduce novel twists lack creativity and don't add much significance to the story.

The visual effects and art direction are one of the film's saving graces. The depiction of Neverland is beautifully crafted, but ultimately, the luscious settings can only enhance the experience so much when the narrative lacks spark.

"Peter Pan & Wendy" feels like a missed opportunity, an unnecessary remake that doesn't enrich the timeless story in any substantial way. Instead of modernizing the classic, it feels more like a pale shadow. For those wanting to experience the real magic of Peter Pan, I would recommend revisiting the original animated version – it captures the enchantment of Neverland in a way this film sadly does not.


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