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Adaptation of J. M. Barrie's story about a boy who never grew up. The three children of the Darling family receive a visit from Peter Pan, who takes them to Never Never Land where an ongoing war with the evil Pirate Captain Hook is taking place.
Peter Pan, a sprite who lives in a fantastical world of Never Land and refuses to grow up, chooses to visit the Darling family of London, father George, mother Mary, daughter Wendy and sons John and Michael. In the house, the blustery Mr. Darling dismays Wendy, the oldest, with the information that soon she will have to move out of the nursery and into her own room. After embarrassing himself by tripping over the children's toys, Mr. Darling then insists that the children's nanny, a maternal Saint Bernard, be relieved of her duties and tied up outside. Before her parents leave for the night, Wendy asks her mother to leave the window open, hoping that Peter will return for his shadow, which she has stolen. Peter, with his little fairy friend Tinker Bell, are indeed awaiting the Darling parents' departure, and soon fly into the nursery, where Wendy insists on sewing Peter's shadow back to his body. Peter is at first wary of Wendy but soon warms to her maternal coddling, prompting Tinker Bell's jealousy, especially after Wendy unintentionally traps her in a drawer. Peter commands Wendy to accompany him to Never Land, where his band of Lost Boys long to hear bedtime stories. Wendy offers Peter a kiss in return, spurring Tinker Bell to free herself from the drawer and pull Peter away. The boys awaken, and upon learning of the opportunity to accompany Peter, agree to follow his orders. He soon teaches the Darlings to fly, which requires happy thoughts and a pinch of fairy dust, and spirits them away to Never Land. There, Peter's nemesis, Captain Hook, leads a band of vicious pirates, including the amiable Smee. Hook has hated Peter since the boy chopped off the pirate's hand and fed it to a crocodile, which now lusts for another taste of Hook. Luckily, the crocodile has swallowed an alarm clock, whose ticking warns Hook of the reptile's presence. Hook now plans to kidnap Tiger Lily, the daughter of the resident Indian chief, and force her to reveal the whereabouts of the Lost Boys's lair. When the pirate spots Peter approaching the island, along with the Darlings and Tinker Bell, he initiates an attack, firing cannons into the air. Peter instructs Tinker Bell to escort the children to the lair while he fights Hook, but instead she attempts to kill Wendy by waking the Lost Boys and informing them that a dangerous "Wendy Bird" is approaching. The boys shoot at Wendy until Peter returns to inform them of their mistake, and upon learning of Tinker Bell's scheme, banishes the fairy forever, or at least for a week. Peter then brings Wendy to meet the island's mermaids, leaving John to lead the Lost Boys in a raid on the Indians. The boys march across the island and soon find themselves surrounded by Indians, who lash them to a stake. Although the boys expect to be freed immediately, as usual, the chief informs them that they will all be killed unless the kidnapped Tiger Lily is returned to him by sunset. Meanwhile, Peter introduces Wendy to the mermaids, not realizing that they are in love with him. They try to drown Wendy, but Peter disciplines them. Just then, Hook sails by with Smee and the bound Tiger Lily. By impersonating the voice of a spirit, Peter tricks Hook into searching the nearby rocks, then mimics Hook's voice in order to command Smee to release Tiger Lily. Hook soon spots Peter and the two engage in a sword fight, which ends with the pirate hanging over a cliff by his hook. At that moment, the crocodile appears, terrifying the captain, who falls into its jaws. As Smee rescues Hook, Peter seizes Tiger Lily and brings her home. That night, while the boys celebrate with the Indians, Hook hears that Peter has banished Tinker Bell and resolves to trick the fairy into divulging Peter's lair. He entices Tinker Bell to the ship, where he stokes her jealousy and offers to "shanghai" Wendy if he can learn where she is staying. Tinker Bell happily shows Hook the entrance to the lair, down the trunk of Hangman's Tree, but soon finds herself imprisoned on the ship. In the lair, Peter commands the Darlings to remain with him but Wendy insists that they must return to their mother, prompting the Lost Boys to ask what a mother is. Wendy's fond recollections of mothers inspire the Boys to want to return home with her, infuriating Peter, who refuses to say goodbye. Wendy leads the boys out of the tree, but the pirates await and capture them, sending a bomb down to Peter disguised as a gift from Wendy. The children are taken to the ship and invited to become pirates, but Wendy, sure that Peter will save them, urges them all to walk the plank in rebellion. At the same time, Tinker Bell frees herself and rushes to warn Peter about the bomb, grabbing the package just as it explodes. Peter emerges from the debris unharmed, but finds Tinker Bell badly wounded. After tending to the fairy, Peter races to save Wendy from the plank and free the boys of their bonds. While Peter duels with Hook, the boys fight off the rest of the pirates. Hook tricks Peter into agreeing to fight without flying, and almost bests him, but Peter eventually triumphs. He consents to banish Hook instead of killing him, but the pirate attacks once again, and Peter pushes him into the mouth of the crocodile. While Smee and the pirates attempt to release Hook from the crocodile's jaws, Peter, with Tinker Bell, pilots the ship back to London. There, Mr. and Mrs. Darling have just returned from their evening out, and Mr. Darling has decided to allow Wendy and Nanny to remain in the nursery. Although the nursery at first looks empty, Mrs. Darling soon spots Wendy asleep by the window, and the boys appear in their beds. Wendy informs her parents that she is ready to grow up and relates the strange tales of the evening, which Mr. and Mrs. Darling dismiss as fantasy until they spot the pirate ship flying through the clouds. It is then that Mr. Darling recognizes Peter from his childhood, and the family admires the ship together.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||G||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1953||Production Date:||
AFI--Pat's personal collection
|Color/B&W:||Color (Technicolor)||Distributions Co:||RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.|
|Sound:||Mono (RCA Sound System)||Production Co:||Walt Disney Productions|
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