Why the 2003 “Peter Pan” Is My Favorite
“To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure”
Flashback to Christmas 2003.
I was 10 years old and in 5th grade. I saw a trailer for the new live-action Peter Pan. It looked fantastic and action packed. I couldn’t wait to see it. Once it finally came out in theaters, I begged my mom to take me to see it. I loved it so much, I asked my dad to take me to see it a second time not even a week later. You may be thinking to yourself, “Well Cat, you were a kid back then, of course you loved it! What about now?”
Flash forward to now. I’m 25 years old, all grown up. Do I still love this movie?
The answer? A resounding “YES.” I still have the original DVD my cousin bought for me as soon as I saw it on a shelf at Walmart the spring after it came to theaters. I played the DVD so many times, I can’t believe it’s not scratched or burned. This movie is in my top 5 timeless classics list, and below are the reasons why. I’m hoping that, maybe if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you will go look for it and give it a shot!
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Have You SEEN Jeremy Sumpter?
Starting off with a very shallow reason, the kid who played Peter Pan was my first celebrity crush. I was so convinced that I was going to marry that boy. Jeremy Sumpter played a very convincing role of one of my favorite Disney characters, and he really brought Peter Pan and Neverland to life. When I watch this movie, I always remember the sense of childlike wonder I experienced the first time I saw it.
Wendy Was My First Role Model
All throughout the movie, Wendy was such a hardcore and capable character. She knew how to handle a broadsword, and could hold her own in battles. She refused to be the damsel in distress. And can we talk about how frightened Peter looked when she just calmly asked for his knife after sewing his shadow back into his BARE FEET? Yeah. She’s a badass.
The Native American Appreciation
Okay, look. I’m not the type to publicly shame and call for a movie’s boycott for not being inclusive. But I still appreciate the hell out of the fact that an actual Haida descendant named Carsen Grey played Tiger Lily. The cool part about her first scene is that she actually gets to use her ancestral tongue to absolutely roast the pirates. I still love that scene.
The Complexity Of Peter’s Character
As a kid, it went straight over my head, but as an adult I’m realizing just how… tragic… Peter is. I mean, think about it. This is a kid who never has to grow up. That’s the dream, right? Well, as we’ve seen in any sitcom shows where the character gets whatever he/she wishes for, it comes with a curse or two. In never having to grow up, Peter is cursed with essentially being frozen in time and having to watch those he pretends not to love grow old and eventually pass on. Not to mention when Hook had him on the rock and told him he would kill him, he just smirks and says that famous quote we all know: “To die would be an awfully big adventure.” As someone who acted in high school, I love analyzing this character with all the knowledge I have. It’s such a three-dimensional character.
The Quotes Are A Little Too Real
This movie is riddled with plenty of comic relief, and some of the quotes stand out to me because I still relate to them as an adult. “Who be you to order me about and call me girlie?” “If you were me, I’d be ugly!” “Growing up is such a barbarous business, full of inconvenience… and pimples.” I mean, that last one hits a little too close to home.
The Fantastic And Memorable Musical Score
James Newton Howard knew how to compose the perfect score for this movie that people would remember for years. In particular, the scene with the dancing fairies is my all-time favorite, and I may or may not convince my future hubby to dance with me to it at our wedding.
Need I say more?
The Mesmerizing Digital Effects
The cinematographers and editors did such a great job bringing the flying scenes to life and made you think you were flying too. I watched the DVD extras and the actors went through months and months of grueling harness training to strengthen their backs and hips so the flying looked realistic. Talk about going the extra mile!
All in all, this is just hands down one of my favorite movies from my childhood. This was before Hollywood started remaking all of the Disney movies. But it still holds up so well. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you go find it on the Internet, curl up on the couch or in bed, and prepare to get emotional. Thank me later.