Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment continues with their classic animation this month with the Peter Pan Diamond Edition released on Blu-ray Disc February 5th, 2013.
This 1953 animated film was produced by Walt Disney and based on J. M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up.
Peter Pan was the 14th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and was originally released on February 5, 1953.
It was the final animated feature released through RKO Pictures, since Disney founded his own distribution company later in 1953.
A sequel called Return to Never Land was released in 2002, followed by the direct to video Tinker Bell titles starting in 2008.
Peter Pan the Movie
The story opens in Edwardian London, where George and Mary Darling’s preparations to attend a party are disrupted by the antics of the boys.
John and Michael are acting out a story about Peter Pan and the pirates, which was told to them by their older sister, Wendy.
Their father becomes fed up with the ‘nonsense’ stories and says that it’s time for Wendy to grow up and leave the nursery a room of her own.
That night however they are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself, who teaches them to fly with the help of his pixie dust from Tinker Bell.
They fly off over London and Peter takes them to his home on the island of Never Land.
Anchored off Never Land is the pirate ship commanded by Captain Hook, with his sidekick Mr. Smee.
Hook plots revenge on Peter Pan for cutting off his hand, but he also lives in fear of the crocodile that ate it and hangs around hoping to eat some more of Captain Hook.
Hook’s plan involves finding Peter’s hideout by kidnapping the Indian princess Tiger Lily and interrogating her.
Meanwhile the Darling family meet the Lost Boys, who set off to find the island’s Indians, while Peter takes Wendy to see the mermaids.
The Indians capture the Lost Boys since they believe that they are responsible for the kidnapping of Tiger Lily.
Can Peter rescue Tiger Lily and save the Lost Boys, or will Captain Hook finally get his long planned revenge?
Peter Pan is certainly deserving of being one of the films from Disney’s post war Renaissance.
The animation is excellent and the story is fun and involving.
Of course it helps to be based on a much loved and well known children’s story.
In any case, this one has it all – excellent animation, enjoyable characters and a nice collection of songs.
Most adults will have seen this movie before, and they can reminisce while introducing it to a whole new generation.
The voice cast for Peter Pan included Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Paul Collins and Tommy Luske.
The movie was met with strong reviews, earning a Rotten Tomatoes score of 83% and an IMDb score of 7.3/10.
Peter Pan has also taken in $87.4M at the US box office.
Peter Pan on Blu-ray Disc
The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 27 Mbps, and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
Like many of the Disney animations though, Peter Pan has the DisneyView feature that fills in the side bars with images that relate to the action on the screen.
Disney certainly has the animation restoration down to a fine art, and the movie looks excellent on this Blu-ray release.
Find full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc at the details page for Peter Pan.
The main audio is lossless DTS-HD Master Audio with 7.1 channels – 24 bits resolution at 48 kHz.
The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 43.2 GB used and is coded for All Regions.
Peter Pan on Blu-ray Disc – The Bonus Features
As a Diamond Edition, this new release for Peter Pan has many supplemental features included on the disc.
The Disney Intermission feature is an interesting one, which pops up when you press pause during the film.
This feature includes a number of games and extra hidden treasures.
The film can be watched preceded by an introduction by Diane Disney Miller, talking about Peter Pan and the Disney Museum.
Alternatively the film can be watched with DisneyView as previously noted, or in Sing Along mode where the song lyrics are shown on the screen.
There are a selection of new deleted scenes, that are presented in storyboard form with voice actors reading the parts.
The first scene The Journey Home recounts Wendy and the boys saying farewell to Peter Pan.
The Alternate Arrival scene features quite a few differences from the final version of the scene.
There are also a pair of deleted songs here, called Never Smile at a Crocodile and The Boatswain Song.
Never Smile at a Crocodile was actually released in association with the film, and became a very popular song.
Growing Up with Nine Old Men is a new documentary about the family life of the Disney animators known as Disney’s Nine Old Men.
One of the now grown children tours around the US and interviews the children from the seven families as they discuss their ‘charmed childhood’ times.
It is interesting to see the differences and similarities between the children’s experiences growing up in the Disney families.
Peter Pan was the final Disney film in which all nine members of Disney’s Nine Old Men worked together as directing animators.
The supplements for the original DVD are also included here, and are pretty extensive as well.
There is an option to directly access each of the songs for the movie.
The audio commentary is hosted by Roy Disney and includes Leonard Maltin.
Classic Music and More features a couple more deleted songs and a couple of music videos.
There are a collection of featurettes for the movie in the Classic Backstage Disney section.
You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan starts with an introduction from Walt Disney and covers the story of how Peter Pan was developed into an animated film.
In Walt’s Words: Why I Made Peter Pan discusses a magazine article written by Walt Disney.
Part of the article is narrated and dramatized for the supplement.
Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale covers the history of the Tinker Bell character, including interviews with the original model for Tinker Bell in the 1953 animated film.
The Peter Pan that Almost Was discusses the lengthy development of the story and the changes and deletions that were made throughout.
The art of story telling and the creation of the animated movie are covered in The Peter Pan Story.
This supplement is presented in Black and White, and dates back to the early fifties, when Peter Pan was in theaters.
In addition to the movie package, there is also Storybook App that can be used on iPad or iPhone, and features Puzzles, Music and Games relating to the movie.
You will need a Disney Movie Rewards account and an iTunes account to redeem the App offer.
The App is pretty cool – it reads the story to you while the scenes are played out in colorful animation.
There are also games and activities that can be activated for some scenes.
All in all this should keep the kids happy for extensive periods!
This release also includes a Digital Copy for iTunes and Windows Media and a DVD Copy for legacy players.
Peter Pan on Blu-ray – Final Thoughts
Peter Pan is a certainly an excellent animated movie that belongs in your collection of Disney classics.
The Diamond Edition Blu-ray release from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has a great transfer and is loaded with extras.
Supplemental formats include DVD and Digital Copy, as well as a full iPad and iPhone App to keep the kids busy.
The retail price is $44.99, or order it right now at Amazon for $27.99, saving 38%!
- Disney Intermission
- Introduction By Diane Disney Miller
- Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes
- Never-Before-Seen Alternate Ending
- Deleted Songs
- Growing Up With Nine Old Men
- Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale
- Peter Pan Storybook App
Think of the happiest things as Peter Pan soars to spectacular new heights for the first time on Blu-ray – now more sensational than ever with digitally restored picture and brilliant high definition sound! Bid you cares goodbye as Wendy and her brothers embark on fantastic adventures with the hero of their bedtime stories… Peter Pan! With faith, trust and Tinker Bell’s pixie dust, Peter teaches them how to fly and leads them to the “second star to the right” and beyond… to Never Land!