Tag Archives: Peter Pan

The Set of 400: #109 – My Favorite Loss of Marbles

Today! Because for reasons of good form, I have decided that the so-called Pan will return in three days to commit the arbitrament of the sword. Smee, translate –

Hook (1991)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x5)

Starring Robin Williams (x5), Dustin Hoffman (x4), Julia Roberts (x3), Maggie Smith (x3), Bob Hoskins (x3), Charlie Korsmo (x2), Amber Scott, Caroline Goodall, Dante Basco, Laurel Cronin, Arthur Malet, Don S. Davis (x2), Gwyneth Paltrow (x4), Phil Collins, David Crosby, Tony Burton (x5), Glenn Close (x2), Raushan Hammond

Back-to-back 1991s! A year so dense with favorites that it has now landed 14 movies on the list, but like 1992 before it (on this list, not chronologically, obviously, smart asses) only sees one film crack the top 100! But Hook sure got close. The first sign that my undying ten-year-old’s love for Batman could be cracked, Hook temporarily unseated the Caped Crusader’s ’89 outing as my favorite film, in lists from the day currently missing, but being avidly sought, in the various attic’d boxes of my youth. As yet, no luck. But man did I love Hook. It’s funny and exciting, with some really cool sequences (all of Pirate Neverland) and iconic images (really the whole London stretch in the first act of the film). So what if it feels four hours long watching it today? For kids, Hook is incredible.

But no, I can’t imagine adults feel the same way. There’s weird stuff in the film that just doesn’t work (ahem, everything related to Tinkerbell – every single thing) and there are goofball scenes that may kind of fit the theme, but really undo some of the characters. Most egregious is the period of the film where Peter’s son Jack is, like, playing baseball with the pirates and forgets his parents and life on Earth and starts dressing like Captain Hook – which happens very, very quickly. And they try to shoe-horn in some explanation – this is just what happens in Neverland! – but it doesn’t happen to the daughter, and they are only in Neverland for like a weekend, even though it feels like forever, due to the excessive run time of the film. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #299 – My Favorite St. Bernard Nursemaid

Today! Because I have the strangest feeling that I’ve seen that ship before. A long time ago, when I was very young –

Peter Pan (1953)

Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske

Starring Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Tom Conway, Paul Collins, Lucille Bliss, June Foray, Mel Blanc

Cast your mind back with me, if you will. No, not to the early days of the Eisenhower administration, when this charming, somewhat racist cartoon was made – but to the Christmas movie season of 1991. Twelve year old Joe was on the cusp of publishing his first Favorite Movie List – I’m sure you remember, it was in all the major news outlets of the day, all shuttered now by a general lack of interest in journalism. Perhaps some preliminary versions of it had already floated out to the world, through gossip mongerers or paid informants. And the going word was that Steven Spielberg’s new take on the old J.M. Barrie classic was making a big impact in dorky Joe’s life, that it might even supplant the long-understood top movie of his list (Tim Burton’s exceedingly dark and campy take on a ’60s superhero TV show).

More on this later

Springing from that film – the critically derided but much-beloved (I assume) by kids of my generation Peter Pan update Hook – came a renewed interest in the Disney classic, and given that in those days there was no telling how long it may take for a popular movie to make its way to videocassette, I turned to the next best thing. But in retrospect… Continue reading

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