I love Disney movies and I’ll be honest most of my “fairy tales” came from them. I don’t think there isn’t anything wrong with that especially as a child but I have become more interested of late in reading the classic fairy tales I loved as a child to see the difference. I’ve heard there are, I’ve heard their darker compared to the Disney version but I’ve never actually accounted it firsthand. This would be my first true Disney movie that I have seen that was adapted by an author so here we go.
Yes there are differences, differences that I wasn’t sure if I didn’t pick up in the movie because I was young or because the movie doesn’t portray it. In my mind, they don’t portray these differences to the extent that J.M. Barrie does. Which is okay, it’s a children’s movie it’s not supposed to. The story of Peter Pan is one every one seems to know. It’s about a boy, Peter and his lost boys that don’t want to grow up but want a “mother”. They find her in Wendy another child who tells stories to her brothers before they go to bed at night. The story has Tinkerbell a jealous little fairy, mermaids, Pirates, Indians and of course pixie dust. The movie portrays them as all loving this land called Neverland that Peter made, a land where you will never grow up but as the story progresses both in the book and the movie, Wendy realizes that she does want to grow up.
So here is a huge difference between the two. In the book you read more about the parents of Wendy and her brothers and the turmoil they go through when they realize their children are missing. The emotional stress, guilt and sadness that occurs is what (I would hope) every parent would feel if they came home from a party one night and found their children missing. No this isn’t in the movie, the movie is for children- but I’ve noticed the disconnect. Of course in the movie the parents are happy when their children return but it doesn’t portray their agony like the book does.
Another difference is that I always thought the lost boys liked being with Peter, and that they believed everything he said and what was going on. But really, they don’t, they know it’s pretend and they play along because they don’t think Peter realizes that it’s pretend. Sometimes they would go days without eating because Peter thought they had or told them they had or gave them “pretend” food. The psychological differences between the lost boys and Peter in the book was not what I was expecting. I didn’t realize that it was a game to the lost boys while Peter truly believed everything he thought. He was forgetful too, he would forget people’s names or why they were there but it never bothered him. The longer he stayed in Neverland the longer it happened and since Peter had been there the longest, his memory was the shortest. It started with Wendy but she stopped just in time to remember her true purpose, to grow up to an adult and live her life as one.
That just got a little depressing but I guess this was more an analysis than a review and that’s okay. One thing J.M. Barrie does, what his play writers did and Disney did is to never stop believing in something. I would recommend this book if you’re a “nerd” like me and just wanted to pick up the differences between the original and the portrayal Disney made. This story was famous long ago, play wrights were written and people of all ages attended to see into the mind of J.M.Barrie.
Don’t forget! Click on the picture of the book and you can get a description and other review through Barnes and Noble 🙂