Saturday, January 12, 2008

Peter Pan

Peter Pan is such a legendary figure. Nearly every child knows about him. Many people have taken him and fashioned him to their own personal tastes...fashioned him in an artistic way that the public liked well.
I just read the original novel by J.M. Barrie. To my rather unpleasant surprise, I didn't like it. I was absolutely disappointed in Peter Pan's character. This may be the first book that I can say was far worse than the movie. And I mean the 2003 adaption, not Walt Disney's. For some reason, which may be that that is the only movie that my grandparent's kept at their house for us kids to watch besides Shirley Temple, I do not like Walt Disney's adaption of Peter Pan. I've watched it probably about fifty times, within a few years, and now I can't hardly stand it. I know all about Peter with his red hair and elf ears, and his feathered hat. I don't like it.
As for the book, I didn't like Peter's character there either. The boy in it was relentlessly cocky, and it wasn't charming or admirable, as it is in some of his other presentations. He was forgetful, rude, and stubborn. He wasn't a bit charming, not even with all of his baby teeth. I know what James Matthew Barrie was trying to do. I know he was trying to preserve childhood for all it was worth, but honestly. Peter Pan keeping all of his baby teeth is just a bit ridiculous. And Wendy was a sissy. I'm sorry. But I just really didn't much like the book. Nana is always charming. Tinker Belle is always the same.
I felt like in the book, Peter was the opposite of every thing I ever admired him for. In the 2003 adaption, he was portrayed by Jeremy Sumpter as being about thirteen or age. He was kind, he had feelings, he was playful with the Lost Boys, and he was charmingly cocky. In the book, it was implied that Peter actually killed some of the Lost Boys that joined him if they didn't behave, or they were banished. Peter Pan sounded like a tyrant. I'm tempted to rewrite Peter Pan to my full advantage, even though that would be copywriting. It's not as if I would publish it, unless I could get some rights for it.
I read it, and it just wasn't what I always thought Peter Pan was. Peter Pan is legendary because of the success of the play and Disney's adaption and now the 2003 adaption. It doesn't hurt that James Newton Howard composed the music for the new movie....and it definitely tops every other Peter Pan soundtrack. I am sorry. I know I'm going on and on with the same thing, but I was so disappointed! I love the movie Finding Neverland, but I read up on James Matthew Barrie, and the movie sugar-coated his bio thickly. See the movies, decide which one was your favorite. I saw little good qualities in Barrie's version of Peter Pan. It was the later actors that did him justice.


John L. said...

He can Fly! He can Fly! He can Fly!

Thats why I allways loved Peter Pan I wanted to be able to fly anywhere I wanted to. Peter was truely FREE!

Anna said...

What kid doesn't like Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle? I do too, but I don't like the book. I've definitely decided that. Sure, the book has cute moments of thoughts and dreams embodied....those are cool. Mrs. Darling may be my favorite fictional mother that comes to mind now....
and you're right, Peter was free. But he was barred too. The riddle of his being. Have you seen the 2003 adaption? If you haven't tried it, then you should, cause that one is fun, and we all know that fun is good! Seriously though, it's one of my favorite movies.

Brian G. Hedges said...

I rather think J. M. Barrie's point in writing Peter Pan may have been to show the tragedy of a boy who refused to grow up. Disney romanticized Peter Pan and the point is lost in adaptations since. But perhaps the reason you didn't like Peter Pan in the book is because you weren't supposed to!

Anna said...

that's funny, I thought that he wrote Peter Pan to celebrate the idea of never growing up. weird.
But, I researched him a little, and his whole life was sugar-coated in Finding Neverland. Too bad. Thanks for commenting big brother!