‘Peter Pan’ soars with new adaptation

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There have been almost 10 different movie renditions of J.M. Barriers story “Peter Pan,” from Robin Williams in “Hook,” the Walt Disney animation of “Peter Pan,” to even stories and shorts of Peter’s trusted pixie friend, Tinkerbell. However, director Joe Wright takes a new look on this never-aging boy in “Pan.”
Rather than creating a new Peter Pan and altering the original story, Wright tells of Pan’s life before Neverland, before he met the fairies and Wendy and before his feud with Captain Hook. As a kid at heart, this movie brings the viewer into a world of magic and wonder through the costumes and special effects, but the animator’s skills were overused and the director added some unnecessary scenes and awkward singing.
We begin in London during World War II when Peter Pan, played by Levi Miller, and his fellow orphans are kidnapped by a group of pirates in a flying ship. They are flown to a floating island later introduced by Captain Blackbeard, played by Hugh Jackman, as Neverland.
The new recruits are welcomed by millions of other orphans singing Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” and then shipped to the mines where they hunt for Pixie Dust, otherwise known as “pixum,” which doesn’t actually make you fly, but is the elixir of life used by Blackbeard.
For the scene of the singing orphans, imagine a football stadium with every last seat filled with a raging fan. Instead of cheering though, these fans are all chanting “With the lights out, it’s less dangerous/Here we are now, entertain us.”
Also, it was difficult to understand that the boys were singing a song, let alone accept it. To say the least, I was hoping to hear the group of Neverland boys singing “Following the Leader” as they did in Walt Disney’s version.
Pan finally meets Hook, played by Garrett Hedlund, as they escape the mines and join the Neverland Natives in a battle to stop Blackbeard from destroying the island. The Natives decide to make Pan their “Chosen One,” which is a lot of trust to put in a 12-year-old, but after multiple flashbacks and battle scenes Neverland becomes the island we all remember it as.
Although the animation seemed real and authentic, it soon became overdone and annoying. Each flashback was shown through different mediums. Either I was watching a tree stump turn into wooden characters and battle, or bubbles that formed an actor and told a story. The flashy form of recollections gave me a headache as my brain attempted to figure out what character a bubble looked like.
This version of the Peter Pan fairytale might not be No. 1, but is a sight for those young at heart and interested in entering Neverland.
Most of the movie consists of you trying to pay attention with a pounding headache. Plan to come out with expectations of flying home rather than driving. But if you forget your way, remember to follow the second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

LAUREN SOVISKY
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