Disney’s Fourteenth Animated Feature – 1953
Walt Disney’s project to become the primary shaper of children’s entertainment went full-tilt in the early 1950’s, when in the space of four years, the studio released three feature-length cartoons: the fairy tale Cinderella, the whimsical Alice in Wonderland, and the action-packed Peter Pan. The heroic, scatterbrained, grownup-hating Peter was a much more recent creation than Cinderella and Alice, having been introduced by playwright (later novelist) J.M. Barrie in 1904, but had already taken his place as one of the most beloved characters in children’s popular culture. Disney’s version includes all the elements necessary in a re-telling of the story: three English siblings, their frustrated father, a canine nursemaid, pirates, orphan boys, a hungry crocodile, and, of course, pixie dust. The result is a somewhat rushed, very tame but thoroughly diverting film, Disney’s fourteenth animated feature.
|Peter saves Wendy|
|Hans Conried as Captain Hook|
|Balancing on Big Ben|
|Hook verses the crocodile|
|Tinkerbell admires her reflection|
|Nana the dog as nanny|
Regina Robbins is a theater and film artist. She has worked with several New York City stage companies, including Manhattan Theatre Source, the Looking Glass Theatre, UTC #61, and the Directors Company, and her films have been screened at venues in Los Angeles, Berkeley, Chicago, Asheville, and NYC. She also teaches kids how to write and perform, and is a four-time champion on the game show Jeopardy!