With Disney's Diamond Editions, it has allowed classic Disney films to be revived on Blu-ray where each animated film is given more color and sharpness compared to its previous format: VHS and DVD. It also features enough bonus features to understand what goes into the process of making an animated film. Walt Disney’s adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” which is one of the most beloved and timeless animated classics, is the latest film from the golden age of Disney animation to receive the Diamond Edition treatment.
One night in London, a young girl named Wendy Darling (Kathryn Beaumont), along with her two brothers John (Paul Collins) and Michael (Tommy Luske) are visited by Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll), the fairytale boy from the stories Wendy tells to John and Michael. With the aid of the temperamental fairy Tinker Bell (Margaret Kelly), Peter whisks away the Darling children to Neverland to give them an adventure they will never forget. Meanwhile, Peter’s arch-nemesis Captain Hook (Hans Conried) hatches an evil plot with the intention of getting rid of Peter Pan once and all.
Despite the stereotypical depiction of the Native American in this movie being politically incorrect, “Peter Pan” is a fantastic adventure film that is enjoyable for moviegoers of all ages. While the plot itself is quite episodic and simple with less than complex characters, the movie is nonetheless entertaining. In the current age of animation where the majority of films are composed from the computer, there is something magical about Walt Disney’s early animated classics that bring out my inner child. The hand-drawn animation of “Peter Pan” bring Barrie’s story to life from the beautifully expressive characters to the gorgeous hand-painted backgrounds used to create the London and Neverland locales in the movie.
The video presentation of “Peter Pan,” which is presented in the 1:33 aspect ratio, is such a beautiful sight to behold. There is hardly an imperfection to spot as this Blu-ray release of this classic animated film is the perfect embodiment of bringing this movie back to life thanks to high definition. While some Disney purists would argue that this is not the true vision of the film with all the imperfections like grain absent from the video transfer, I have no problem at all in making the movie look good today as it did in theaters sixty years ago. The characters look wonderful on high-def, along with luscious and vibrant colors in its animation from London’s blue sky to Neverland’s green and grassy exterior. While this movie still retains the feel and look 50s animation, this spectacular transfer makes “Peter Pan” look like it was made yesterday.
Living up to the Diamond Edition namesake, this Blu-ray released is jam-packed with a plethora of supplements. Most of them were transfer from the earlier DVD edition of “Peter Pan” (presented in standard definition) including five behind-the-scenes featurettes and documentaries However, there are also some new bonus features, which are presented in high-definition 1080p. There are way too many to list what each special feature is about, but among the highlights is a 41-minute documentary titled “Growing Up with Nine Old Men.” The title of doc refers to the nickname Disney gave to his lead animators as it offers insights into their contribution to Disney through the perspective of their children. This is a hardy recommendation for anyone who is fascinated with Disney and/or animation history.
“Peter Pan” is a great and entertaining adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s original story that stood the test of time sixty years since its theatrical run. The video transfer is a sight to behold with amazing crystal clear picture that showcases the colorful animation. The disc is loaded with special features, which is not only both entertaining and informative, but it also covers almost every aspect of what goes into the making of such an iconic Disney film like “Peter Pan.”