Review of “Peter Pan and Wendy” (2023)

Silhouettes of a flying boy and girl over a Scottish island during the sunset – NO representation of the film

The film begins with John and Michael Darling sword-fighting like Peter Pan. Meanwhile, Wendy is sitting on her bed, dreading her parents’ plans to send her off to boarding school.

She joins her brothers in playing with the swords – only to accidentally break the mirror. 

The parents hear that sound and ask who broke the mirror. John and Michael look at Wendy, and the parents figure out that she did it.

Her mother wants her to grow up, which she refuses. Then her mom tells her the wonders of growing up and sings to her a lullaby about it.

While asleep, the children awaken to a mysterious light, which is Tinkerbell. Peter Pan arrives and is willing to take the kids to Neverland, where they won’t have to grow up. 

He tells them to think of things that make them happy, sprinkles pixie dust onto them, and then they fly. Peter leads them to Neverland.

However, there are a bunch of pirates who notice Peter. One of them knocks on Captain Hook’s door. He angrily comes out and demands that the other pirates attack him.

They shoot balls from their cannons, putting Peter and the Darling siblings in danger. 

Later, Wendy wakes up on a beach, and calls for Peter and her brothers. But they don’t respond.

An indigenous girl, Tiger Lily, finds her and is willing to help. But the lost boys and girls see Wendy as a trespasser and want her away. Eventually, though, they are willing to help her find Peter and her brothers.

Meanwhile, John and Michael are chained to a cave wall by the pirates. As they chant, “No children in Neverland,” Peter, disguised as a pirate with a fake beard, chants with them. 

But Captain Hook catches him faking the look. Peter annoys him by calling him a codfish and pushing him toward a giant crocodile, which he fears.

Wendy and the lost boys and girls find Peter – except that Wendy slaps him because he only sort of saved the day. This leads to them having disagreements. Eventually, Peter gives up with Wendy.

But the pirates push him to kill him. Wendy and the other children are also in danger. 

There are a lot of aspects I admired in this movie. A major one is the use of racial diversity and the increased number of female characters. 

Another strength that drastically differs from the 1953 cartoon is how Tiger Lily is portrayed, besides being older. She is given several lines, while in the animated film, she is only given one.

But the best part about her is her heroism and complexity. She is depicted as a brave, compassionate, and caring character, who is willing to aid the children and fight against the pirates.

I was surprised that Peter and Wendy didn’t get along throughout much of the film. The scene when Wendy slapped him shocked me.

Another part that surprised me was how Captain Hook used to be Peter’s friend, but left him. And when he returned, he’d become evil.

I don’t know if this is canon to the original tale, or if the filmmakers added this backstory. But it does make an interesting twist 

As always, more twists and turns happen throughout the film. One was a POV where the shot is behind Peter as he flies. It made me feel like I was flying behind him.

However, not all of the twists or turns pleased me.

There were some Inconsistencies, such as Wendy’s hair changing lengths, and within the same settings, when only minutes had passed.

Another bizarre moment is when Mary, the children’s mother, sings Wendy a lullaby. She looks like she’s in her early teens, which many consider too big for lullabies. I even thought, Isn’t Wendy too old for lullabies?

But the biggest flaw was the level of conflict – It wasn’t strong enough throughout a large portion of the movie. It did increase, though. However, I still expected higher levels of conflict.

That made the movie kind of boring. I even checked how much time remained.

I give Peter Pan and Wendy 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Published by Sunayna Prasad

I enjoy writing stories, creating artwork, watching movies and TV shows, cooking, and traveling. These are the topics of my posts. I also publish books, where you can learn about them on my website, Be sure to copy and paste the link and subscribe to my newsletter on the email list button on the homepage.

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