“Peter Pan & Wendy”: an Example of How Disney Can Make Good Remakes

The new adaptation of the "Peter Pan & Wendy" story, while not perfect, shows that Disney only needs good decisions to re-adapt original movies.

Still from the movie 'Peter Pan & Wendy'

Photo: Disney Plus

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: “Peter Pan & Wendy”: una muestra de que Disney puede hacer buenos remakes

Every time Disney puts out a new adaptation of their original tapes, the internet rocks. Although there is a tendency in the public that is in favor of these versions, the reality is that, in general, there is usually a strong rejection. Something like this happens with "The Little Mermaid", which receives diverse opinions that are motivated from the ideological part to the cinematographic one.

But in all cases there seems to be the same criticism of Disney, which is none other than the loss of the spirit of the original plot. Although it is true that in most cases there have been very important changes with respect to its base films, it is also true that Disney can learn from its mistakes.

And that's what he's done with "Peter Pan & Wendy"! This film seeks to adapt the work that Disney released 70 years ago. And Disney has achieved the balance between respect for the original film along with the logical changes that a live-action adaptation implies. At the same time, the film seeks a voice of its own that does not detract from, but complements the original.

Much of this success is due to its director, David Lowery, who knew how to be in charge of interesting films, such as "Peter's Dragon." His idea was clear from the beginning: to attract two different audiences. On the one hand, to those who never knew the original story. And on the other, to those who did know it, but wanted to be surprised by this adaptation.

So this is the only reason why Lowery has succeeded with his adaptation of "Peter Pan & Wendy"? Well, not necessarily. The story respects the original essence, but "increases" it with energy. That is to say, they delve into aspects that the first work did not have, such as details of the interior of Wendy's house.

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This results in a tape committed to telling the same things as before, but at a more advanced level. The innocence that characterizes the original work is maintained, but this time it provides a more dramatic component. Therefore, many are surprised that this tape can be more impressive than the first.

Much of this is due to the choice of actors. The most representative is Jude Law, who knows how to put himself in the shoes of the character of Captain James Hook. The link between Peter and Hook is dark, but not excessively. The spirit of family adventure is maintained, but without this implying that the protagonists will never be in danger.

All this results in the tape having a specific sensitivity. This is something that was already seen in the original tape, and the fear was that the live-action adaptation would not convey the same emotions. Although it is impossible to replicate them, the truth is that this production has done its job well from the first sequences.

And also the message undergoes a small change. Although Peter Pan always had the battle between the possibility of growing up or being a child forever, this is maintained here, but complemented by another idea. In other words, they talk about “duty” and “maturity”, so that the adventure also has a fresh air in this sense.

Regarding aesthetics, Neverland maintains the essence of the original, although without taking it further. A more daring artistic design would have been valued, but perhaps due to lack of budget or fear of criticism, they stayed in an aspect that complies with the essence and nothing more. For this reason, it sins in not being fantastic enough.

For the rest, "Peter Pan & Wendy" manages to be a film that will please both fans of Disney movies and those who have only seen a couple of movies. It is also living proof that a classic can be taken as a reference, to adapt it with its corresponding modifications, but without losing its spirit. It's now available on Disney Plus!

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