Peter Pan is not the first Disney movie that jumps to most people’s minds, but even among those who take issue with the film’s ending (like myself- and the New York Times… upon release) for not staying true to the original work, and thus somewhat negating the adventure, it’s a Disney classic that has a firm place within the Disney establishment. Whether it’s the classic ride at Disneyland, Tinkerbell’s inclusion in the Disney logo roll, the recent explosion in popularity of the new Tinkerbell movies and cute spins like Jake and the Never Land Pirates, or dozens of other treats, Peter Pan has touched much of the Disney world.
The last film to feature the talents of all of Disney’s Nine Old Men, the film has a much celebrated, and interesting production story, being put on hold (originally intended to be the fourth feature-length release) due to copyright issues first, and then for the war.
The classic tale of youth and adventure is now available in Diamond Edition release, and the remastered, restored film looks amazing on Blu-Ray, though it may be the least “Diamond” of the Diamond Edition efforts to date. It comes with a number of bonuses, ultimately a great collection of them, but there aren’t many that are actually new to this release.
For fans, there’s probably little about a release like this that is more important than the visual production you’re going to get on the Blu-Ray, and there’s no way to complain about this release on that score. What’s involved in the complete process of making an animated film this old compete with HD quality is completely unknown to me, but for those who have watched non-restored HD video, the difference is truly beyond belief. The color and clarity look as brilliant as anything that might have been produced today, the only giveaway being the unmistakable style of animation. There’s something impressive about watching a film like this, and knowing you’re actually seeing it better than it has ever been seen.
But, what adds to the sell of the release is how well this film actually holds up over time. That’s especially true because, in my opinion, many of the earliest Disney films don’t really. They’re still great, but they don’t deliver the fun and wonder to new generations. At least, not nearly as well as Peter Pan.
The release comes with a great many bonuses that have been previously released – including Tinker Bell: A Fairy’s Tale, A Making Of featurette that is very cool, and an audio commentary track hosted by Roy Disney. There are actually quite a few more, and they already add up to enough worthy bonuses to make it a great package.
On the other hand, some people will naturally want a bit of addition to their Diamond Edition, and this one only offers a featurette on the Nine Old Men, an introduction by Diane Disney Miller, some storyboards of deleted scenes, a song that didn’t make the final cut, and an Intermission mode.
None of these are too spectacular actually, although the deleted scenes are something of a treasure for fans who might want to know the different directions considered at various times. The song “Never Smile at a Crocodile,” though celebrated in the release press package as “never before heard,” was actually released as a promotion with the film, even though it isn’t in the film, and has been “heard” for decades, released by several artists.
The featurette is solid, and Intermission mode is a fun addition that offers up some “games” when you pause the movie.
Finally, the release has something of a non-bonus, though it’s one that is prominently displayed on the packaging. A Storybook App that is now available. It costs money, and is exactly what it claims, a storybook App, that doesn’t exactly have much connection with the release. Unlike Second Screen Apps that have covered many recent releases, this one may be seen as a bit of a switcheroo to some consumers when they get home and realize this isn’t what they were thinking.
All in all, while still a great release, and a film everyone should own, those who have been stockpiling Diamond Editions may feel a little deflated when it comes to this one. Previous Diamond Editions have really been top notch releases, adding great content, and making even the purchase of films already owned worthwhile. This one is worth it for the HD viewing experience alone, but I predict some will feel disappointed in the release.
The Walt Disney Studios celebrates the 60th Anniversary release of Walt Disney’s classic, “Peter Pan,” as it soars to all-new heights – with a new digital restoration and high definition picture and sound – for the first time on Blu-ray™. The classic tale that taught us all “to believe” and first introduced us to the Darling children – Wendy, John and Michael – as they flew with Peter Pan and Tinker Bell past the second star to the right and straight on ‘till morning to the enchanted world of Never Land. Rediscover the magical adventure and relive childhood memories of this great bedtime story.
The “Peter Pan” Diamond Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy & Storybook App) is a “must-own” addition to everyone’s home entertainment collection, filled with high-flying bonus features for all ages that includes – the groundbreaking feature Disney Intermission, Growing up with Nine Old Men short film, never-before-seen Deleted Scenes and a never-before-heard Deleted Song.
“Peter Pan” is a timeless classic from Disney’s Golden Age of animation. The film is one of three to boast all nine of Walt’s famous “Nine Old Men” as Directing Animators, and is a revered audience favorite.
Tink in Drawer
First Sight of Never Land
Live Action Reference Gallery
Concept Art Gallery
To learn more and keep informed on this release:
• “Like” the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/PeterPan
• Follow us on Twitter at @DisneyPictures
• View videos at www.YouTube.com/DisneyMovies