This eveing I sat down and watched the live actor version of Peter Pan which came out last year. The kids had never seen it before and neither had I. The kids loved it. Kiki and Link were entranced and giggling through the whole movie. Gleek watched the first bit where Peter and the other kids fly and then spent the rest of the evening jumping off of furniture. Patches was just glad to have everyone in the same place where he could climb on everyone equally.
I enjoyed the movie. I can see why my kids love it. But the movie makers got it wrong. Most interpretations of Peter Pan get it “wrong”. I’ve read the book. It isn’t about Growing Up, it’s about being a kid. Growing up is that little bit at the end where you have to step out of the stories and magic to pass them on to your children.
Peter is the quintessential child. He is charming and spontaneous and mystifying and thoughtless and cruel and mischeivious. He is younger than all the movies depict as well. Every version I’ve ever seen shows him on the edge of puberty, the largest of the lost boys. In the book he still has all his baby teeth. He acts like a 6-7 year old.
The movies are magical and each has it’s own message. I especially enjoyed Hook with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. But for me none of the movies truly capture the magic contained in the book.