Full page view
HISTORY

The film’s voice-cast list is preceded by the phrase “With the talents of.” The picture opens with an offscreen narrator describing the Darling family, whom “Peter Pan” chose to visit because they believed in him. The opening credits include the written statement: “Walt Disney Productions is grateful to the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, to which Sir James M. Barrie gave his copyright of Peter Pan .” Barrie's story about a boy who refused to grow up originated as nursery tales he told to the five grandsons (including Peter and Michael) of novelist George du Maurier. Peter Pan opened in London in Dec 1904, and Barrie's novelization, entitled Peter and Wendy , was first published in 1911.
       According to studio press materials, Disney considered producing an animated version of Barrie’s play as early as 1935, and in 1939 arranged to secure screen rights from the hospital. A 13 Nov 1940 HR news item stated that the film was beginning production, while a 15 May 1942 HR article reported that the studio “was nearing completion” of preliminary work. At that point, however, a few months after the United States's entry into World War II, Disney shelved all fiction efforts in order to focus on the production of war films for the government.
       Production on Peter Pan resumed in early May 1949, at which point DV reported that the studio planned to release the film in 1951. The studio produced a live-action version of the story, or a working model, for the use of the animators. This version, as discussed in an Aug 1952 ... More Less

The film’s voice-cast list is preceded by the phrase “With the talents of.” The picture opens with an offscreen narrator describing the Darling family, whom “Peter Pan” chose to visit because they believed in him. The opening credits include the written statement: “Walt Disney Productions is grateful to the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, to which Sir James M. Barrie gave his copyright of Peter Pan .” Barrie's story about a boy who refused to grow up originated as nursery tales he told to the five grandsons (including Peter and Michael) of novelist George du Maurier. Peter Pan opened in London in Dec 1904, and Barrie's novelization, entitled Peter and Wendy , was first published in 1911.
       According to studio press materials, Disney considered producing an animated version of Barrie’s play as early as 1935, and in 1939 arranged to secure screen rights from the hospital. A 13 Nov 1940 HR news item stated that the film was beginning production, while a 15 May 1942 HR article reported that the studio “was nearing completion” of preliminary work. At that point, however, a few months after the United States's entry into World War II, Disney shelved all fiction efforts in order to focus on the production of war films for the government.
       Production on Peter Pan resumed in early May 1949, at which point DV reported that the studio planned to release the film in 1951. The studio produced a live-action version of the story, or a working model, for the use of the animators. This version, as discussed in an Aug 1952 LAT article, featured the actors and actresses who were the models for each character, including Margaret Kerry as “Tinker Bell” and a mermaid, Roland Dupree as Peter Pan, and June Foray and Connie Hilton as mermaids. Although some contemporary sources, including the Feb 1953 New Yorker review, assumed that Tinker Bell was modeled after Marilyn Monroe, studio materials refute this. In a Feb 2002 LAT article, Kerry stated that the resemblance to Monroe arose from animator Marc Davis’ decision to depict the bottom half of Tinker Bell as “womanly” while maintaining a more girlish appearance to the upper half. Tinker Bell has since become an iconographic symbol for the studio as well as part of the animated logo that introduces Disney's television program, The Wonderful World of Disney .
       In a Jun 1952 LAEx article, Disney asserted that he had taken pains to stay true to Barrie’s play while making the story more cinematic. Disney retained many of the stage traditions, including casting the same the actor as both "Mr. Darling" and "Captain Hook." Most changes were received favorably by critics, particularly the fairy-girl appearance of Tinker Bell, who had always been represented by a beam of light in staged versions of the play. In addition, in the past Peter Pan had always been played by a female actor. Many critics expressed disappointment, however, with the omission of the scene in the play in which audience members save Tinker Bell by clapping if they believe in fairies.
       Although Disney stated in the Jun 1952 LAEx article that the film cost $3 million, all other sources estimate the final cost at $4 million. According to studio press materials, the final film used 500,000 separate drawings. On 14 Jun 1951, HR asserted that the picture would be released for Christmas 1952, and on 24 Oct 1951, DV reported that CBS and NBC were in discussions with Disney for the rights to show portions of the touring stage show, which starred Veronica Lake and Lawrence Tibbett, on their Christmas day broadcast. At the time of Peter Pan 's release, in Feb 1953, the reviews were universally laudatory.
       According to an 8 Apr 1953 DV news item, the studio prepared a radio version of the film to be broadcast in Korea and China, with original songs and dialogue to be dubbed into each country’s languages. Lux Radio Theatre broadcast a version of the film on 21 Dec 1953, starring Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont and John Carradine. In Oct 1955, as noted in a 3 Aug 1955 DV news item, Disney’s in-house distribution arm, Buena Vista, officially took over distribution of the film from RKO. The article also stated that the film had earned $7 million at that point. After six theatrical re-releases, the studio made Peter Pan available on videotape in May 1990, at which point The Wall Street Journal reported the picture’s profits as $145 million.
       A staging of Peter Pan , starring Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard, opened on Broadway on 20 Oct 1954. That version was filmed for broadcast on NBC on Mar 1955, and was re-broadcast annually for many years after. Other film adaptations of Peter Pan include the 1925 Paramount feature Peter Pan , directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Betty Bronson (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ), and a 2002 Disney straight-to-video sequel to the feature, entitled Return to Never Land . Animators for that film, according to a 19 Feb 2002 LAT article, used the original Peter Pan working model to illustrate characters. Steven Spielberg directed a 1991 version for TriStar Pictures called Hook , which envisioned Peter Pan, played by Robin Williams, as an adult. Universal, Columbia and Revolution produced a live-action version of Peter Pan in 2003, directed by P. J. Hogan and starring Jeremy Sumpter and Jason Isaacs. In 2004's biographical feature film Finding Neverland , Johnny Depp portrayed Barrie during the years in which he conceived and wrote Peter Pan . That film received several Academy Award nominations, including Best Film and Best Actor, and won the Oscar for Best Original Score (Jan A. P. Kaczmarek). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
17 Jan 1953.
---
Daily Variety
6 May 1949.
---
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1951.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jan 53
p. 3.
Daily Variety
8 Apr 1953.
---
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1955.
---
Film Daily
14 Jan 53
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Nov 1940
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 May 1942
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 1942
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
8 May 1951
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 1951
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jan 53
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 2002.
---
Los Angeles Daily News
24 Feb 2002
pp. 1-2.
Los Angeles Examiner
1 Jun 1952.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Aug 1952.
---
Los Angeles Times
19 Feb 2002
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Jan 53
p. 1685.
New York Times
12 Feb 53
p. 23.
New York Times
12 Apr 1953.
---
New Yorker
21 Feb 1953.
---
Newsweek
16 Feb 1953.
---
Variety
11 May 1949.
---
Variety
14 Jan 53
p. 6.
Wall Street Journal
17 May 1990.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Walt Disney Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Story
Story
Story
Story
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
Vocal arr
Mus ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec processes
ANIMATION
Layout
Layout
Layout
Layout
Layout
Layout
Col and styling
Col and styling
Col and styling
Col and styling
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Backgrounds
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Dir anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Character anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Peter Pan by James M. Barrie (London, 27 Dec 1904).
MUSIC
"Peter Pan Theme" by Oliver Wallace.
SONGS
"The Elegant Captain Hook," "The Second Star to the Right," "What Made the Red Man Red?" "You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can Fly" and "Your Mother and Mine," words and music by Sammy Cahn and Sammy Fain
"Peter Pan," words and music by Oliver Wallace, Jack Lawrence and Victor Young
"Peter Pan Story," words and music by Sammy Fain, Sammy Cahn, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler and Ted Sears
+
SONGS
"The Elegant Captain Hook," "The Second Star to the Right," "What Made the Red Man Red?" "You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can Fly" and "Your Mother and Mine," words and music by Sammy Cahn and Sammy Fain
"Peter Pan," words and music by Oliver Wallace, Jack Lawrence and Victor Young
"Peter Pan Story," words and music by Sammy Fain, Sammy Cahn, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler and Ted Sears
"A Pirate's Life," words by Erdman Penner, music by Oliver Wallace
"March of the Lost Boys (Tee Dum Tee Dee)," words by Ted Sears, music by Winston Hibler and Oliver Wallace
"Never Smile at a Crocodile," words by Jack Lawrence, music by Frank Churchill.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 February 1953
Production Date:
early 1942
May 1949--mid 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Walt Disney Productions
Copyright Date:
13 November 1952
Copyright Number:
LP3193
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
Technicolor
Animation
Duration(in mins):
76-77
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
16065
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Peter Pan, a sprite who lives in a fantastical world of Never Land and refuses to grow up, chooses to visit the Darling family of London, father George, mother Mary, daughter Wendy and sons John and Michael. In the house, the blustery Mr. Darling dismays Wendy, the oldest, with the information that soon she will have to move out of the nursery and into her own room. After embarrassing himself by tripping over the children’s toys, Mr. Darling then insists that the children’s nanny, a maternal Saint Bernard, be relieved of her duties and tied up outside. Before her parents leave for the night, Wendy asks her mother to leave the window open, hoping that Peter will return for his shadow, which she has stolen. Peter, with his little fairy friend Tinker Bell, are indeed awaiting the Darling parents’ departure, and soon fly into the nursery, where Wendy insists on sewing Peter’s shadow back to his body. Peter is at first wary of Wendy but soon warms to her maternal coddling, prompting Tinker Bell’s jealousy, especially after Wendy unintentionally traps her in a drawer. Peter commands Wendy to accompany him to Never Land, where his band of Lost Boys long to hear bedtime stories. Wendy offers Peter a kiss in return, spurring Tinker Bell to free herself from the drawer and pull Peter away. The boys awaken, and upon learning of the opportunity to accompany Peter, agree to follow his orders. He soon teaches the Darlings to fly, which requires happy thoughts and a pinch of fairy dust, and spirits them away to Never Land. There, Peter’s nemesis, Captain Hook, leads a band of vicious pirates, including the amiable ... +


Peter Pan, a sprite who lives in a fantastical world of Never Land and refuses to grow up, chooses to visit the Darling family of London, father George, mother Mary, daughter Wendy and sons John and Michael. In the house, the blustery Mr. Darling dismays Wendy, the oldest, with the information that soon she will have to move out of the nursery and into her own room. After embarrassing himself by tripping over the children’s toys, Mr. Darling then insists that the children’s nanny, a maternal Saint Bernard, be relieved of her duties and tied up outside. Before her parents leave for the night, Wendy asks her mother to leave the window open, hoping that Peter will return for his shadow, which she has stolen. Peter, with his little fairy friend Tinker Bell, are indeed awaiting the Darling parents’ departure, and soon fly into the nursery, where Wendy insists on sewing Peter’s shadow back to his body. Peter is at first wary of Wendy but soon warms to her maternal coddling, prompting Tinker Bell’s jealousy, especially after Wendy unintentionally traps her in a drawer. Peter commands Wendy to accompany him to Never Land, where his band of Lost Boys long to hear bedtime stories. Wendy offers Peter a kiss in return, spurring Tinker Bell to free herself from the drawer and pull Peter away. The boys awaken, and upon learning of the opportunity to accompany Peter, agree to follow his orders. He soon teaches the Darlings to fly, which requires happy thoughts and a pinch of fairy dust, and spirits them away to Never Land. There, Peter’s nemesis, Captain Hook, leads a band of vicious pirates, including the amiable Smee. Hook has hated Peter since the boy chopped off the pirate’s hand and fed it to a crocodile, which now lusts for another taste of Hook. Luckily, the crocodile has swallowed an alarm clock, whose ticking warns Hook of the reptile’s presence. Hook now plans to kidnap Tiger Lily, the daughter of the resident Indian chief, and force her to reveal the whereabouts of the Lost Boys’s lair. When the pirate spots Peter approaching the island, along with the Darlings and Tinker Bell, he initiates an attack, firing cannons into the air. Peter instructs Tinker Bell to escort the children to the lair while he fights Hook, but instead she attempts to kill Wendy by waking the Lost Boys and informing them that a dangerous “Wendy Bird” is approaching. The boys shoot at Wendy until Peter returns to inform them of their mistake, and upon learning of Tinker Bell’s scheme, banishes the fairy forever, or at least for a week. Peter then brings Wendy to meet the island’s mermaids, leaving John to lead the Lost Boys in a raid on the Indians. The boys march across the island and soon find themselves surrounded by Indians, who lash them to a stake. Although the boys expect to be freed immediately, as usual, the chief informs them that they will all be killed unless the kidnapped Tiger Lily is returned to him by sunset. Meanwhile, Peter introduces Wendy to the mermaids, not realizing that they are in love with him. They try to drown Wendy, but Peter disciplines them. Just then, Hook sails by with Smee and the bound Tiger Lily. By impersonating the voice of a spirit, Peter tricks Hook into searching the nearby rocks, then mimics Hook’s voice in order to command Smee to release Tiger Lily. Hook soon spots Peter and the two engage in a sword fight, which ends with the pirate hanging over a cliff by his hook. At that moment, the crocodile appears, terrifying the captain, who falls into its jaws. As Smee rescues Hook, Peter seizes Tiger Lily and brings her home. That night, while the boys celebrate with the Indians, Hook hears that Peter has banished Tinker Bell and resolves to trick the fairy into divulging Peter’s lair. He entices Tinker Bell to the ship, where he stokes her jealousy and offers to “shanghai” Wendy if he can learn where she is staying. Tinker Bell happily shows Hook the entrance to the lair, down the trunk of Hangman’s Tree, but soon finds herself imprisoned on the ship. In the lair, Peter commands the Darlings to remain with him but Wendy insists that they must return to their mother, prompting the Lost Boys to ask what a mother is. Wendy’s fond recollections of mothers inspire the Boys to want to return home with her, infuriating Peter, who refuses to say goodbye. Wendy leads the boys out of the tree, but the pirates await and capture them, sending a bomb down to Peter disguised as a gift from Wendy. The children are taken to the ship and invited to become pirates, but Wendy, sure that Peter will save them, urges them all to walk the plank in rebellion. At the same time, Tinker Bell frees herself and rushes to warn Peter about the bomb, grabbing the package just as it explodes. Peter emerges from the debris unharmed, but finds Tinker Bell badly wounded. After tending to the fairy, Peter races to save Wendy from the plank and free the boys of their bonds. While Peter duels with Hook, the boys fight off the rest of the pirates. Hook tricks Peter into agreeing to fight without flying, and almost bests him, but Peter eventually triumphs. He consents to banish Hook instead of killing him, but the pirate attacks once again, and Peter pushes him into the mouth of the crocodile. While Smee and the pirates attempt to release Hook from the crocodile’s jaws, Peter, with Tinker Bell, pilots the ship back to London. There, Mr. and Mrs. Darling have just returned from their evening out, and Mr. Darling has decided to allow Wendy and Nanny to remain in the nursery. Although the nursery at first looks empty, Mrs. Darling soon spots Wendy asleep by the window, and the boys appear in their beds. Wendy informs her parents that she is ready to grow up and relates the strange tales of the evening, which Mr. and Mrs. Darling dismiss as fantasy until they spot the pirate ship flying through the clouds. It is then that Mr. Darling recognizes Peter from his childhood, and the family admires the ship together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.