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Film: Peter Pan
"I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!"

The 2003 movie adaptation of Peter Pan based on the original play. As far as film versions of Peter Pan go, it is perhaps the adaptation that stays closest to the play and the novel.

It's a familiar story: Peter Pan takes the Darling children back to Neverland to join the Lost Boys and to make Wendy their mother. The idea of Peter Pan's immortality and unending youth are explored, along with much darker and heavier themes than the animated Disney version you remember from when you were a kid, with more violence, death and heavy themes including Pan's eternal immaturity, Wendy's emerging sexuality, and the implications of childlike innocence and moral ambiguity with a sword.

This film provides examples of:

  • Acting for Two: As in the play, the same actor plays both Hook and Mr. Darling.
  • Action Girl: Wendy wielding a sword against pirates.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Puts far more emphasis on Wendy's crush on Peter that most other versions.
  • Age Lift: Peter is eternally around six or seven in the original novel. In here he's aged up to be around twelve or thirteen, the same age as Wendy.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Hook.
    Hook: Old, alone.....done for.
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: On a fictional level. Some viewers were upset that Hook could fly at the end, since he should have no happy thoughts, but in the book, happy thoughts are not actually required, that was just something Peter made up.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Wendy to Peter, after he tries to convince her (and himself) that whatever relationship is developing between them is only make-believe.
    Wendy: Peter, what are your real... feelings?
    Peter: Feelings?
    ...
    Wendy: [What do you feel?] Love?
    Peter: Love?
    Wendy: Love.
    Peter: I have never heard of it.
    Wendy: I think you have, Peter. I daresay you've felt it yourself, for something... or someone.
  • Babies Ever After: Aunt Millicent gains a son in Slightly - though he's at least eight years old. The original ending would have also shown grown-up Wendy with her daughter Jane.
  • Battle Chant: In the scene where Pan finds Tinkerbell lying dead. The Darling children and the Lost Boys had been captured by Captain Hook. Hook had told them that Pan is dead, and they had no choice but to join Hook's crew, or walk the plank. With the heroic morale at its nadir, Pan's "I do believe in fairies" then belies Hook's claim, and puts fresh heart into the children to resist Hook. With the repetition of the mantra "I do believe in fairies! I do, I do!", Pan's passion and conviction became so strong that the Lost Boys took up the chant, then the Darling children joined them, then other children in London joined as well, eventually spreading to Hook's own pirate crew. This results in Tinkerbell coming back to life.
  • Berserk Button: Don't remind Hook of what Pan did to his hand if you want to keep your face intact (not cutting it off, which Hook is actually grateful for, but feeding it to the crocodile.)
  • Bittersweet Ending: Though Captain Hook and his pirates have been defeated and Neverland restored to a time of peace, Peter and Wendy must come to terms with the fact that she wants to grow up and he does not, resulting in them parting ways.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Smee does this all the time.
  • Breaking Speech: Hook pulls this on Peter to fill him with unhappy thoughts of Wendy's departure and cause him to be unable to fly.
  • Brick Joke: The kiss/thimble confusion.
  • Canon Foreigner: Aunt Millicent.
  • Character Development: Wendy's story is essentially her fleeing from her life because she's terrified of growing up - but ultimately realising she simply wasn't ready for it at the time. But is now.
  • The Charmer: Peter, so very much. As Wendy says, "It is perfectly delightful the way you talk about girls!" And that little grin and mock-modest shrug he gives toward the end of the movie—Oh, the cleverness of him!
  • Children Are Innocent: And occasionally unthinkingly violent because of it.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Tinker Bell.
  • Crosscast Role: A notable aversion. Jeremy Sumpter is the first boy to play Peter in a live-action film, probably the first in a mainstream live-acting production counting the plays and musicals.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than the widely-known Disney version. This film cleaves more closely to the book, shocking some viewers not expecting this kind of (PG) violence.
    • Hook himself. The original play and novel's version was darker than Disney's, yes, but the movie's version goes even farther than that, making him a very effective psychological manipulator and adding sexual predator vibes in his relationship with Wendy.
  • Disney Villain Death: Hook falls from the air into the open mouth of the crocodile.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Wendy kisses Peter and the guy BURSTS INTO FLIGHT WITH A HUGE SMILE ON HIS FACE.
  • Empathic Environment / Fisher King: Neverland reacts to Peter's feelings as well as his presence; when he's upset it storms, and when he's gone it freezes into winter.
  • First Kiss: Also counts as a Last Kiss.
  • Good Is Not Nice: This is Peter's problem to some extent.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Hook's outfits certainly apply, even if they tend to come from several different periods.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Wendy certainly thinks so, which is why she's willing to run away to Neverland. She changes her mind when she realises she was only afraid of it because she wasn't ready for it. She realises that there are benefits and good things about growing up.
  • Happily Adopted: All the Lost Boys at the end.
  • Hates Baths: Nana the dog has to hoist Michael onto her back and throw him into the bath tub every day.
    • Even as one of his happy thoughts one of the things he says is, "...never to take a bath again...!"
  • Hook Hand: Take a wild guess.
  • Huddle Shot: "We shall build a house around her!"
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Hook's eyes are cold and evil, something that's Lampshaded several times.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Wendy, many of the Lost Boys all have the innocent variety.
  • Innocent Innuendo: After Peter loses his shadow in the room Wendy sketches a picture of him hovering over her bed. Her teacher of course knows nothing about Peter so she assumes it means something else...
  • Ironic Echo: After Wendy sews his shadow back on Peter says "oh, the cleverness of me" (ignoring that Wendy did the work). At the end after he has beaten the pirates Wendy says "oh, the cleverness of you".
  • Lack of Empathy: Hook and, to an extent, Peter himself.
  • Luminescent Blush: John when he gets a thank you kiss off Tiger Lily.
  • Magical Native American: The woman who "heals" Michael's decapitated bear.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: One trailer included a scene of Wendy smashing one of John's toy soldiers. For those who haven't seen it, the soldier was named Napoleon so that's what John means when he shouts the name out during the fairy dust scene.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook is almost as hot as (if not even hotter than) pirate captain Jack Sparrow himself. Don't believe me? Take a look!
    • Jeremy Sumpter as Peter Pan.
  • Mood Lighting: The film uses this a lot in the Neverland sequences, and even quite a bit in London.
  • Motivational Kiss: Peter is nearly defeated by Hook until he gets one from Wendy.
    • Tiger Lily also gives one to John.
  • Mythology Gag: A whole bunch to the Disney movie (the Indians capturing and binding Michael's bear as if it's a human being, Peter rescuing Wendy from the plank and the superstitious pirates going crazy because they don't hear a splash), and possibly one to the anime series (the John/Tiger Lily Ship Tease). There's also Wendy deciding on "Red-Handed Jill" as her pirate name; in the original novel and play, John was offered a position with the crew and wanted to be called Red-Handed Jack.
    • Aunt Millicent adopting Slightly was taken from the play, where the housekeeper Liza adopts him when he arrives late.
  • Narrator All Along: The original ending would have done this, revealing that the narrator was Wendy all grown up. The final ending only implies it.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The crocodile which ate Hook's hand pays a surprise visit when he tries to set a trap for Peter.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: Jason Isaac (Hook/Mr.Darling) says this on a behind the scenes when the kids are mucking around, seen here.
    Jason: Never work with children, animals or animal-like children.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Hook has shades of this at times with both Peter and Wendy, to the point where some critics were creeped out. Jason Isaacs has mentioned in interviews how incredibly uncomfortable some of that was to portray.
  • Oblivious to Love: Played slightly differently than in the novel; Peter can feel love; he's just too immature to allow himself to or admit it if/when he does.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Very much so from the Disney movie. They try to drown people in both films, but in Disney's they're beautiful sassy teenagers whose drowning attempts are "just for fun." They look downright creepy in this one, speak with these strange clicking sounds, and their attempt to drown someone is not played for laughs.
  • Pajama Clad Hero: Heroes—the Darling children all go to Neverland in their PJ's, and remain in them throughout the whole adventure.
  • Pirate Girl: Wendy considers an offer to be a pirate on Hook's ship, though she eventually turns it down.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything:
    • That we see, at least. Hook seems single-mindedly obsessed with killing Peter, but beyond that don't seem to do much. In the book it's implied they make raids on the Indians at times, but there's really not a lot in Neverland for them to do.
    • It's hinted by Hook's declaration that they "sail off at dawn" upon believing that Peter is dead, that they don't do anything because they are so single-mindedly obsessed with killing Peter.
  • The Power of Love
  • Puppy Love: Peter and Wendy. An in-universe example as it is played up way more in this movie than most adaptations.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Hook's eyes turn red just before he kills someone, and can cry tears of poison. He tries to kill Peter with that poison, but Tinker Bell drinks it first.
  • Running Gag: Hook shooting a member of his crew after he makes a remark that bothers him.
  • Shout-Out: When cornered by the crocodile at Black Castle, Hook screams "SMEEEEEE!", which is a direct take from the Disney movie rather than the original play and book.
  • Silent Snarker: Tiger Lily
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Hook seems to genuinely relate to Peter for a moment during his Breaking Speech when he predicts that Pan will die alone and unloved... just like Hook.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Peter briefly dips his hand in it, making splashes, as they arrive in Neverland.
  • Team Mom: Wendy, obviously.
  • Kid Wasteland: The Lost Boys. Even when someone is brought in to take care of them, it's another (somewhat older) kid.
  • The Ace: Peter is this in-universe
  • Teens Are Short: Jeremy Sumpter went through such a growth spurt during filming that Wendy's bedroom window had to be altered a few times to keep continuity.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: In the original ending we would have Rachel Hurd Wood into Saffron Burrows playing older Wendy.
  • Translation: Yes:
    • When Smee is helping Captain Hook "interview" Tiger Lily, her (untitled) invective goes on forever. Smee's translation, much less.
    • Also counts as Tactful Translation, since it's obvious that Tiger Lily is not being nearly as polite as Smee's translation. Her actress gives a more accurate translation in one of the DVD extras: she says "You are the life-stealer. You are evil. You smell bad. You smell of bear-poop. You are many moons old and ugly" in Mahican.
  • Uncanny Valley: Invoked with the mermaids, with their greyish skin, webbed hands and blank eyes.
  • Xenafication: In-universe example. Wendy's version of Cinderella swashbuckles with pirates who steal her glass slippers and threatens to cut down anyone who calls her "girly". Also, when Hook mocks stories like Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty as "love stories", Wendy insists they are "adventures".
    • Wendy herself qualifies, actually becoming skilled at sword fighting in this version, even clashing with Peter himself on one occasion.
  • Yandere: Tinkerbell obviously. But the narrator stresses that "fairies are so small they only have room for one feeling at a time". So Tinkerbell hovers between this and a Tsundere.

HookFranchise/Peter PanPeter Pan & the Pirates
GigliCreator/Revolution StudiosHellboy
Percy Jackson and the OlympiansFantasy FilmsPirates of the Caribbean
PaycheckFilms of 2000 - 2004 Radio

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