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Trivia / Peter Pan

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The original story provides examples of:

  • Baby Name Trend Starter: Peter Pan is often cited as creating the name "Wendy". It was actually an obscure nickname for "Gwendolyn".
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: "Second to the right", not, as in the Disney version, "Second star to the right". As a result of Disney's adaptation, most adaptations have Neverland be literally a star, when it was not in the original novel.
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  • Continuity Nod: Captain Hook is revealed to have been at Eton College. This was hinted at in the original play note , and confirmed by J. M. Barrie, it in a speech he gave at Eton in 1927.
  • What Could Have Been: The original Anon: A Play has plenty:
    • Originally it was confirmed that Tiger Lily was indeed in love with Peter, even going as far as to threaten to scalp him if he didn't marry her while he was trying to go and rescue the Darlings.
    • It is revealed that Captain Hook survived being eaten by the crocodile because he clawed it in the eye with his hook, and is still out to get revenge.
    • Originally when the Darlings and the Lost Boys return to London, Peter returns and stays with them; eventually deciding to live in the Kensington Gardens with Wendy, implying that he secretly/unknowingly did decide to grow up as Wendy encourages Peter to always be a boy at heart when Peter realises that he's almost grown into a man.
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  • In the original play, Peter and the Lost Boys could fly on their own. When children started to injure themselves by jumping off their beds, Barrie added the rule that characters needed fairy dust in order to fly.

Disney's Peter Pan provides examples of:

  • Acting for Two: As in the tradition for Captain Hook and Mr. Darling to be played by the same actor on stage, they are both voiced by Hans Conreid. They're also drawn to look a little similar.
  • Actor Allusion: Wendy shares a voice actress with Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and several scenes play this up. Her general personality resembles Alice in the first place, and her rambling to Peter when she first meets him seems to call back to how much of Alice in Wonderland is taken up of Alice talking to herself. Additionally Kathryn Beaumont was the live action model for both Wendy and Alice.
    Peter: Girls talk too much.
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  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Averted. In both movies, Peter is voiced by males: Bobby Driscoll in the first movie and Blayne Weaver in Return to Neverland. In fact, the Disney version was the first one to have a male play Peter's part rather than a female.
  • Cut Song:
    • "Never Smile at a Crocodile" (though the melody still is heard when Tick-Tock enters the scene, and it appeared in a Sing Along Songs volume), "Neverland" and a few songs for the pirates.
    • "The Second Star to the Right" originated from a deleted song from Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland, "Beyond the Laughing Sky".
    • Another song that was cut involved the pirates trying to persuade the Lost Boys to join their crew. It was eventually replaced with a different song, "The Elegant Captain Hook".
  • Development Hell: This was intended to be Disney's second theatrical film, but Walt didn't get the rights to it until 1939, when J.M. Barrie bequeathed the ones to his play to him. Then, he began developing the story and character designs, and intended it to be his fourth film. However, the onset of World War II put the brakes on this — along with several other films — and it became Disney's fourteenth entry in 1953. This also resulted in the movie appearing as an Early-Bird Cameo along with Alice in Wonderland as a storybook on the shelf at the very beginning of Pinocchio, as well as a brief appearance of a Captain Hook sculpture in The Reluctant Dragon.
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  • Milestone Celebration:
    • In 1998, Walt Disney Home Video celebrated Peter Pan's 45th Anniversary by selling it on V/H/S and LaserDisc for the first time in eight years, this time with a THX-certified transfer, and the documentary You Can Fly: The Making of Peter Pan. Unlike most of the LaserDisc documentaries for Disney movies that joined their most elite home video lines of the 21st century, this one accompanied all of its editions under those lines.
    • The 2013 Diamond Edition Blu-ray Discs and high definition digital copies came out exactly 60 years after the theatrical premiere. note 
  • Old Shame:
    • While the film was a success, Walt Disney didn't like the title character himself, citing that he was cold and unlikable.
    • Disney animator Marc Davis said in an interview that he feels this way toward the Indians, saying that they would have portrayed them differently if the film were made today.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original version of the film was much, MUCH darker.
    • There was a storyboarded sequence that showed Peter and the children having one last adventure aboard the flying pirate ship and bidding each other farewell.
    • Early drafts had Nana going with the children to Neverland, and the whole story would have been told through her eyes.
    • Walt Disney himself wanted the movie to be about Peter kidnapping Wendy to be a mother for the Lost Boys.
    • Disney considered having only Wendy and Michael go to Neverland, with John staying behind. This would have been to emphasise John as trying to be very much like his father. There are some traces of this - with John being more pompous than the other two - but this trait was dropped.
    • There was going to be a live-action Tinker Bell film, re-telling the events of the film through Tink's eyes, similar to Maleficent, and Tink was to be portrayed by Elizabeth Banks. She was then replace by Reese Witherspoon, who also came on board to produce. The announcement of a live-action remake of Peter Pan, along with the decreasing popularity of the character, as evident from the cancellation of the Disney Fairies films due to low merchandise sales, ultimately put an end to this film.

The 2003 film version provides examples of:

  • Ability over Appearance: A really impressive example. Tinkerbell was originally going to be entirely CGI. However Ludivine Sagnier lobbied for the role and impressed PJ Hogan enough to cast her.
  • Acclaimed Flop: Despite being a certified Box Office Bomb (see below), it received near universal critical acclaim and is widely considered to be one of the best Peter Pan adaptations out there. Unshaved Mouse called it superior to the Disney version.
  • Actor-Shared Background: The tattoo Hook has on his shoulder references Eton College, where he went to school. Jason Isaacs also attended there.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget: $100 million, with an additional 30.6 million in marketing costs. Box office: $48,462,608 (domestically), $121,975,011 (worldwide). Opening around the same time as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King couldn't have helped.
  • California Doubling: The film was shot mainly in Australia. Original plans included Tahiti and New Zealand as filming locations too.
  • Creator Killer: The movie's financial failure was the motivation for the NBCUniversal merger, as Universal's parent company Vivendi sold 80% of its stake of the studio to General Electric, the then-owner of NBC, shortly after the movie bombed. It couldn't have helped that prior to Peter Pan's release, Vivendi was already saddled with debt thanks to over-expanding its media sector.
  • Dueling Works: Finding Neverland - a biopic of JM Barrie - was set for a 2003 release. But the producers of this film had the rights to the Peter Pan story and wouldn't allow any scenes from the play to feature in the film unless they pushed it back for another year.
  • Jossed: A lot of viewers assumed that the 'Capt. Jas. Hook' sign on the door was a reference to Jason Isaacs. But 'Jas' is an abbreviation for the name James, and Hook is referred to as such in the book.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Jason Isaacs considers this his favourite film.
  • Screwed by the Network: The film was released in a crowded holiday market - while Return of the King was out and right before Cheaper by the Dozen came out too. It also faced competition from Love Actually.
  • Scully Box: Inverted. As Jeremy Sumpter went through a growth spurt during filming, the window nursery had to rebuilt four times.
  • Troubled Production: The final budget was kept secret because it bloated so much during filming, mostly thanks to the art department. Both the child actors Jeremy Sumpter and Rachel Hurd Wood had to be hospitalised for injury and exhaustion. Jason Isaacs fell out of his harness at one point and was left dangling upside down in the air by his ankles.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original ending would have had the narrator being revealed to be Wendy as a grown woman (whereas it's only implied in the theatrical cut) telling the story to her daughter Jane. Peter would then have visited them and Wendy would have allowed Jane to go off to Neverland with him.
    • Early in production, the film was envisioned as a prequel to Hook. Dustin Hoffman had no interest in reprising his role as Hook though, so the idea was abandoned.
    • Liam Aiken was about to audition for Peter, but he was deemed too young. He was only twelve at the time and producers wanted an actor in the 14-17 range. Brie Larson likewise auditioned for the role of Wendy.

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