Peter Pan & Wendy

Remember the magic and excitement of Disney's 1953 classic, Peter Pan? Well, forget it because feminism is about to take a big runny dump on it.
47/10065389
Starring
Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Jude Law, Yara Shahidi
Director
David Lowery
Rating
PG
Genre
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family
Release date
April 28, 2023
Where to watch
Disney+
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Plot/Story
Visuals/Cinematography
Performance
Direction
Children Suitability
Parent Appeal
Non-Wokeness
Rating Summary
Featuring bland to bad performances, Peter Pan & Wendy is a slowly-paced and tragically inferior live-action re-telling of the 1953 Disney version of J.M. Barrie's classic 1904 tale. 
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Peter Pan made his first appearance in the middle chapters of J.M. Barrie’s 1902 novel The Little White Bird. In it, he was a 7-day-old boy who ran away from home upon learning of growing up. He lived in the Kensington Gardens and enjoyed playing as well as making graves for lost children.

Disclaimer: I recognize that some of my fellow conservatives continue to pay for Disney+ so that they have easy access to classic Disney content as well as a few other choice offerings, while others have sworn off Disney altogether. Were it not for the fact that I review movies and TV programs, I would not put any more money into the Disney coffers. For those of you who are still on the fence, allow me to provide the following link as evidence that you should cancel it immediately and hop on eBay to buy used copies of the classic stuff (that way Disney doesn’t make another dollar off of you). Here is Disney’s new Satanic program offering.

Peter Pan & Wendy

What if Wendy Darling was a selfish and disrespectful young lady who was great at everything, Peter Pan was a selfish jerk and borderline psychopath who regularly needed rescuing, and Tiger Lilly was a magic ninja? These are the questions (though I’m sure couched in woke-friendly language) that the writers and filmmakers must have asked themselves before storyboarding Wendy & almost no Peter Pan…I mean Peter Pan & Wendy.

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In Peter Pan & Wendy, the usually brilliant Jude Law is dulled to tarnished copper-green, giving James T. Hook all of the charisma of the old angry guy in the checkout line at the grocery store. Whether it’s due to the inept direction of David Lowery or the weight of mediocre dialogue (also provided by Lowery), Law’s usual magnetism has been wiped away. Instead, he is unwilling or unable to commit to being either a genuinely sinister villain or an over-the-top one, and the result is a Captain Hook that mostly comes across as bored or mildly irritated.

He’s not helped by the humor vampire that is Jim Gaffigan’s Mr. Shmee. I love jokes about Subway and Hotpockets as much as the next guy, but who thought that this film needed a low-T albino mumbling third-rate dialogue with a 16th-rate English accent? There hasn’t been a worse accent performed on screen since Harrison Ford grumbled his way through K-19: The Widowmaker.

Gaffigan’s poor accent is only matched by his ineptitude as a performer. Everything from his bearing to his facial expressions screams (probably in his trademarked comedic whisper), “What am I doing here?” His performance is so bad that, without exaggeration, every moment that he is on screen, the viewer is jettisoned out of the film’s reality and slammed back into their own. If he doesn’t win the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor this year, there is no justice in the world.

Another Disclaimer: For the next lambasting, please be reminded that Alexander Molony is a 16-year-old and not the little boy that he appears to be. Also, it gives me no pleasure to rip his performance to tatters. Finally, for those who would choose to excuse his performance due to his age, consider the fact that the actress who plays Wendy is a year younger and is the only performer worth a d@mn in the entire movie.

Not to be undone by Gaffigan’s clumsy performance, Alexander Molony’s portrayal of the titular swashbuckling adventurer, Peter Pan has all the dimension and charisma of a biannual tooth cleaning. No amount of clapping could bring his dead performance to life. This is just fine because his Peter Pan isn’t worth the effort.

This brings us to Ever Anderson’s Wendy Darling. While I hated the character, Anderson is seemingly the only performer in this film who is willing and capable of committing herself to her character. She is always present, and her instincts are pitch-perfect, elevating the south-of-mediocre material that she’s working with. This young lady has a bright future ahead of herself.

The rest of the performances range from tolerable to wooden, with no one given enough time to stand out one way or the other. The only exception would be Tiger Lilly’s Alyssa Wapanatâhk. She’s given just enough time to prove that, if middling filmmakers feel strongly enough about representation, they have no problem casting a block of wood in a role.

So what about the story? Peter Pan is a timeless classic, after all. Surely, there’s merit there. Not so much. The basic elements are all there: The Darlings live in turn-of-the-century London, Wendy doesn’t want to grow up, Neverland, etc. However, it’s all burdened by filmmakers who substitute creativity for diverse casting and modern Leftist talking points.

In Peter Pan & Wendy, Peter is a distant and lonely little boy who only cares about himself, barely noticing if someone under his charge has died or not. In fact, the Lost (not just) Boys are afraid of Peter, not daring to bring up topics that displease him. Much like those responsible for this dull and plodding film, Peter is a one-trick pony whose child-like creativity is limited to clashing swords with Captain Hook. It was even Peter’s selfishness that created Captain Hook (that’s not hyperbole or supposition), it’s canon in this film.

Peter is not alone in his unlikability, Wendy is a disrespectful and willful child who is nearly as selfish as Peter. In one of the opening scenes, she engages in childish behavior that is directly responsible for the destruction of a valuable piece of furniture. When her parents confront her about it, she blames her little brothers and then, full of attitude, she tells John and Michael that it is “every man for himself” as an explanation as to why.

This alone does not a selfish child make, however, the moment that she reaches Neverland, her much younger brothers are all but an afterthought to her. In one scene, we clearly hear them calling for her to “wait up” for them as she takes off flying. She hears them but flies even faster, increasing the distance between them. It’s only when the two are in mortal danger that she remembers that they exist.

In general, Peter Pan & Wendy is given no sense of scope. We never see what Peter’s life is like, or why anyone would possibly consider wanting to live in Neverland. The Lost (not just) Boys live in ruins and look malnourished, and, with the exception of Tinkerbell and her pixie dust MacGuffins, and the children’s first flight, there’s no magic or wonder in Neverland.

Sure, we’re told several times that Peter has had wonderful adventures and plays all of the time, but we’re never shown it once. It’s as though the movie was made by people who only read about childhood in books but never experienced one for themselves.

Unfortunately, there are only two positive things that I have to say about the film. The first is that, in the only thing approaching creativity exhibited by them, the writers added an intriguing dimension to Captain Hook’s backstory. It’s too bad that it was handled with skill equal to Joe Biden beatboxing.

The only other good thing about Peter Pan & Wendy is that the sets are unbelievably beautiful. The designers and dressers created such wonderfully detailed locales for this less-than-mediocre film, that it’s an absolute travesty. No detail was overlooked. Even Captain Hook’s plank was worn and used-looking. It is such a shame that such talent was wasted on such bilgewater.

INAPPROPRIATE ELEMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN PETER PAN & WENDY

Peter Pan & Wendy is rated PG, and it’s earned it.

  • The prodigious violence is treated seriously, though without actual bloodshed, and the stakes often feel as though they are truly life or death.
  • The scene with the crocodile is particularly harrowing and could easily frighten small children. There’s very little that is cartoonish about it. In fact, one of the pirates is eaten during the scene.

WOKE ELEMENTS

  • The diversity casting is ridiculous and obvious. Every lost boy who is “diverse” is also distractingly bad, and that goes for Peter Pan.
    • Disney spent upwards of $200 million on this movie so don’t tell me that these children were the best that they could afford. They checked the right intersectional quota boxes, and that’s it. One of the Lost Boys was completely unintelligible. You can’t tell me that there was no one better.
      • On a bright note, they cast a boy with Down’s Syndrome as a Lost Boy which, in a better movie, could have been a really beautiful thing with interesting sociopolitical subtext.
        • Instead, in this film his character exists so that the filmmakers can pat themselves on the back.
  • Feminism for the sake of feminism over narrative. This is really the film’s greatest weakness and it’s from this that most of the film falls apart.
    • Several of The Lost Boys are Lost Girls. It adds absolutely nothing to the narrative and is one of the many examples of diversity in lieu of creativity exhibited by this travesty’s filmmakers.
    • The film is set circa 1904, and Wendy has no maternal instincts but loves fighting with swords, and her “happy thought” is of having a career and dying alone and childless. You know, just like all them upper-class gals from 1900s England.
    • Wendy utters the line, “I don’t even know if I want to be a mother.” It’s so artificially inserted into the dialogue that it is clearly the writers’ words, not the character’s.
    • Tiger Lilly’s character is artificially shoehorned in with the obvious agenda of “rectifying” how she was portrayed in the original.
      • There’s no great chief. Instead, her grandmother runs the tribe…for reasons.
    • Every man in the film is either an evil pirate, a helpless child who needs to be rescued by Wendy or Tiger Lilly, or a father who isn’t much more than a grudging afterthought.
    • Wendy, Tiger Lilly, and Tinkerbell are the only heroes in the film. They each even save Peter.
      • The one time that Peter saves someone it is actually him just having some fun with the pirates. He never thinks once about actually saving those in danger. That’s left to Wendy and Tinkerbell.
    • Wendy is smart and capable in every way. She goes so far as to be able to successfully swordfight against two experienced pirates both twice her size at the same time and in close quarters.
    • Tiger Lilly has the ability to use magic and herbs to heal deadly wounds and she can also fight with two different types of melee weapons, one in each hand, like she’s Jackie Chan.
      • In contrast, Peter (who has spent several lifetimes sword fighting) is regularly disarmed and would have been defeated several times by a single man with a sword were it not for outside intervention. He’s also saved by Wendy during these moments.
    • Wendy discovers how great she is in order to move on to her next level of personal development while Peter has to humble himself and apologize for everything being his fault.
    • Peter barely notices that Tinkerbell is alive. Wendy points out their co-dependent relationship and Tinkerbell, instead of being the jealous sprite from every other iteration of the character, thanks Wendy for noticing that she’s a person.

FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT PETER PAN & WENDY

When the pixie dust settles and the pirate ship’s anchor is secured, Peter Pan & Wendy will go on to be a footnote in the classic mythos. It’s weighed down with terrible performances, mediocre dialogue, and a story that has been butchered in the name of wokeness. If you want to watch something new that will entertain both young and old while not treating every male character like complete trash, check out The Super Mario Bros. Movie. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than this.

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James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

6 comments

  • Dave

    April 30, 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Preach it

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    Reply

  • stanedgie

    May 16, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    and i though She Hulk was bad! This is up there with She Hulk in terms of gross wokist BS and menbashing.

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  • Zulu

    June 1, 2023 at 10:19 am

    The original movie was cringe, but this just makes you want to kill yourself. Peter pan is rubbish, he saves nobody, its all about girl power. This leftist river a intense diarrhea will not even appeal to lefist wokies because its so boring and pointfull guff..

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  • TruthSeeker

    July 10, 2023 at 3:30 pm

    Now I’m superrr confused as to what is considered woke on this site. I Googled how to know if a movie is woke because I wanted to know. Before having my child watch it. But I meant woke as in the gay agenda. Not races or lost girls or Peter Pan being apologetic. I saw this movie and there wasn’t a gay agenda. Can someone please tell me where I can find out if movies have a gay agenda on children?

    Reply

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