Poll: Favorite ‘Peter Pan’ Movie or TV Adaptation

From silent films to classic animation to the new big-budget prequel, something about author J.M. Barrie’s famous Boy Who Never Grew Up keeps drawing Hollywood back again and again to adapt the ‘Peter Pan’ story. Some of these movies and TV programs work out better than others. Which are your favorites?

Judging by this weekend’s box office results (not to mention the mostly poor reviews), it looks like director Joe Wright’s ‘Pan’ has not struck much of a chord with either audiences or critics. Is this just a matter of the story being told too often that not even a prequel spin could hook viewers? We just had NBC’s live TV musical less than a year ago, and characters from the story continually show up in all sorts of pop culture places.

Although many of the movies on the below list have not been terribly successful, a few have hit big enough to leave a lasting impact. Disney’s animated ‘Peter Pan‘ from 1953 is likely still the first image that comes to mind when most people hear the character’s name. Steven Spielberg had a pretty big hit in 1991 with his exhausting, overstuffed ‘Hook‘, and the 2005 J.M. Barrie bio-pic ‘Finding Neverland‘ scored seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and star Johnny Depp as Best Actor.

I’ve made a list of the most famous movie and TV programs based on or around ‘Peter Pan’. I’m sure I’ve missed some, and this doesn’t account for the various novels and comics and videogames and stage plays.

Which of these have you seen? Which did you think were pretty good, and which didn’t work for you?

What's Your Favorite 'Peter Pan' Adaptation?

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  1. NJScorpio

    ‘Peter Pan’, for me, is an example of other characters being are more interesting than the title character. Like Seinfeld.

    I believe the definitive version is Disney’s animated classic. Captain Hook is great, and is many children’s prototypical pirate. Tinker Bell seems to have staying power, as apparent by car decals and hooded sweatshirts. That crocodile was fun. Pan…not very interesting.

    Also, the concept is just weirdly outdated. Back when the story originated, when boys were boys and would go play with their friends, the’d meet up at the creek. They’d go exploring. They’d have wooden sword fights and make forts. So of course when these boys opt to never grow up, they are in a perpetual state of play activity.

    But what boys are like that anymore? “I love being a kid, with my video games, and streaming media, and scooters, and the mall, and facebook, and pokemon, and candy, and cartoons, I never want to grow up! Wait, what is this camping crap?”

    • Bolo

      Yeah, the story was a hodgepodge of everything little boys liked at the time. There was an enthusiasm for all the elements and a novelty from seeing them all together. These days, not so much of either.

      I know the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies made a ton of money, but I don’t know if kids really care that much about pirates in general, or find swashbuckling action all that exciting. Tigerlily’s tribe is right out of a Western, and I don’t think kids care about cowboy stuff anymore either. Tastes have changed, so it doesn’t really surprise me that kids today wouldn’t really be captivated by Peter Pan.

      • NJScorpio

        When I ask myself, what fantasy world is analogous in current film, with that ‘lost boys’ vibe that would connect with young boys. I’d have to go with the ‘war boys’ from Mad Max Fury Road. Which is funny in that Thunderdome has a more blatant ‘lost boys’ subplot, though it didn’t have that important feeling that the boys were excited to be there.

  2. Although Mary Martin supposedly made it popular for stage, my two favorites are the Disney Animated on and the later one titled Hook. Have not seen the newest adaptation, would imagine they spent all their budget on effects but I am not going to judge til I have seen it.

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