Thursday, March 08, 2007

DVD Review: Peter Pan

One of our family's favorite Disney movies is Peter Pan. The timeless story about a boy who doesn't want to grow up is one that we never get tired of watching. When I heard that Disney was going to release the movie in a new 2-disc edition I wondered whether it would be worth owning especially since I already had the VHS and earlier DVD version of the movie. Once I saw everything that had been added for this new edition I was blown away.

The film itself has never looked better. The updated digitial remastering of the video as well as the home theater Surround Sound mix have both dramatically enhanced the movie.

The second disc offers a number of terrific bonus features that will enhance the viewing experience. For the first time, viewers will get to hear in Walt Disney's own words "Why I Made Peter Pan". There is also the alternate opening to the film in "The Peter Pan That Almost Was". The photo gallery features storyboards and live-action reference photographs that were found in the Disney archives. Also included is a 1952 featurette "The Peter Pan Story" and a look at the many different variations the story took on during production and why it took so long (16 years!) to bring the movie to life.

Music also plays an important part in this movie. Viewers will get to hear the songs that didn't make it into the film (as well as the concept art for those numbers). T-Squad performs "Second Star to the Right" in what clearly is a Disney Channel music video.

But the brightest spot musically speaking is a new song that was written by Richard Sherman, legendary Disney composer. The lyrics to an unfinished song were found in the archives. Sherman was commissioned to compose the music. The end result is a marvelous ballad which is beautifully performed by Paige O'Hara (the voice of Belle in Beauty and the Beast).

Anyone who is a fan of Peter Pan or is being introduced to the movie for the first time will thoroughly enjoy this DVD. The continuing appeal of this film should be enhanced by this 2-disc set.

This article was originally published at Blogcritics.

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