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Peter Pan & Wendy: A Live-Action Fantasy

"Peter Pan & Wendy" is a diverse fantasy brought to life and an adventure for all ages.

Peter Pan & Wendy (2023)

5 / 5
4.5 / 5

Peter Pan & Wendy (2023) is a live-action Disney movie based on the classic tale of Peter Pan.

This adaptation of Peter Pan features a strong diverse cast, with cast members of Asian, Black, Native American, and Women of Color. Wendy’s imagination is more colorful and diverse this time around.

Wendy Darling

Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson) is unhappy with her departure from her home to boarding school and tells her mother that she does not want to grow up. Her fears of growing up are indicated by her transition from the nursery to her own room, especially in a boarding school setting. She is afraid of leaving her two brothers John and Michael behind and wishes for one last playdate with them. Mr. Darling (Alan Tudyk), Wendy’s strict father, enforces the rules of the house, especially on his daughter. The authoritarian patriarch believes that Wendy needs to mature. Mrs. Darling (Molly Parker) understands Wendy’s frustrations but also reminds Wendy that she needs to grow up.

Tinker Bell (Yara Shahidi)

This adaptation combines fantasy elements and realistic elements in a Victorian setting. London, England serves as the real world where Wendy, John, and Michael live. Neverland is an imaginary land where Peter Pan lives. The transition from London to Neverland is symbolized by the time portal through the clock in the Big Ben Tower.

Peter Pan and Wendy encounter evil pirates in Neverland. Wendy becomes separated from the others after the attack. Soon, she encounters the Lost Boys, played by actors of Native American descent.

Wendy goes on an adventure to rescue her brothers after seeing they are captured. She visits Skull Rock, home to Tick-Tock the Crocodile. Her character arc and emotions are darker and more serious compared to her animated counterpart; she even slaps Peter Pan, a scene not found in the animated versions. Still, she finds herself acting mature in Neverland when she learns to take care of herself and her brothers when there’s danger.

Captain Hook’s backstory is fully explored in this adaptation of Peter Pan. His true name is James, and it is revealed that he once lost his mother. He wanted to find his mother; Smee found him and he raised him as the captain of the pirates. Peter Pan reveals that he and Hook were once friends before becoming enemies.

Peter Pan & Wendy focuses on Wendy’s relationship with Peter Pan. She eventually accepts the reality of growing up; she learns that she can still have her imagination even as a young woman. This is shown through flashforwards of Wendy as a teen and as a woman. The epilogue shows her smiling and writing her name on the brick wall next to Peter Pan’s.