The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, July 17, 2019

'Peter Pan' at 65: boy who wouldn't grow up comes of age
J.M. Barrie's creation may never age but this year marks the 65th anniversary of the Disney movie that set imaginations soaring with tales of Lost Boys, swashbuckling pirates and an ominously ticking crocodile.

by Frankie Taggart

LOS ANGELES (AFP).- Most of us need eight hours' sleep, posh skin cream and a macrobiotic diet to halt the advancing years. Peter Pan -- that lucky little imp -- gets by on a little faith, trust and pixie dust.

J.M. Barrie's creation may never age but this year marks the 65th anniversary of the Disney movie that set imaginations soaring with tales of Lost Boys, swashbuckling pirates and an ominously ticking crocodile.

A paean to the wonder of youth but a poignant reminder that it doesn't last forever, "Peter Pan" is steeped in "a child's imagination and where it can take us," says Disney historian Mindy Johnson.

"We as adults need to return to that sometimes and this is a constant reminder of that -- to regain our sense of wonder, magic and imagination," she told AFP at the Disney lot in Burbank, California.

Barrie, a Scottish writer, created Pan in stories that he told the sons of his friend Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies, naming the character for the youngest of the boys and the Greek god of the woodlands.

His 1904 play and 1911 novel follow the Darling children -- Wendy, John and Michael -- as the mischievous Peter and his fairy friend Tinker Bell whisk them off to the magical island of Never Land.

They visit Peter's secret hideout with the Lost Boys and leap into high-flying battles with the infamous villain Captain Hook, who has his own problems as the quarry of Tick-Tock the Croc.

"Here is a story, it seemed to me, which had never been quite fulfilled, despite its wonderful career on the living stage, a story which deserved the added dimension of animation on the screen," Walt Disney said.

A million drawings
The impresario deployed his elite animation team -- known affectionately as the "Nine Old Men" -- and they completed around a million drawings, taking around a week each to come up with five seconds of footage.

Kathryn Beaumont was 12 when she was chosen to voice Wendy, and to double as a model that the animators could attach to high-wire rigging whenever they needed reminding of what children look like flying.

She had already voiced the titular character in "Alice In Wonderland" (1951) and is the only actress in the world who can boast of spending time in both Wonderland and Never Land.

Beaumont, who spent most of her working life as a teacher but still lives near the Disney studio lot, remembers Walt inviting her to visit the various departments making the movie, from animation to ink and paint.

"It was a learning experience but I was so fascinated, and the fact that he allowed me to go freely through these places to learn about all that was just wonderful," the 79-year-old told AFP.

"So I had a lovely few years working with Walt Disney and getting to know him as a person."

While 2018 is a significant milestone, it also marks a darker aspect of the production -- the 50th anniversary of the death of Bobby Driscoll, the child star who voiced Peter.

After filming ended, Disney told Driscoll he would be better suited to "young bully" roles and then canceled his contract altogether, blaming the sudden onset of severe acne.

Driscoll, a Hollywood outcast by his late teens, started using heroin and divorce, jail time and unemployment followed. He was found dead, alone and in penury, in an abandoned building a few days after turning 31.

Beaumont shared the stage for the live-action aspect of her role with another actor but remembers her voice work with Driscoll as a "lovely experience."

The movie became one of Disney's biggest hits, contributing to the struggling studio's economic recovery that had begun a few years earlier with "Cinderella" (1950).

The delightfully impish Tink went on to embody the magic of Disney, hosting a TV series and appearing at theme parks, as well as starring in her own spin-off movies.

More recently, there was the smash-hit spin-off, "Hook" (1991), a moderately successful sequel -- "Return to Neverland" (2002) -- a 2003 live-action remake and an ill-advised 2015 prequel called "Pan."

"Tink," a live-action film with Reese Witherspoon in the title role, is in the works and the 1953 movie gets a new release jam-packed with extras on Blu-ray on Tuesday to mark the anniversary.

The New York Daily News declared on February 12, 1953 that "Peter Pan" was one of Disney's best productions and closer to Barrie's conception than any other adaptation.

"So many writers, artists, directors, decorators and colors stylists worked on the film that there isn't space enough to mention them all," noted the paper's reviewer Kate Cameron.

"Between them, however, they have created a delightful, entertaining film that will appeal to the young and the not-so young alike."

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

June 3, 2018

Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

Exhibition features the exquisite lithographic work of American artist Ellsworth Kelly

Exhibition at LACMA explores the chiaroscuro woodcut in Renaissance Italy

Exhibition of major works by J.F. Willumsen opens at ARKEN in Denmark

Sotheby's sale headlined by a rare Symbolist work on paper by avant-garde master Kazimir Malevich

"Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic" makes U.S. debut at High Museum of Art

Landmark Zurbaran exhibit travels to Israel Museum

Christie's announces highlights from the British Art Evening Sale

'Peter Pan' at 65: boy who wouldn't grow up comes of age

The art of Walt Disney's 1940 masterpiece Pinocchio to be featured in Heritage Auctions' June Animation Art Auction

Dalí's Champagne Standard Lamps at risk of leaving the UK

Rare Tintin drawings sold for $425,000 at auction

Christie's New York announces highlights from the spring sale of Design

Garis and Hahn opens "Neo-American Transcendental", an exhibition of new work from Michael Maxwell

Nils Stærk opens exhibition of works by FOS

Ripley Auctions announces session 1 of the Carole Tanenbaum vintage costume jewelry collection sale

Daylight Books to publish 'Houseraising: The Jersey Shore After Hurricane Sandy' by Ira Wagner

Exhibition offers a selective look at the historical impact and the continuing appeal of the aerial image

World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Last of the Jayer wine to go on sale in Geneva

Exhibition presents works in which indispensable assistant Norm Laich has collaborated

Over 80 leading artists and architects unite for Cure3

Roberto Coda Zabetta realises massive public artwork on Portivy’s pier

New Geographies announces the artists commissioned to create ten site-responsive art works

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful