The Most Recent Films I’ve Watched and Loved!

I’m always one to talk about all the books I’ve read and things I’ve crocheted over the months but I rarely talk about film and tv, which is silly as I have a whole category on this blog dedicated to film and tv.

I think as I rarely bother with the huge programmes or take a trip to the cinema for reasons I’ve explained before, it’s not such a huge deal for me. However, I want to break up the pattern a little bit as everything up to now is very book-orientated and it’s nice to have a change.

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Halloween – Disney Edition

Hello!

It’s time for the grin grinning ghosts to take a step out of Phantom Manor, join forces with the villains and cause chaos because Halloween is around the corner and there’s nothing better than a Disney Halloween.

It is fun, colourful, interactive, full of spooky magic and generally awesome.

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Peter Pan

Hello

Similarly to Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan is one story that all of us have known since childhood. Due to its legacy, it’s one that we in the UK are constantly grateful for. It has an important presence and as a result of that it stays with us, no matter if we only experience it once or multiple times.

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Originally released on 5th February 1953, it is the story of an eternal child, of imagination, dreams and adventure. It influences us to dream and create the fantasy worlds we’d love to explore and live in.

As someone who is fuelled by fantasy and stories, it’s odd that Disney’s Peter Pan is not a favourite of mine. I do love the imagination of Neverland, of being able to fly towards your dreams and keep them at arms length, but there’s something about it, whether that’s Peter Pan as a character or the theories behind him and Neverland, that I find a little unsettling. Nevertheless, there are times as an adult where I find myself wishing for those stolen moments of childhood and relating to Peter Pan’s desire to never grow up.

Whenever I experience Peter Pan now, it is always through the music. If I’m in the house alone I’m constantly humming or singing Second Star to the Right because it is one of those songs that takes me away from the reality of living a mundane existence. If I close my eyes and think of it, I’m also taken back to Disneyland Paris and watching Disney Dreams in its original incarnation. Even more so than Alice, which I experienced more as child, it helps me to cement the memories and the worlds I inhabited growing up. I’m going to elaborate more on the music in a later post, but the mixture of dreaminess, adventure, and imagination often takes my breath away (thanks in part to Mary Blair for the beautiful concept art) and I always think it works well for the Disney Studios as a whole.

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In this respect, I find it ironic that Walt Disney himself was dissatisfied with the final film, describing Peter Pan as the protagonist to be cold and unlikeable. Despite this being a significant reason behind his dislike of Alice in Wonderland, I find that Walt himself embodies Peter Pan, always wanting to be that eternal child and bring worlds of imagination to people in varying ways. He was also an infuriating man behind the scenes, not always having the best relationship with everyone at the studios, so it does seem like a perfect marriage of personalities.

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The second degree of irony comes from the fact that experts of JM Barrie praise Disney’s characterisation of Peter Pan, as they believe him to be originally written as a heartless sociopath. I’ve not yet read the original story all the way through so I can’t say whether I agree or not, but I do have conflicting opinions on Peter Pan’s narrow–minded hatred towards Captain Hook, a villain – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – for whom I feel the most sympathetic. Looking at it as an adult, I don’t think the struggle between my own childhood and adulthood is helping to ferment one specific opinion. Damn.

Moving aside Walt’s thoughts of Peter Pan, there is a third degree of irony in that Peter Pan is one of Disney’s most loved and commercially successful films, spawning a sequel and multiple franchises in Disney Fairies and Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

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Even I’ll admit my current love for Neverland and the vast imagination it brings derives from the Tinker Bell films and the beauty in Pixie Hollow. All that pixie dust, the different fairies, the colour in the world… It’s a world I always attempted to write about as a child so to see those personal dreams immortalised in the Disney Fairies franchise wakes my inner child and makes me want to try writing it down again.

Whether it is a favourite or not, Peter Pan as a film will always be there to influence our dreams and create our own Neverland. It’s an escape and in our current climate, I can imagine it being inhabited more and more often. No wonder the Peter Pan attraction at nearly all the theme parks needs a FastPass queue!

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Peter Pan’s Flight at WDW. Image taken from Google.

For all it takes is faith and trust, and a little bit of pixie dust!


A few facts:

It took Walt Disney four years to obtain the rights from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, to whom JM Barrie had bequeathed them.

Many interpretations of the film were thrown around in story development – including Peter Pan’s backstory, him coming into Wendy’s house to kidnap her and make her a mother to the Lost Boys, Nana joining them on the journey to Neverland and the story to be told through her perspective.

Story and character development started in the late 30s and early 40s but they were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. It was only until 1947 when the studio’s financial health improved that production commenced.

Had 6 theatrical releases:

    • 3rd Feb 1953
    • 14th May ’58
    • 18th June ’69
    • 18th June ’76
    • 17th Dec ’82
    • 14th July ’89

According to Margaret Kerry (Tinker Bell), when Disney first decided to make the film, Tinker Bell wasn’t even included in the credits. It wasn’t until Walt decided to use her and Jiminy Cricket as icons for the Disneyland that she became a true presence in the film.

In the original play Captain Hook’s hook is his right hand, but Disney artists felt that would limit his actions too much and switched it to be his left hand.

Disney attracted negative comments for their stereotypical depictions of Native Americans, as indeed did JM Barrie with his original play. It’s probably for that very reason that they do not appear in the 2002 sequel Return to Neverland.



What are your opinions on Peter Pan?

What would be on your personal Neverland? 

Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!
xx

 

 

 

Childhood Disney Films.

When we were growing up and watching Disney films for the first time, there were always certain ones that we would constantly re-watch time and time again. It didn’t matter that there were others to experience and enjoy, those films would always remain on the back burner whilst we plunged head first into worlds that we knew and loved.

I know that I had five particular classics I would always re-watch and never tire of. Thinking about it, these were the films of my childhood. I might not watch some of them as much nowadays but when I do, I’m filled with nostalgia and childhood innocence that completely takes over any other thought I may have.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Beauty and the Beast.

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Ever just the same, ever a surprise, ever as before, ever just as sure, as the sun will rise! My favourite film of all time was the favourite film of my childhood. I’ve most likely said this a number of times before but it was the only vhs (next to Pinocchio – my sister’s go to Disney film) that we had to replace because it was watched so much.

101 Dalmatians

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I think mine and my sister’s childhood obsession with dalmatians came from both these films. The charm and the action of both were easy to fall in love with, and the antics of the puppies, and Horace and Jasper always kept both of us laughing.

The Fox and the Hound:

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It wasn’t until my mother said something a couple of days ago that I remembered watching this a lot as a child. This film was one of the only Disney videos that was kept at my grandmothers and because I practically lived there until I was 4, it was watched most weeks. There is something really pure and innocent about the friendship between Tod and Copper, and I know for me it is one of the first Disney friendships that always sticks in my mind.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:

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Winnie the Pooh was a huge part of my childhood, whether it was through the Disney videos or through the original books by AA Milne. I would read the poetry books before bed, I’d sing along to The Hundred Acre Wood whenever I put the disc into the computer, and I’d laugh along with my sister as she pretended to be Tigger whenever she wore her Tigger onesie pyjamas. To us Winnie the Pooh is a captivating and loving character who is fun and cuddly and has truly never left us.

Lady and the Tramp:

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Besides any of the dogs in 101 Dalmatians if you asked me who is my favourite Disney dog, I would say Lady. I also liked Tramp because he shows you that you can have a rough exterior and have a warm, caring heart – I think I must have seen a bit of the Beast in him. I also remember getting rather excited by the tiny Lady and Tramp plushes that came as a promotion with the video’s release (Tramp still graces one of my Disney shelves), and when dvds were first produced, it was one of the first ones I wanted.


So there they are – the Disney films that were my childhood and constantly gracing the tv screen.

What were your go-to Disney films?

Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!