Disney’s Peter Pan Celebrates 65 Years | Redux Reports | Walt Disney Animation Studios
WATCH the original teaser trailer for Disney’s Peter Pan, which celebrates 65 years of enchanting audiences this week below:
More about Walt Disney’s Peter Pan
Animated Disney classic Peter Pan made its debut on February 5, 1953. Peter Pan was based on the popular 1904 play by Sir J.M. Barrie and is Walt Disney’s 14th animated feature film.
The story follows Wendy Darling and her two brothers who meet a magical boy named Peter Pan who flies into their bedroom, supposedly in pursuit of his rebellious shadow. He and his fairy friend, Tinkerbell, come from a far-off place called Neverland, where children stay perpetually young. Enchanted, the kids follow him back to Neverland for a grand adventure. But when Pan’s nemesis, the pirate Captain Hook, causes trouble, the kids begin to miss their old life.
Path to Production
One of the few films that included the work of the “Nine Old Men” (OG Disney creatives) and concept art from the legendary Mary Blair. It was directed by the trio of Hamilton Luske, Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson and features the voices of Bobby Driscoll as Peter, Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy, Hans Conried as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling, and Bill Thompson as Mr. Smee, the Captain’s only friend.
Beloved songs from the movie such as “You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can Fly,” “The Second Star to the Right,” and “Your Mother and Mine” by Sammy Cahn and Sammy Fain are still extremely catchy and popular for young kids (or anyone) getting to see it for the first time.
Disney had planned as early as 1935 to make the film. In 1939, Walt Disney met with the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London (who had the rights to the play by author James M. Barrie) for permission, but it wasn’t until 1949 that production actually started. The film had theater releases in 1958, 1969, 1976, 1982, and 1989. In 1990, the feature was released on video.
Behind the Scenes
Similar to how Disney filmed Alice in Wonderland, the creative team also utilized the live actors on a soundstage in order to better animate the scenes. Kathryn Beaumont (Wendy), plus Bobby Driscoll (Peter), and Hans Conried (Hook) all acted together while animators looked on.
Kathryn Beaumont, who previously gave life to Alice, was especially glad for the company on the soundstage during the live-action filming. “It was a whole different situation,” she says. “Wendy was more of a supporting role, so I didn’t have as many scenes as I did in ‘Alice.’ But we did work together as a little group. That was a nice experience.”
When you look at pictures of the actors in real life, you can easily see the striking resemblance to their animated forms.
Frank Thomas – Hook Pencil Test
Check out this charming pencil test clip of the film’s villain, Captain Hook, done by legendary animator, Frank Thomas: