Author Topic: Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy Casting Decisions  (Read 264 times)

Dani1923

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Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy Casting Decisions
« on: August 08, 2021, 03:04:24 AM »
I don’t want to judge if the movie is going to be good or bad before it even comes out, but yesterday I looked at the cast list for Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy, and already there’s evidence that this film will, I’ll just say, not satisfy me.

1. This is the one that baffles me the most, they cast different actors to play Captain Hook and Mr. Darling. I think this was a mistake. First of all, it’s breaking the tradition of having Mr. Darling (or in some cases Mrs. Darling) also play Captain Hook. Secondly, though I don’t think this was Barrie’s original intension, but I think Captain Hook and Mr. Darling (or Mrs. Darling) being played by the same actor shows in the point of view of the Darling children, their struggles with the idea of growing up and eventually becoming adults. That being an adult might mean that you will be a disgusting person who will destroy the joys of other children and always be miserable and never want to play games and have fun again! And the characters being played by different actors ruins all of that! The only other time I’ve seen a professional Peter Pan product have Mr. Darling and Captain Hook be played by different actors was in Peter Pan Live! in 2014, and that show was a complete train wreck! Admittedly, I’ve never seen that whole show, but I’ve seen enough of it to know that it’s BAD! I’m thinking the reason why the filmmakers did this is for the same reason that Peter Pan Live! did it, so that their star vehicle playing Hook, Jude Law, can have a more interesting and dramatic entrance into the movie! I’ll give the 2003 Peter Pan this, even THEY didn’t do that!

2. They added two extra Lost Children to the cast, a boy and a girl. I would say it’s to diversify the genders, but then they made some of the already existing Lost Boys into girls like Curly and the Twins, which I’m okay with, so why not just stick with that? You’re adding characters that you don’t need at all, and it gives the other Lost Children less lines to say and probably less screen time. The only way I could forgive this is if at the end it turns out that the characters are in the present-day and the girl who was Wendy was telling the story of Peter Pan to a group of children and telling the story in her own unique way and incorporating all the kids into the story, similar to the GOSH Peter Pan movie. And since I doubt David Lowery has ever seen the GOSH Peter Pan movie, I would be very impressed if he thought of that! Though the drawback to that ending might be that we wouldn’t get the bittersweet ending from the novel. You know what, I’m just going to say that for the ending, if we don’t get the novel ending or the present-day ending, I’m not going to very happy! I’m not going to be very happy am I? We’ll see….

Brutus

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Re: Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy Casting Decisions
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2021, 04:39:21 PM »
I agree we shouldn't judge the film before it comes out, but the changes Disney has brought in are jarring. But then, they've got form since the animated film already diverted from the original. For a start, the animated Hook and Mr Darling were already made to look very different. Then Curly became "Cubby" (is it still Cubby in the new film?) and they never had the key scene of "We believe in fairies". Still adding more lost boys and girls seems pointless. I'm also not entirely happy about being Lost Girls since, according to Peter Pan/Barrie, "girls are far too clever to fall out of their prams".

Dani1923

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Re: Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy Casting Decisions
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2021, 07:40:19 PM »
Thank you for your thoughts Brutus!

They have it as Curly in the new film, so that’s one good thing!

And even though the animated Peter Pan Captain Hook and Mr. Darling look different, they are voiced by the same actor, Hans Conried. I actually still wonder why they made the characters look different despite having the same voice actor.

The reason they cut the “I Believe in Fairies” scene in the animated film was because it was a movie, and they didn’t think the audience would clap since it wasn’t a live performance, which I think is understandable. That’s another thing I have to give the 2003 Peter Pan movie props for is by finding a way to include the scene (and the GOSH Peter Pan movie pretty much did the same thing). Now I’m wondering if that’s how this new film will do it? I can’t think of any other way they would do it except to cut it out entirely like the animated film did, which I hope they don’t do!

Maybe it’s because I’m a girl and consider myself a Lost Girl, I don’t mind there being Lost Girls in this new film. I also made a post on this forum a few days ago how there can be Lost Boys and Girls and even Lost Adults, which you can read if you want to.

This is might be just me, but I think Peter saying the line, “girls are much too clever to fall out of their prams” as a form of manipulation as a way to get Wendy to go with him to Neverland. In the book, after Peter explains who the Lost Boys are and Wendy says that it must be fun, it says:

“Yes," said cunning Peter, "but we are rather lonely. You see we have no female companionship."
“Are none of the others girls?"
“Oh no; girls, you know, are much too clever to fall out of their prams.”

Notice it says “cunning Peter”? He doesn’t actually mean what he’s saying. I don’t think he thinks girls are dumb or anything, he just cares if someone follows him or not, no matter what gender or age they are.

And who knows, maybe there were Lost Girls that did exist in Neverland at some point, but at the time the story takes place there are only six Lost Boys. But again maybe this is what I’d like to believe because like I said, I consider myself a Lost Girl. And of course Barrie’s not here to tell me if what I’m saying is a possible theory or not, or if my interpretation is right or not. But it is just my interpretation.

Also when Peter describes who the Lost Boys are, he says that “They are the children who fall out of their perambulators”, not “boys” specifically who fall out of their perambulators. But again, this is just my theory and interpretation.

Also in my previously mentioned Lost Children post, I talk about my theory of how Lost Children don’t have to be just children “who fall out of their perambulators”.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2021, 07:42:35 PM by Dani1923 »

Helen1037

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Re: Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy Casting Decisions
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2021, 09:07:28 PM »
1. Although I’m skeptical of the upcoming film myself, I commend the director for his decision to dispose of the double casting tradition. It may work well in a theatrical setting (which relies heavily on exaggerations and artistic conventions) but breeds unpleasant and irrelevant implications in live-action films. You’re right, the double casting gimmick appeared spontaneously (almost accidentally, in fact) and had nothing to do with Barrie’s original vision of his characters, for it was Gerald du Maurier who proposed the idea. Yet this tradition got popularized, infiltrated most PP adaptations, and provided fertile ground for countless analyses ascribing the Oedipus complex to Wendy, which I find aggravating at best and disturbing at worst. Some people go so far as to assume James and George are basically the same person (looking at you, Mr. Hogan). In the case of the 2003 film, the implementation of double-casting is in no way a worthy tribute to Barrie’s story, it’s just mindless copying from the play. As for professional products breaking the tradition, there’s the 1924 silent film, which is objectively the most faithful adaptation, and the 1987 Soviet movie, which does a pretty decent job at portraying Hook and Mr. Darling. And keep in mind that Barrie had a hand in the casting decisions for the 1924 film.
I have to disagree with you on Hook being the embodiment of adulthood. His criminal career disqualifies him as a model of a full-fledged, responsible adult for obvious reasons. Besides, James displays immaturity and childish behavior multiple times throughout the story, what with his intention of making Wendy a mother figure for him and the crew. On top of that, the captain seems to be stuck in the mindset of a young Etonian who has failed to adhere to the school’s standards but is still clinging to the hope of achieving good form and proving his worth.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 12:04:41 PM by Helen1037 »