I always forget how much I love Peter Pan until I actually get around to watching it again. It’s 77 minutes of non-stop fun with swordfights, mermaids, pirates and that pesky crocodile. Arguably Disney’s first animated adventure film, the source material is derived from J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of the boy who never grew up. As we’ve noted before, Peter Pan was one of two books seen in the background of a scene in Pinocchio. Walt had been working on bringing Barrie’s beloved story to the big screen since 1939 (and spent the four years prior acquiring the rights), and the studio spent $4-million and 14 years to finally pull it off.
Peter Pan had long been a popular production for live theatre groups, and in that environment a few traditions arose to add to the symbolism and mythology of the story. Walt decided to observe what’s probably the biggest, but let another two big ones slide.