Peter Pan (1953) (2013 Re-release)

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Released 5-Jun-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Introduction-Introduction by Diane Disney Miller (1:06)
Featurette-Classic DVD Bonus Features-Tinker Bell: A Fairy's Tale(8:27)
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1953
Running Time 73:37
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Clyde Geronimi
Wilfred Jackson
Hamilton Luske
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Bobby Driscoll
Kathryn Beaumont
Hans Conried
Bill Thompson
Heather Angel
Paul Collins
Tommy Luske
Candy Candido
Tom Conway
Roland Dupree
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Oliver Wallace
Donald Halliday
Phyllis Craig

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

†††† Peter Pan has been released and reviewed on our site previously by Tony in 2002 here and Daniel in 2007 here. It is not my intention to provide a detailed plot synopsis and history of this Peter Pan re-release on DVD, rather my aim is to inform you of changes to the specifications of this version of the film, especially in comparison to the 2007 Special Edition. For this reason, I am indebted to Danielís research on that edition in producing this review.

†††† Peter Pan has been performed in theatre and presented on film prior to and after the release of the 1953 Disney version of J.M Barrieís play, but it is the Disney version of Peter Pan which is so fondly remembered. Peter Pan tells the story of three English children, Wendy, John and Michael, who believe in the stories of Peter Pan, a young boy who refuses to grow up, despite their father George refuting them. One night, Peter comes to retrieve his shadow and convinces the children to follow him to Neverland, where they needn't grow up and where they can enjoy countless adventures with the Lost Boys and Tinker Bell, the fairy. On the island are mermaids, Indians and a group of pirates led by Captain Hook, who lost his hand in a fight with Peter Pan and had it fed to a crocodile, who, after getting a taste of the good (or should I say...bad!) Captain, pursues the Captain to eat the rest of him. Luckily for the Captain, the crocodile has swallowed an alarm clock, so we can hear him coming! The children share in various adventures with the inhabitants of the island, until it is time to face their return to their home in London (set at the turn of the 20th century) and face growing up.

†††† There has been conjecture in regards to the portrayal of the mermaids and the Indians in the film. In comparison to our politically-correct standards of the early 21st century, the film is both sexist and racist, but one must remember that these characters are portrayed in the innocent minds of early 20th-century English upper-class children, who couldn't have perceived the inhabitants of Neverland in any other way. Despite this, I'm glad that Disney has continued to promote Peter Pan as is throughout the last sixty years and have not treated it like the Song of the South.

†††† Despite the controversies, Peter Pan has something for everyone. Young children will enjoy the bravado and adventure of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, while adults will reminisce about long-forgotten memories from their childhood. This 2013 re-release on DVD has seen the Classic DVD extras from the 2007 Special Edition moved to Blu-ray, together with some new extras, leaving this release a barebones DVD with an introduction by Diane Disney Miller and a short featurette on Tinker Bell. Oh well, even if home media has evolved in a short time from Videotape to DVD to Blu-ray, it's nice to know that this Disney version of Peter Pan remains timeless.

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Transfer Quality


†††† Daniel mentioned in his review of the 2007 Special Edition that Disney has updated the colour timing of the film. The 2013 re-release includes this restoration. More information on the difference between the 2007 Special Edition and the 2002 release can be referenced here.

†††† The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and thus is not 16x9 enhanced. This was originally presented in the Academy ratio of 1.37:1 (1953 was a transitional year for cinema - it was the year that Hollywood started to experiment with widescreen releases to differentiate audiences from the appeal of television, it took about seven years to settle on the two modern day aspect ratios of 1:85:1 and 2:35:1.)

†††† The restored image looks sharp and clear in comparison to the previous release on DVD and video, which looked more dull and murky.

†††† The original blue tones of Peter Pan have been replaced with a golden hue, especially in relation to scenes with Tinker Bell, which have been touched up markedly to make her character more prominent.

†††† Just as in previous DVD versions, there are no film artefacts. The average bitrate on this single-layer DVD is 6.67 m/b per sec, which is average for DVD.

†††† Subtitles are available in English for the hard of hearing.

†††† There is no RSDL change because the film is presented on a single-layer DVD-5 disc 4.07 gb in size. (The US release is 7.18 gb in size - see below.)

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


†††† The restored Dolby Digital 5.1 Disney Enhanced Home Theater Mix has been retained for this 2013 re-release on DVD.

†††† The main audio track is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at 448 kbps.

†††† Dialogue is clear to understand and the audio is synchronised.

†††† As Tony mentions in his review on the 2002 DVD, the orchestrations are by Edward Plumb, but the songs are not limited to a single composer - in fact there are seven credits for the songs: Sammy Fain, Sammy Cahn, Oliver Wallace, Frank Churchill, Erdman Penner, Winston Hibler and Ted Sears. This was because Peter Pan was first developed in the late 1930s and was delayed by the Second World War.

†††† Surround channel usage is limited and used sparingly; remember this was originally a mono audio soundtrack.

†††† The Subwoofer is also subdued and used only for explosions and combat scenes.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Introduction by Diane Disney Miller (1:06)

†††† You can opt to view the film with this short introduction by Walt Disney's daughter.

Classic DVD Bonus Features: Tinker Bell: A Fairy's Tale (8:27)

†††† This extra looks at various portrayals of the Tinker Bell character from the ball of light in the original play, to the live-action character in the 1924 silent film, to the final development of the Disney character.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

†††† The Region 1 United States version of the 2013 re-release on DVD similarly ports the 2007 extras to Blu-ray. The introduction to the film by Diane Disney Miller and the featurette on Tinker Bell is the same as the Region 4 DVD release. The Region 1 has more language options, including the original mono audio soundtrack and a dubbed 5.1 track in French and Spanish. There are subtitles in English, English for the hard of hearing, French and Spanish and the film is presented on a 7.18 gb dual-layered DVD with an average bitrate of 8.59 m/b per sec, so it has less compression than the Region 4 disc.

†††† There are also sneak peeks for: The Little Mermaid 3D, Monsters University, Wreck-It Ralph, Anti-Smoking PSA, Disney Movie Rewards, Jake and the Never Land Pirates, Disney Parks, Sofia the First, Return to Never Land: Special Edition Blu-ray, Monsters, Inc.: Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray 3D, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Muppet Movie: The Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, Mulan: 15th Anniversary Edition, Planes and the next Tinker Bell movie.


†††† If you are a serious film collector there's no doubt that you would favour the Blu-ray release of this timeless classic by Disney. However, the 2013 DVD re-release is worthy as a copy of the film to be used for those who would engage in multiple repeat viewings of Peter Pan, such as young children.

Ratings (out of 5)


© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Friday, May 24, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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