Peter Pan (1953) Blu-ray Review: Soars With Hours of Bonus Features

The latest release of this animated classic includes over two hours of bonus features.
  |   Comments

Peter Pan was previously released on Blu-ray back in 2013 in a Diamond Edition, but after being briefly consigned to the dreaded Disney vault it has now re-emerged in their current Walt Disney Signature Collection edition. If you already have the prior release, the principal reason to give this one a look is a handful of new bonus features. A secondary perk is the addition of a digital copy that wasn’t present in the prior release, giving cloud movie fans reason to rejoice. Other than that, this version appears to be technically identical to the version released less than five years ago.

J.M. Barrie’s tale of a magical boy who never grew up was originally intended to be Walt Disney’s second animated feature film after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but after the chaos of World War II and competing film projects, it didn’t make its theatrical bow until 16 years after Snow White. In spite of its delayed completion, it has proven to be a timeless tale, and continues to entertain new generations of viewers with its story about London kids being whisked away to the magical Never Land for adventures with pirates, lost boys, mermaids, and a spunky little pixie named Tinker Bell.

The technical specs for this Blu-ray release mostly mirror the 2013 release, with the same beautiful digitally restored picture and a suitably immersive DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack. Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks are also present once again. The only apparent “new” technical feature is the addition of an English 1-channel Dolby Digital track, allowing viewers to hear the film in its original monaural presentation.

The bonus features are incredibly expansive, totaling well over two hours of additional content, but most of them have already been released on prior Blu-ray and DVD editions. The new features are led by a four-minute look at Walt Disney’s fascination with flight, featuring archival footage of him, his films, and interviews with Disney archivists. While that feature isn’t particularly interesting or relevant, there’s also a new eight-minute interview with the original voice and motion-reference actors for Wendy and John where they offer their memories of Walt, the studio, and the film’s production. It’s heartwarming to see them on site at Disney’s Burbank studio lot, royalty returning to their magic kingdom nearly seven decades later.

The remaining new bonus features are all karaoke, with a full sing-along version of the film that adds subtitled song lyrics, along with two visually reimagined sing-along versions of “You Can Fly” and “Never Smile At a Crocodile”, the latter of which had its lyrics removed from the original theatrical release. While it’s interesting to hear the song in its original configuration, the overall sing-along features aren’t exactly essential material.

All other bonus features have been previously released, such as a 40-minute documentary by the son of one of Disney’s legendary animators that records the memories of fellow children of animators, totally unrelated to Peter Pan and so seemingly placed here entirely arbitrarily. Elsewhere, there’s a wealth of archival footage about the production including deleted scenes and songs, as well as a couple of unnecessary music videos. While not all of the bonus features appear on the included DVD, they are all unlocked for digital viewing in the cloud via Movies Anywhere with redemption of the included digital code.

Peter Pan is now available for digital purchase and arrives on Blu-ray combo pack on Tuesday, June 5th.

Follow Us