Peter Pan Anniversary

Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.” – Walt Disney

Over the weekend, the official Disney Fan Club – D23, held a “Magical Screening” of Peter Pan celebrating its 65th Anniversary.  Screenings were held at the Animation Studios in Burbank and the AMC Theater in Disney Springs in Orlando,

Screen shot of event title.

where we are currently visiting.  Events like these are a lot of fun and what keep us renewing our membership!

There is a lot of history about this movie that few know.  Peter Pan took many years to get to theaters; even though Walt obtained the animation rights to the story in 1939, it didn’t make it to the big screen until 1953 due to many circumstances involving finances and America entering into World War II.

The event was hosted by Steven Vagnini, the only D23 Cast Member in Florida, who has now been promoted to Walt Disney Imagineering and will soon leave this position.  He gave us a lot of trivia about Peter Pan, including some in the form of a quiz.  We will spread the fun and pose the same questions:

  1. Is “Neverland” one word or two?
  2. Is “Tinkerbell” one name or two?
  3. What is the official name of the crocodile?
  4. Bonus points (from us) – The voice of Captain Hook, Hans Conried, made two appearances in a TV series as a wayward pilot, and there is a restaurant in Canyon, Texas named for this character.

We will give the answers at the end of the post.

We realized that it had been a long time since we saw this movie as there were a lot of scenes that we completely forgot about, such as the fact that Peter Pan chose the Darling home because the children believed in him – it wasn’t accidental; and it was Nana the nursemaid dog who actually stole his shadow.  We also forgot that the film stereotyped Indians, but this movie was created during a different time in America when we weren’t so overly sensitive and now see everything through the lens of racism; it appears we have forgotten how to laugh at ourselves.

One thing that we concluded during the movie is that Tiger Lily is a princess (daughter of the Chief), but she has never been canonized into the realm of Disney Princesses, unlike Pocahontas.  Maybe it’s because she is a secondary character and not the main focus.

But whatever one thinks about this movie, it was and still remains about youthful innocence and the thrill of just being a kid – using one’s imagination to take you to new worlds to face the impossible or just have fun – and treasure those moments before they slip away.  In fact, Walt himself reminded us on many occasions that growing up was optional even though growing old isn’t.

Now, for the answers to the trivia quiz:

  1. “Never Land” is two words (we tried to trick you with earlier spelling.)
  2. “Tinker Bell” is also two names.  In fact, Mr. Smee refers to her as “Miss Bell.”
  3. You may have thought the name of the crocodile is “Tick Tock,” but officially his name is “The Crocodile.”
  4. For the bonus points.  Hans Conried made two appearances on the TV show Gilligan’s Island as “Wrong Way Feldman.”  In Canyon, Texas there is a restaurant called “Feldman’s Wrong Way Diner.”  In here are many photos of Hans Conried, his character and other photos of Gilligan’s Island.

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