What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the pirates and some situations in this movie may frighten sensitive viewers. Two children are abducted by a villainous storybook pirate and threatened with death. The pirate Hook kills, displays comic suicidal tendencies; tries to seduce children into hating their father.
What's the story?
Steven Spielberg's 1991 venture follows grown-up Peter Pan (Robin Williams) as he returns to Neverland. Now a hardworking lawyer with three kids and a troubled marriage, Peter heads to London with his brood to visit Granny Wendy (Maggie Smith). Peter is thrown back to his past when Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps his kids. With help from Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts), middle-aged Peter regains his memory of who he really is (and how to fly), and sets off to Neverland to rescue his children and do battle with his arch nemesis, Captain Hook.
Is it any good?
What if Peter Pan had to grow up? For those familiar with J.M. Barrie's wonderful literary creation, it's an intriguing question, and a great movie premise. Unfortunately, Spielberg and Williams made this movie for their children, seemingly without regard for anyone else's kids, who may not like such a sweet center or such dark edges to their movie entertainment. The result is a comedy not only spare on laughs, but drenched in Hollywood cheese. Neverland fails to look like anything more than what it is: an expensive studio set inhabited by some of the worst-looking pirates ever in movies, including an uncredited Glenn Close sporting a beard.
Young children may enjoy the racially diverse Lost Boys who rally against those pirates; teens and adults are more likely to find their antics insufferable. As for the stars, Roberts has the appropriately pixie look for Tinkerbell, but Williams as the adult Pan looks far from willowy in his green tights and leafy tunic. The real standout here is Hoffman, who's a surprisingly good Hook but is given woefully little to do other than snarl and rant. But overall, Hook is an overlong hodgepodge with plenty of sparkly magic for young kids, but too much syrup for older tastes.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the popularity of Peter Pan.
Why is it a classic story?
Families may want to use this as an opportunity to introduce the book.
|Theatrical release date:||December 11, 1991|
|DVD release date:||September 9, 2003|
|Cast:||Bob Hoskins, Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams|
|Genre:||Family and Kids|
|Topics:||Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters, Pirates|
|Run time:||144 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||thematic intensity and mild violence|