A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Peter Pan Live! lets kids reimagine a classic story with unconventional casting and may incite conversations about gender conformity, character symbolism, live stage adaptations, and other literary tools and techniques.
Family love and the importance of parents (especially mothers) is emphasized.
Positive Role Models
Even "good" characters can be selfish and capricious, but villains are sympathetic and parents are steadfast and loving.
Violence & Scariness
Considerable cartoonish fisticuffs. Peter refers to cutting off Hook's arm, and a creature-suited crocodile is a bit scary. Peter and Hook talk frequently about killing each other. Wendy is shot and seen with an arrow protruding from her chest. Tinker Bell almost dies at one point, and the audience is asked to help resuscitate her.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A G-rated kiss and discussion of kissing and jealousy between two female actors with one pretending to be male. Peter seems to want Wendy as a mother and a wife, a potentially confusing scenario to children.
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Tinker Bell's famous insult to Wendy ("You silly ass!") is reproduced.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Peter Pan Live! is a filmed version of a staging of J.M. Barrie's famous children's book. Traditional stage conventions may confuse young children: Peter Pan is played by a woman, who has a (G-rated) romance with another woman playing a young girl. Younger children may also wonder why the Lost Boys are played by adult actors. Peter and Wendy talk about kissing, and Peter also asks Wendy to be his mother. Pirates engage in frequent cartoonish fisticuffs; characters threaten to kill each other; one character has had a hand cut off and wears a prosthetic hook. Several characters nearly die, and the audience is asked to help resuscitate one. A creature-suited crawling crocodile looks surreal and may frighten young viewers. A mother cries piteously over her missing children. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With eye-popping sets, gorgeous songs, and zesty acting, Peter Pan Live! is a worthy version of a well-worn story. Allison Williams has an unexpectedly beautiful voice, and she makes for an impudent, lively Peter, while Louderman radiates youth and wide-eyed innocence as Wendy. Walken is a laid-back Hook and surprisingly loose-limbed dancer; anytime he's on-screen, you're having fun watching him. The downside of Peter Pan Live! is that a filmed stage production offers all the limitations of theater (small sets, no CGI) without the things that make live theater electric -- namely, talented human beings dancing and singing only a few hundred feet from where you sit. Children may complain that stage makeup makes actors look "funny" and that they can see the wires that make Pan and company "fly."
However, for Pan fanatics and Barrie completists, this is a perfectly fine take on an old tale, and many of its songs (a few new ones plus most of the Broadway libretto you've heard before: "I Won't Grow Up") are spine-tinglingly beautiful. Thankfully, the more racist aspects found in some Pan productions have been left behind -- no "Ugg-a-Wug." Yet various aspects of this production likely will confuse many young viewers: Why is a girl pretending to be a boy and talking about kissing another girl while simultaneously asking to be her son? Why are all the Lost Boys so old? Parents will have to make some explanations and watch for the scary moments, such as: when Hook talks gleefully about killing Peter, when Wendy is shot by an arrow, when Tinker Bell dies, and, most particularly, whenever the neon-blue crocodile slithers across the stage in a terrifyingly effective creature suit.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.