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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The New Adventures of Peter Pan has prominent messages about issues that will resonate with kids, such as getting along with siblings and coping with bad moods. As such, there's always some kind of negative behavior in the mix, whether intentional or unintentional, but in resolving it, the characters (and kids who watch) learn valuable lessons. Expect to hear some language such as "shut up" and name-calling such as "stupid." Hook isn't a scary villain, but he does scheme and plot against Peter Pan and his friends, always with the goal of capturing Neverland. If your kids have seen other interpretations of this classic story, they'll find this one to be decidedly more modern in look and feel.
What's the story?
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN is a modernized adaptation of the legendary struggle between Captain Hook (voiced by Michael Dobson) and Peter Pan (Matt Hill) and the Neverland gang. The notorious pirate plots to capture Neverland, but the Darlings -- Wendy (Michelle Creber), John (Brynna Drummond), and Michael (Hannah Dickinson) -- fly in to help Peter and Tinker Bell (Michelle Molineux) save the day and to protect the Neverland kids' right to never grow up.
Is it any good?
This iteration of Neverland adventures doesn't break any new ground in the tug-of-war between the two factions, but it does work in some quality messages for kids who watch. The stories open with the Darlings in the midst of some kind of interpersonal fray before Peter Pan swoops in and whisks them away to Neverland, where similar troubles befall one of the locals. As the friends help sort out the problem there, they learn how to resolve conflict in constructive ways and apply these new experiences to their relationships at home.
The New Adventures of Peter Pan is modern in some ways that will surprise viewers who have watched more traditional versions of the story. The Darlings are 21st-century kids with all the trappings -- laptops, cell phones, and trendy clothing, to name a few. The animation style also presents a Peter Pan who looks markedly older than typically is the case (really, he looks like a man-child in his leafy frock), which is a little jarring to the senses given that he's the poster child for eternal youth. Even so, these minor distractions don't overshadow the show's positive messages or the fun that's inevitably had in Neverland.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of never growing up from The New Adventures of Peter Pan. Is it enticing to you? What are the benefits of being a kid as opposed to an adult? How do your responsibilities and privileges change as you get older?
Kids: Can you relate to the characters' troubles with friends and siblings? How do you cope with difficult emotions or disagreements with others? Why is communication so important when you're working out a problem with someone else? If you don't express yourself, how will other people understand your feelings?
How does this version of the Peter Pan story compare to others you've seen? Do you like the modern touches? Is there something more or less magical about a story that's set in a different time period than now, or does that not matter to you? What are some of your favorite classic stories?
- Premiere date: June 5, 2016
- Cast: Michael Dobson, Matt Hill, Michelle Creber
- Network: Discovery Family Channel
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Adventures, Brothers and sisters, Pirates
- Character strengths: Communication
- TV rating: TV-Y7-FV
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
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