Peter Pan & Wendy title image
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109 min.
Release Date
Peter Pan & Wendy poster

When Steven Spielberg’s Hook opened in 1991, critic Richard Schickel declared it “essentially dead on arrival.” Spielberg’s update of J.M. Barrie’s classic fairy tale considered what happened to Peter Pan after he left Neverland, and the events following his return. It was one of Spielberg’s worst-reviewed features. But Hook might be an underrated masterpiece worthy of revisitation compared to David Lowery’s hollow Peter Pan & Wendy, a live-action adaptation of Barrie’s book and Disney’s 1953 animated feature. Whatever its faults, Spielberg’s film had a heartbeat and revisionist spirit. By contrast, Lowery’s version is a by-the-numbers rendering captured in flat digital photography and wooden performances. Doubtless, Disney recognized the problem and resolved to save on marketing and distribution costs by dropping the title on Disney+, relegating it to the same fate as Robert Zemeckis’ abysmal Pinocchio from last year (which I couldn’t even bring myself to write about). Lowery’s take doesn’t quite reach the lows of Pinocchio, but there’s not much here besides something to keep the kids out of your hair for a couple of hours.

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