Peter Pan is one of those characters that popped up a lot in my life as I made my way to my teens. It started with the Disney film, and myself and my brother playing Peter Pan in the back garden. Not pirates and Indians; we pretended we had pixie dust and jumped off things, thinking happy thoughts, hoping to fly.
Then Hook came out and that became a favourite, albeit a frightening one. Dustin Hoffman still gives me the creeps! When I was eleven, we went on a family to trip to London and when we saw the Peter Pan statue in Hyde Park it was pretty frickin epic.
I’m fascinated with the story and J.M. Barrie. Finding Neverland was an interesting exploration into the background of the story and it breaks my heart every time I watch it. Kate Winslet is brilliant.
So why is this film so significant and why do we all continue to feel so particularly fondly towards it as we get older?
Simple: growing up sucks!
When you’re young you can’t wait to grow up. You want your parents to stop telling you what to do. You want to be able to eat ice cream for breakfast and stay up late watching movies. But, when you’re actually grown up? Responsibility. Bills. Doing your own washing. Ugh! But yes, you can eat ice cream for breakfast…
Peter Pan is a great film to re-watch as an adult because it reminds you of that innocence and optimism and it makes you want to hang on to it. You lose yourself in a world where a group of kids wearing animal skins can take over a pirate ship. For a moment you almost believe that a far away land with a mermaid lagoon really could exist. And you hope that believing strongly enough in something can make it come true.
We all need a bit of that magic in our lives.