Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning

Peter Pan ship concept art by Mary Blair

“There it is, Wendy! Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.”

Peter Pan

Today is the birthday of the Disney classic, Peter Pan, released February 5th, 1953. The movie was based on the work Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. Barrie’s Peter Pan was first released as a play in 1904 and then as a novel in 1911, both of which have dazzling dialogue.

The play requests audience participation, which was referred to in a 1953 review by The New York Times writer Bosley Crowther, where Crowther notes the differences between the play and the movie: “Mr. Disney has completely eliminated from his film the spirit of guileless credulity in fairy magic that prevails in the play. He gets into his story of the English children who are wafted away to Never Land by the eternally youthful Peter and his companion, Tinker Bell, by making it very obvious that the whole adventure is a dream and offering the helpful suggestion that adults take it as a token of the spirit of youth. And he has dropped entirely the crisis that is the climax of the play, wherein the audience is begged to shout its belief in fairies to save the imprisoned Tinker Bell.”

Peter Pan Poster (1953) | Sotheby’s

The 1953 Disney animation Peter Pan was first released at New York City’s Roxy Theatre. The movie was directed by Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, and Clyde Geronimi and written by Milt Banta, Erdman Penner (story), Ted Sears (story), Bill Peet, Winston Hibler, William Cottrell, and Joe Rinaldi. Voices of the main characters were acted by Bobby Driscoll as Peter Pan, Kathryn Beaumont as Wendy Darling (who also did the voice of Alice in Disney’s 1951 classic revision of Alice in Wonderland), and Hans Conried as Captain Hook.

Pictured is Peter Pan ship concept art by Mary Blair.

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”

-J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
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