Pan fails to create a truly magical experience

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Lauren Boettcher, News Editor

The story of Peter Pan is hardly a new one. Adaptation after adaptation has graced screens, stages, and pages for decades. The newest version of the Neverland boy’s tale was released on Oct. 9th, starring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Levi Miller as Peter Pan, and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.

The story follows 12 year old Peter, an Orphan whose only possession is a necklace shaped like a Pan flute. Peter is whisked away in the night by a pirate ship, and taken to Neverland.

Peter meets Blackbeard, a crooked pirate who may seem like a nice guy, but is notorious for stealing people from around the globe to work in the mines on Neverland. The workers aren’t mining for just anything, they’re mining for pixim. This special substance, which I can only describe as the coal of pixie dust, is vital to Blackbeard. He uses it as an elixir of life. He has plans on living forever, and pixim’s magical properties will keep him young. Only problem: the pixim supply is running out.

While working in the mines, Peter meets Hook who is a miner and not a pirate (surprisingly). Neverland also consists of hidden natives and an entire fairy kingdom, both groups are in hiding from Blackbeard. Peter must stop Blackbeard to save everyone on the island and find his mother, who he believes is also somewhere on the island.

Peter Pan has been adapted many times, perhaps this was one time too many.”

This movie is the perfect film for an avid Disney fan who doesn’t care a lot about the plot – which was honestly really confusing during some parts-to the point where I sometimes struggled to understand what was happening. The special effects were very good, giving the movie the polished ‘magical’ effect any movie about Peter Pan ought to have. Hugh Jackman was unsurprisingly the film’s strongest actor (and singer), making him a refreshing villain in the classic story. But, other characters were rather disappointing. Tiger Lily, played by Rooney Mara, the daughter of the chief of the natives of Neverland, is portrayed as a very white character. While I can’t say that I would rather have the stereotypical and racist portrayal of a Native American that has been seen in other adapt hardly seems like an appropriate alternative ions (like Disney’s 1953 version) whitewashing the entire cast hardly seems like the appropriate response. 

Peter Pan has been adapted many times, perhaps this was one time too many. If you are looking for anything truly special, memorable, or unique in this movie, you will be disappointed. 3/5 stars.