Peter Pan Anniversary Edition Blu-ray review

Jun 05, 2018- Permalink

Celebrating it’s 65th birthday, Peter Pan joins Disney’s Signature Collection with an Anniversary Edition Blu-ray combo pack.

Like many releases from the Signature Collection, Peter Pan has the same video and audio presentation of the classic film’s initial Blu-ray release (2013) but adds to the legacy extras with a new bunch of extra material.

The AVC-encoded 1080p transfer is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, just a hair off the film’s original ratio of 1.37:1. This was the ratio back then so those expecting a widescreen presentation can stop hitting their TVs. The presentation has been cleaned up, removing the film’s original grain, so purists will have something to argue over besides whether or not the M&M’s should go in the popcorn or not. Besides that quibble, the colours are rich and deep. There’s excellent contrast and the black levels are deep. The detail of the hand-drawn line art is well-preserved and there’s nary a moment of artifacts or other digital glitches.

On the audio side we get a Dolby Digital version of the movie’s original mono soundtrack as well as an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack and French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Subtitles are available in English, English SDH, French, and Spanish. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track does a great job of putting the film into a modern soundscape while remaining true to the original. The surround tracks do a good job of giving a 65-year-old film some ambient effects. The musical numbers sound great while the low-frequency parts give a little oomph when needed. Dialogue is clear and centred.

The Anniversary Edition also comes with a DVD version and a digital download code. As mentioned earlier, the Anniversary Edition includes a handful of new supplements that weren’t on the previous 2013 release. “Stories from Walt’s Office: Walt & Flight” is a featurette that looks at the filmmaker’s fascination with flight and love of airplanes. Then there’s “A Darling Conversation with Wendy & John: Kathryn Beaumont and Paul Collins”, which reunites two of the voice talent as they talk about their work and the live action scenes that were shot to help the animators. The disc also features sing-along versions of “You Can Fly” and the deleted “Never Smile at a Crocodile.” Legacy supplements include a look at deleted scenes, deleted songs, the making of the film, a look at Tinker Bell, audio commentary, sing-alongs and many others.

If you bought the first Blu-ray release in 2013 and the extra supplements don’t make you want to fly, then you can give this release a pass. But if this is the first time you’re discovering the original Peter Pan on Blu-ray and you want a complete Disney library, you’ll want to add this Disney classic to your collection. A warning to parents that I gave in the review of the 2013 release and that still isn’t addressed in the new supplementary material: this film is a product of its time and the film’s portrayal of Native Americans is stereotypical and viewed by many as racist especially in the “What Makes the Red Man Red?” musical number. Though there’s no revisionism in this release and we’re seeing the film as it was intended to be seen in the Fifties, I am a little surprised that Disney handled the controversy by ignoring it. Surely there could have been a small bonus feature on the disc that parents and teachers could have used as a discussion point.