Okay, so real talk: I dreaded writing this post as much as I was thrilled at the thought of writing this post. Why? Because there’s so much to cover! Honestly, I don’t know where to start. My love for anything Peter Pan? My love for Rufio? My love for imaginary food fights? SO MUCH MATERIAL.
If you think I’m exaggerating how much I love this movie, let’s take a trek down memory lane, shall we?
I was probably around around five when I first saw this movie, even though it came out in 1991. I remember being completely, utterly transfixed. Who didn’t want to know what happened to Peter after he left Wendy? Who also wasn’t secretly rooting for them to fall in love? (Hey, in a five year old’s mind, that’s what was supposed to happen!) But yeah, okay, he fell in love with her granddaughter. I could live with that.
From the ages of five to about eight I watched this movie EVERY CHANCE I COULD. Seriously. It doesn’t help that the first time this happened to me was with Disney’s Peter Pan, where I would sit in front of the VCR, watch them learn to fly and fly off to Never Never Land, then you know, press stop, rewind, then play. I had the timing memorized. Pretty much the same thing with Hook, though by this time, I had mastered the remote.
In middle school, I found out that it was on DVD. I BOUGHT IT. I WATCHED IT. I LOVED IT. Sometimes I would recommend that we watch it at sleepovers. Sometimes they listened. Mostly I just got weird stares. (Creeped out yet?)
Then there was that time I read a piece about what it would be like to work with Spielberg’s son, in which Hook is unfairly portrayed. A twitter response was clearly needed. This is what resulted:
He responded! Then I went a little nuts. I’m pretty sure I also tweeted “Bangerang”, in like, all caps, but then I knew that was taking it a little too far so that was promptly deleted. (You’re definitely creeped out now.)
Quick synopsis so I know you’re all with me: Peter Pan falls in love with Wendy’s granddaughter, Moira, and you see him later in life as an attorney who is not the best daddy in the world to two children: Jack and Maggie. It ends up that Hook steals the kids, and Peter is helped by Tink to figure out how to be Pan again (he had forgotten his entire Pan life, including the fact that he even WAS Peter Pan), and he goes to Neverland to get his kids back.
So what was it that made this movie so amazing (at least to me)? Could it be Robin Williams as Peter? Or Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell? Or Dustin Hoffman as Hook? (I’m with you Jaimie, it is a starring role. He was nominated for a Golden Globe! Julia, on the other hand, was nominated for a Raspberry for worst supporting actress. Tough break.)
Honestly, I think what did it were the cornball moments mixed with the amazingness that is RUFIO. Like that time that kid traces Peter’s face, then announces “Oh, THERE you are Peter!” Or that time when Peter’s daughter sings that lullaby. Or that time when Peter finds his “happy thoughts”? Those moments are THE moments.
And Rufio. Oh, Rufio. He was threatened by Peter’s presence, as he was the leader of The Lost Boys after Peter, but after Peter’s crowing, he knew what was up. He swallowed his pride and let Peter take the reigns, and then bam – Peter was kind of like Rufio’s dad in a way – and ugh, the saddest part: When he’s killed. (Good move, Spielberg. That was poignant stuff.)
If you haven’t seen this movie (WHAT?), I encourage you to do so. Like, now. Stop reading. Except, maybe it doesn’t hold up if you’re seeing it for the first time as an adult. Whatever, watch it anyway. And if you see it and it doesn’t? Well, just proof that your childhood sucked. Sorry.