Peter Pan & Wendy Parent Guide
It's boring and bland, but at least it isn't racist.
Parent Movie Review
Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson) is heading to boarding school, as is expected for girls of her age and social class. She has mixed feelings about leaving her younger brothers John (Joshua Pickering) and Michael (Jacobi Jupe) and swapping childish play for formal schooling. On the eve of her departure, the Darling children are visited by Peter Pan (Alexander Molony), the hero of their mother’s bedtime stories. He whisks the children away to Neverland, where they meet the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily (Alyssa Wapanatâhk), and a band of pirates led by the evil Captain Hook (Jude Law).
I have strong opinions about Disney’s live action remakes of their classic animated tales. The entire enterprise reeks of corporate greed and spits in the face of artistry and creativity. I have refused to watch most of them, but I was asked to watch this one for money, so I did. (My values only go so deep, apparently.)
Of the many remakes, this is possibly one of the least offensive. It’s well made and has a clear aesthetic. Though polished from a production standpoint, it is extremely bland creatively. This film has nothing original or exciting to add to the oft-adapted tale, which results in a product that just feels like it shouldn’t exist. I was terribly bored throughout the runtime, as I’ve seen this story a million times before. There are slight variations from the original source material and 1953 animated version, but not enough to hold my interest.
That said, I would much rather show this version to my child than the 1953 version for obvious reasons. The film deftly avoids the blatant racism found in both Barrie’s original novel and Disney’s 1953 animated production and makes Tiger Lily a much more active character without all the colonial stereotypes. This version also gives Wendy more complexity and shies away from strong gender stereotypes. I’m not a fan of Peter Pan in general, but I think this would be the version I’d most want my son to grow up with. Not because it’s fantastic, but because it’s a serviceable modern adaptation of a classic story.
The only content concern parents should be aware of is the violence. I’d say it’s on par with what you’d expect from any Peter Pan adaptation. There is some sword fighting and cannons and a crocodile, but never to a level that feels inappropriate for the intended audience, which is children. If you want to share this classic tale with your kids, Peter Pan & Wendy is probably the best adaptation. Just don’t expect anything magical, no matter how many happy thoughts you think.Directed by David Lowery. Starring Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Jude Law. Running time: 106 minutes. Theatrical release April 28, 2023. Updated April 28, 2023
Watch the trailer for Peter Pan & Wendy
Peter Pan & Wendy
Rating & Content Info
Why is Peter Pan & Wendy rated PG? Peter Pan & Wendy is rated PG by the MPAA for violence, peril and thematic elements.
Violence: Children and pirates battle each other with cannons and swords. A girl slaps a boy in the face. An arrow is shot into a person’s hand. A giant crocodile attacks a group of people.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There is one use of a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated April 28, 2023
Peter Pan & Wendy Parents' Guide
How do Peter and Wendy feel about growing up? How do their views change by the end of the story? What do you think is exciting or scary about growing up?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
If you’re looking for the original tale, you can read Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. If you want to read it with younger children, you can try Peter Pan – the Ultimate Collection with 100+ Full Color Illustrations by J.M. Barrie and Daniel O’Connor. Peter Pan by Agnese Baruzzi tells the story through elaborate papercuts.
For more adventures featuring Peter Pan, tweens and teens will want to read the prequel series by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry which begins with Peter and the Starcatchers.
For a sequel, you can read Peter Pan in Scarlet. Written by Geraldine McCaughrean and illustrated by Scott M Fischer, this book ably recreates the magical world of Neverland.
Children’s fantasy author Gail Carson Levine and author David Christiana kick off their series with Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg. This series is suited to elementary school aged readers.
Related home video titles:
Disney’s 1953 animated version of Peter Pan is probably the best known, but its racism has become increasingly troubling for contemporary viewers.
Live action retellings of the tale include Peter Pan (2003), Pan (with Hugh Jackman as the pirate Blackbeard), and Hook (starring the unforgettable Robin Williams).
J.M. Barrie, author of the book Peter Pan, is the subject of the movie Finding Neverland. This film examines Barrie’s friendship with a widow and her children, who helped inspire his famous kids’ book.
If you’re looking for suitable movies for younger kids, you can try Tinker Bell, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure, and Tinker Bell and the Pirate Fairy.