'Peter Pan and Wendy' premieres on Disney+ with reimagined classic tale

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Saturday, April 29, 2023
Reimagined classic Peter Pan and Wendy premieres on Disney+
Many of us grew up watching Disney's animated "Peter Pan" and a new live-action version premiered Friday on Disney+. Sandy Kenyon more on the new movie.

NEW YORK CITY -- Many of us grew up watching Disney's animated "Peter Pan" and a new live-action version premiered Friday on Disney+.

As the title suggests, "Peter Pan and Wendy" gives equal weight to the boy's friend.

The film's New York premiere took place earlier this week at Manhattan's South Street Seaport.

When a story has been told and re-told so many times as the tale of Peter Pan, any new version better have a good reason for being -- and such is definitely the case with "Peter Pan and Wendy."

The old tale has been revised to be more inclusive and avoid the stereotypes contained in the original.

The boy who never wanted to grow up is 120 years old now and a new movie seeks to keep Peter Pan relevant by raising the profile of his friend Wendy.

"Fans, they'll immediately recognize these characters they've grown up knowing and loving, but with their backstories and backgrounds fleshed out and reimagined for a new generation to enjoy," said Ever Anderson who plays Wendy.

Anderson grew up reading the original "Peter Pan" book and watching the Disney animated classic, and told Entertainment Reporter Sandy Kenyon the chance to play Wendy was an honor and a privilege.

"She's active, and she's adventurous, and she's really Peter's equal in this film," she said.

A chance to celebrate the film came aboard the schooner "Wavertree" at the South Street Seaport.

"As a parent of five kids, it's like every weekend we're trying to find something that the whole gang can like, and usually someone's compromising, and it's usually me, but this is not one of those compromises," said Jim Gaffigan who plays Smee.

Gaffigan plays the first mate to Jude Law's Captain Hook.

"David Lowry, our wonderful writer/director was interested in really grounding a lot of the characters in a sense of reality," Law said.

In this new version, the mystical Neverland is an inclusive place.

"I'm Cree. I'm First Nations slash indigenous," he said.

Alyssa Wapanatahk plays Tiger Lily and Yara Shahidi co-stars as Tinker Bell in "Peter Pan and Wendy."

"It takes the core theme of not wanting to grow up or about this anxiety about adulthood and really expands it in some unexpected ways," Shahidi said.

Anderson is following in the footsteps of her movie star mom Milla Jovovich. The teen said that her mother actually discouraged her from getting into the industry, but Ever says she "nagged her mom for years," and Jovovich finally allowed her daughter to go to acting class.

She's great in "Peter Pan and Wendy," which is streaming now on Disney+ and is owned by the same parent company as this station.