Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1991. Amblin Entertainment, TriStar Pictures. Screen story by James V. Hart, Nick Castle, Screenplay by James V. Hart, Malia Scotch Marmo, based on the play and books by J.M. Barrie. Cinematography by Dean Cundey. Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Gerald R. Molen. Music by John Williams. Production Design by Norman Garwood. Costume Design by Anthony Powell. Film Editing by Michael Kahn.
If you’re young enough, this continuation of the Peter Pan story by J.M. Barrie will seem like a grand, glorious adventure; anyone over the age of 13 will see it for the annoyingly junky thing that it is. Robin Williams plays the grown-up Pan, who after falling in love with Wendy’s daughter decided on a mortal life that found him growing into a mature old businessman for whom profit is now life’s only concern. Having absolutely no memory of his days as the perpetually young, magical adventurer, he finds his youth come back to haunt him when he visits London to stay with a now-aged Wendy (Maggie Smith) and his children are kidnapped by the menacing Captain Hook (a deliciously wry Dustin Hoffman). Now Pan must journey back to Never Neverland and pick up his old habits of flying through the air and fighting evil pirates, which thanks to some nifty special effects are all brought to life quite effectively. Williams has a grand old time in the role, as do supporting players Bob Hoskins as Hook’s main sidekick and Julia Roberts as the ever-amorous Tinkerbell, but the production looks tacky and the story bumbles around too much and feels contrived. John Williams contributes the overly ecstatic score, highlighted by the whiny voice of young actress Amber Scott singing the theme song “When You’re Alone” (it was the only one of many songs written by John Williams and Leslie Bricusse to survive in the film’s final cut, and thankfully so). A Steven Spielberg film should definitely be of higher caliber than this.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Makeup; Best Visual Effects; Best Art Direction; Best Costume Design; Best Original Song (“When You’re Alone”)
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Actor-Musical/Comedy (Dustin Hoffman)