This children’s classic begins on a cold winter night when Wendy Darling (Rachel Hurd Wood) and her two brothers (Harry Newell and Freddie Popplewell) leave their snug beds and doting parents (Olivia Williams and Jason Isaacs) and fly away with Peter Pan (Jeremy Sumpter), the boy who never grew up. Peter lures the children with tales of fairies, pirates and tropical beaches in Neverland, where children live free of adults and rules. After the children arrive in Neverland, where it’s always springtime, the idyllic setting turns dark and scary as Captain Hook (Jason Isaacs) sets out to capture the new visitors. “Peter Pan” is a marvel of special effects. The mischievous fairy Tinkerbell (Ludivine Sagnier) flits around in a cloud of sparkling fairy dust, and the Darling’s lovable St. Bernard, Nana, generates laughs as the children’s nanny. This magical trip reminds us what a special gift a child’s imagination can be.
Wendy and her brothers find out that the adventures of Neverland are not worth giving up the love of family. Perceptive Wendy sees the whimsical, fun-loving Peter as a lonely boy who has made a poor choice. She and Peter share their first kiss in an innocent way that reveals he doesn’t know what affection is. While there are no evil spells or occult activities, an Indian heals a teddy bear with a chant. Parents should be aware that Peter Pan is a fairy tale and may be too intense for sensitive children and those under 5. However, its strong theme of traditional family values makes this a good choice.