Friday, December 16, 2011

12 Days of Holiday Movies: Day 10

In an effort to find some way to get "into the spirit" of the holiday season. I would like to suggest twelve films which, for this viewer, capture on film some aspect of the holiday season. In the best of all possible worlds I'd have had this brainstorm with a full twelve days leading up to December 25 remaining, but, as usual, I didn't so am picking up with Day 10... don't tell anyone, okay?First up--P.J. Hogan's Peter Pan (2003).

Though clearly attempting to cash in on the success of the first Harry Potter film, even the film's "P" logo is reminiscent of Harry's, I've always found this Peter Pan to be an enjoyable presentation of the source material. Despite sharing many of the story beats and design elements common to most filmed Peter Pans, including those used in Disney's much more well-known version, the chemistry between the three lead live action  performers (Jason Isaacs as Hook, Rachel Hurd-Wood as Wendy and Jeremy Sumpter as Peter) elevates the film. The result is a fine Peter Pan experience.

Perhaps the reason I would consider this something of a holiday movie in the first place is that when it was originally released, I saw it with my son and daughter. At the time they were "Disney kids", who had also subjected me to numerous repeated viewings via worn VHS tape of Spielberg's inferior Hook. For us, this was a shared experience that, though they may have forgotten as they have grown, always reminds me of sweeter days. Truth is, it is not all that unusual to seek those movies that take us back, if not to our own youth, to that of our children? For many, this returning to innocence or youth, much like Peter and Wendy, is an integral part of what the holiday season is about...

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