J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (1911) was one of Walt Disney’s favorite stories while growing up. In fact, Walt even played the starring role of Peter in a stage play as a child. Given his fascination with “The boy who wouldn’t grow up”, it was only a matter of time until his studios produced a full-length animated motion feature.
In 1953 Walt Disney’s Peter Pan became the 14th animated feature by Walt Disney Productions. Wendy, John and Michael Darling’s tale of adventure in Never Land has captivated and inspired audiences of children and adults for more than half a century. Although this story is glazed with pixie dust, Peter Pan offers some real life lessons.
Lesson #1 Stay Focused on What Really Matters
Captain Hook seems to be angry with Pan because he lost his hand in a duel. In actuality, Captain Hook is angry because Pan tossed his hand to the crocodile, which, consequently, follows the ship hoping for more of the pirate. Hook takes out his aggression on Pan, when his angst should really be focused on the crocodile. Too bad he’s a codfish…
Lesson #2 Don’t Underestimate your Enemies
While playing follow-the-leader and searching for natives, John, Michael and the Lost Boys are captured and tied to the stake. Their biggest failure: underestimating the cunning of their foes. Thankfully this lesson ends with a powwow and not with barbecued raccoon-bear-skunk-fox delight.
Lesson #3 Love Your Mother
As Wendy explains the concept of “mother” to the Lost Boys and begins to sing “Your Mother and Mine” we can’t help but to hold back crocodile tears for our mothers – even if they’re watching the movie with us! As a matter of fact, stop reading this post now and give your mommy a hug!
Lesson #4 True Friends will always remember you
Tinkerbelle gets very jealous of Peter Pan whenever he is around Wendy (or any girl, for that matter). It’s no secret that she’d rather see Wendy shot out of the sky than to see her give Pan a kiss. Yet, like the true friend that she is, she risks her life to save his although he “banished” her earlier.
Lesson #5 Never Grow Up
This should be a no-brainer. Walt Disney is often quoted posing the question “why do we have to grow up?” Of course we must age, biologically speaking, but no one is obligated to lose optimism, give up our imagination, and stop believing in pixies. I believe Walt put it best, “Adults are only kids grown up, anyway”.
The next time you find yourself enjoying Walt Disney’s Peter Pan see what life lessons you can draw!