Tag Archives: Peter Pan

Peter Pan “You Can Fly!” (1953)

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One of my favorite moments in Peter Pan is when Peter teaches the Darling children how to fly and they set off for Neverland. As a little kid, I loved the idea of just being able to launch into the air and fly like a bird (imagine my disappointment when all the happy thoughts in the world couldn’t get me off the ground). “You Can Fly” serves as a transition from the ordinary world of London to the extraordinary world of Neverland. This song is different from other Disney songs in that, apart from some half-sung verses at the very beginning, Peter and the Darling children don’t sing at all. Instead their journey to Neverland is narrated by a chorus.

Each of the children has a slightly different style of flying. Wendy is the most graceful, John uses his umbrella to turn corners, and Michael (being the youngest) has an almost clambering style (think of how little kids kick in a swimming pool). Naturally none of them are as good as Peter, who can do all kinds of tricks while he flies.

Think of a wonderful thought,
Any merry little thought,
Think of Christmas, think of snow, think of sleigh bells,
Off you go, like reindeer in the sky!
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!!!

Think of the happiest things,
It’s the same as having wings,
Take a path that moonbeams make,
If the moon is still awake,
You’ll see him wink his eye (ohh…)
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!!!

I absolutely love the moment when Michael stops and notices Nana trying to fly after her charges. It gets even funnier when he grabs Tinker Bell and sprinkles some fairy dust on the confused canine, sending her soaring into the air bottom first. The only reason Nana can’t follow is because she’s tied by her leash, so she can only float awkwardly in the air as the children fly away. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if Nana had been able to fly with them (probably she would have kept trying to take the children home).

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Off you go with a Hi and Ho
With the stars beyond the blue
There’s a Never Land waiting for you
Where all your happy dreams come true
Every dream that you dream will come true

When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
Think of all the joy you’ll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your fears good-bye
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!

Tinker Bell, being the jealous type, is not thrilled that Wendy is coming along. She’s already trying to sabotage the trip by messing up her reflection in the water but it quickly comes back to haunt the fairy as she’s nearly snapped up by several hungry fish. This won’t stop Tinker Bell though, as she’ll try again once they reach Neverland.

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When there’s a smile in your heart
There’s no better time to start
Think of all the joy you’ll find
When you leave the world behind
And bid your fears good-bye
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly, you can fly!
You can fly, you can fly, you can fly!

The song fades away with Peter and the children well on their way to Neverland, “second star to the right and straight on till morning.” I can’t overstate how much I love listening to this song, it’s a perfect Disney tune. It’s full of joy, innocence, and a rising sense of adventure as they fly onward to Neverland.

What do you think about “You Can Fly!”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Peter Pan “Following the Leader” (1953)

Peter Pan “What Made the Red Man red?” (1953)

Peter Pan “The Elegant Captain Hook” (1953)

My Thoughts on: Peter Pan (1953)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

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Peter Pan “The Elegant Captain Hook” (1953)

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At its core, “The Elegant Captain Hook” is nothing more than an elaborate sales pitch designed to get the Lost Boys (and the Darling children) to join Captain Hook’s crew. I imagine Hook views this as one last opportunity to stick it to his longtime nemesis Peter Pan before he’s blown to pieces by a bomb left in his hideout. After all, what could be more satisfying than having Peter Pan’s followers become pirates? Also, given the cyclical nature of events on Neverland (“All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again”), I can’t help but wonder how many times the Lost Boys have been made this offer in the past. Who knows, maybe there were a few times where the boys did join Captain Hook’s crew, for a while anyway. But I digress…

(the song is delivered while the children are tied to the mast)

Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho
So, try the life of a thief
Just sample the life of a crook
There isn’t a boy
Who won’t enjoy
A-workin’ for Captain Hook
The World’s Most Famous Crook

In typical oblivious fashion, Mr. Smee tries to interject about how the crocodile is still after Captain Hook (“Crook, Crook, Crickety-Crockity-Crickety-Crook The Croc is after Captain-) but the pirate knocks him silly with his hook before he can finish the line.

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As a special offer for today
I’ll tell you what I’ll do.
All those who sign without delay…
Will get a free tattoo.
Why, it’s like money in the bank!
C’mon, join up, and I’ll be frank:
Unless you do, you’ll walk the plank!
The choice is up to you!

The choice is up to you!
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho, Yo Ho
You’ll love the life of a thief
You’ll relish the life of a crook
There’s barrels of fun enough for ev’ryone!
And you’ll get treasures by the ton
So come and sign the book
Join up with Captain Hook!

It’s no wonder the boys are so eager to join: Hook has just threatened to make them walk the plank if they don’t (so it’s really not a choice at all). Fortunately, Wendy is there to bring the boys to their senses before any of them can sign up.

“The Elegant Captain Hook” is a rousing song (though rather short) and one that I’ve always liked. I do wonder from time to time why the song is called “The Elegant Captain Hook” as the phrase never turns up in the song!

What do you think of “The Elegant Captain Hook”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Peter Pan “You Can Fly!” (1953)

Peter Pan “Following the Leader” (1953)

Peter Pan “What Made the Red Man red?” (1953)

My Thoughts on: Peter Pan (1953)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

My Thoughts on: Peter Pan (1953)

Prior to getting a copy of Peter Pan for Christmas this year, it had been a number of years since I’d seen the film, so it was nice to sit down and revisit one of my favorite Disney films. Very loosely based on J.M. Barrie’s novel, Peter Pan follows the Darling children: Wendy (Kathryn Beaumont), John (Paul Collins), and Michael (Tommy Luske) as they fly off to Neverland with Peter Pan (Bobby Driscoll) and Tinkerbell for a series of adventures.

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Upon arriving at Neverland Peter has to deal with his long-time nemesis Captain Hook (Hans Conried), who is bound and determined to get revenge on Peter for cutting off his hand some years ago and feeding it to the Crocodile, who has been following him ever since in anticipation of getting the rest of him someday. The scenes with the Crocodile are probably my favorite apart from the flying sequences. You’re never quite sure when or where the Crocodile is going to show up, and Hook’s reactions are priceless each time he hears the “tick tock” of the clock inside the Crocodile’s belly.

Speaking of Captain Hook, he’s one of my favorite Disney villains. Hook was created at a time when Disney took a more comedic approach to their villains, so despite his many, MANY threats (including shooting a pirate in the middle of his cadenza), you never really get the impression that Hook is a major threat, because Peter will always find a way to get the upper hand. Also, I have to add that Mr. Smee is also one of my favorite characters: he’s so nice and polite that one wonders how he ended up on a pirate ship. Throughout the story, Smee tries again and again to get Hook to give up his pursuit of Peter Pan and go back to sea, and finally at the end he gives up and heads off in his own boat.

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The film does contain a number of what are now considered troubling sequences with Indians (the film employs practically every stereotype associated with Native Americans). As a child these scenes didn’t bother me because I didn’t know any better, and even now I don’t let it bother me too much only because I remind myself that the film was made in 1953 when things were very different culturally. Years afterward the animators admitted that if they could do it all over again they would animate the tribe differently.

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I feel very badly for Wendy throughout this film: she’s so eager to head off to Neverland but her adventure is hardly what she expects. First of all, she gets shot down (literally) by the Lost Boys; then the mermaids (whom she expressly wanted to see) try to drown her while Peter laughs; and worst of all, Peter ditches Wendy to celebrate with Tiger Lily. It’s no wonder Wendy decides to head for home not long afterward. I do like the reveal at the end that George Darling (the father) vaguely remembers going on his own adventure with Peter Pan and the flying pirate ship. It’s a twist that breaks the trope of parents reassuring the child that whatever happened was “just a dream.” Because in this case both parents take notice of the flying ship, which means Wendy was telling the truth!

One last thought: I love the scene at the end when Tinkerbell covers the pirate ship with pixie dust and it flies into the sky.

What do you think about Disney’s Peter Pan? Was it a favorite when you were growing up? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Animated Film Reviews

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Peter Pan “Following the Leader” (1953)

*note, this song refers to Native Americans as Indians and “Injuns” which is politically incorrect now, but was considered okay then.

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Now that Wendy and her brothers have safely arrived in Neverland and met the Lost Boys, it’s time to set off on the adventures Peter promised them. While Peter takes Wendy to meet the mermaids, John and Michael and the Lost Boys set off to locate the Indian tribe (with John assuming the role of leader). As the Lost Boys march off, they sing a song about “following the leader.”

Following the leader, the leader, the leader
We’re following the leader
Wherever he may go

Tee dum, tee dee, a teedle ee do tee day
Tee dum, tee dee it’s part of the game we play
Tee dum, tee dee, the words are easy to say
Just a teedle ee dum a teedle ee do tee day

Tee dum, tee dee, a teedle ee do tee dum
We’re one for all, and all of us out for fun
We march in line and follow the other one
With a teedle ee do a teedle ee do tee dum

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Following the leader, the leader, the leader
We’re following the leader
Wherever he may go
We’re out to fight the Injuns, the Injuns, the Injuns
We’re out to fight the Injuns
Because he told us so

Tee dum, tee dee a teedle ee do tee day
We march along and these are the words we say:
Tee dum, tee dee, a teedle de dum dee-day
Oh, a teedle ee dum a teedle ee do tee day

Oh, a teedle ee dum a teedle ee-do-tee-day

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The boys traveling through Neverland is like any adventure you ever dreamed of having as a child. They cross rivers, swing down vines and unwittingly pass by several animals (a hippo, monkeys, a rhinoceros and even a large bear). Neverland is full of all kinds of terrain, from the jungle, to the savannah and ending in a forest filled with pine trees.

The song comes to an abrupt end when John discovers a pair of “Indian tracks” in the middle of a clearing. Looking back, it seems obvious that this was a trap for the Lost Boys from the start because how else could their be two footprints side-by-side? If someone is walking normally, one footprint should be in front of the other. But instead they’re next to each other like someone was just standing still. Clearly this is meant to be a trap to delay the Lost Boys until the tribe can close in and capture them (which they do).

I’ve always liked “Following the Leader,” it’s a fun interlude before the drama with Captain Hook and Tiger Lily. What do you think of this song? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Peter Pan (1953)

Peter Pan “You Can Fly!” (1953)

Peter Pan “What Made the Red Man red?” (1953)

Peter Pan “The Elegant Captain Hook” (1953)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂

Peter Pan “What Made the Red Man Red?” (1953)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Before I get started with talking about this song, let’s get the elephant out of the room shall we? Yes, “What Made the Red Man red?” is a highly racist, non-politically correct song that employs multiple Native American stereotypes. That being said, remember that this was 1953 and the world was a very different place from what it is now.

(also, I’m going to refer to the tribe as ‘Indians’ because that’s how they’re described in the film, I know Native American is the correct word to use)

At the start of this song, Wendy, John and Michael are celebrating the safe return of Tiger Lily with Peter Pan, the Lost Boys and the Indian tribe. In gratitude, the Chief dubs Peter “Chief Flying Eagle” and everyone celebrates. As the party gets going, the Lost Boys have three questions:

“What made the red man red?” (it should be noted that in this film the Indians, except for Tiger Lily, are almost literally red-skinned, based on the derogatory slang once used to describe them).

“When did he first say ‘ugh’?” (another stereotype, this one contends that Indians say ‘ugh’ in response to a lot of things)

“Why does he ask you ‘how’?” (another stereotype and something of a generalization: there ARE some tribes that use this as a greeting, but the stereotype makes it appear that ALL Indians use this as a greeting, which isn’t true).

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The Chief and his chorus of braves set out to answer these questions, accompanied by the drums:

Why does he ask you, “How?”
Why does he ask you, “How?”
Once the Injun didn’t know
All the things that he know now
But the Injun, he sure learn a lot
And it’s all from asking, “How?”
Hana Mana Ganda
Hana Mana Ganda
We translate for you
Hana means what mana means
And ganda means that, too

This scene is also notable because it shows several characters smoking on a peace pipe. While Wendy abstains (and prevents Michael from using it too), John takes a pretty good puff and turns green as a result (in kind of the same way that Pinocchio did over a decade prior).

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In between the verses, everyone starts dancing, including Wendy, though she doesn’t get to enjoy herself for long. Wendy runs headlong into an Indian matriarch who proclaims “Squaw (Wendy) no dance, squaw get firewood!” Wendy is miffed that she can’t have fun like the other boys (and Tiger Lily, more on that in a moment) but she goes off to get the firewood.

When did he first say, “Ugh!”
When did he first say, “Ugh!”
In the Injun book it say
When first brave married squaw
He gave out with heap big ugh
When he saw his Mother-in-Law

Meanwhile, Wendy is returning with a load of firewood (still trying to have a good time) when she gets a look at Tiger Lily and Peter Pan:

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What made the red man red?
What made the red man red?

Let’s go back a million years
To the very first Injun prince
He kissed a maid and start to blush
And we’ve all been blushin’ since

You’ve got it right from the headman
The real true story of the red man
No matter what’s been written or said
Now you know why the red man’s red!

The scene implies that Tiger Lily gave Peter a great big kiss which makes Peter blush with happiness. Wendy is furious that someone else is kissing ‘her’ Peter, and when the matriarch demands she get more firewood, Wendy retorts “Squaw NO getting firewood, squaw go home!” And she marches off to the Lost Boys home, very upset. I always felt bad for Wendy, everyone else got to have fun but her.

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Political incorrectness aside, this song marks the turning point in the story for Wendy. Up until this point, she’d been having fun with Peter in Neverland (although the visit to the mermaids didn’t exactly go as planned), but now she’s beginning to realize that she doesn’t belong here, it’s time to go home (as in back to London). Also, no one yet knows that Captain Hook has taken Tinkerbell captive, as he is determined to find the Lost Boys hideout and eliminate his nemesis once and for all!

What do you think of this song? Have you seen this song before? Let me know what you think of it in the comments below, and have a great day!

See also:

Disney Films & Soundtracks A-Z

Peter Pan “You Can Fly!” (1953)

Peter Pan “Following the Leader” (1953)

Peter Pan “The Elegant Captain Hook” (1953)

My Thoughts on: Peter Pan (1953)

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂